Thursday, May 17, 2007

How to Compost Interlude: The Yogurt Change

Since my compost project is going a little slower than planned due to the lovely Maine spring "thaw," I'm currently stuck in Step 6: Wait. So while I'm being patient, I'm posting on some small changes that composting has caused in my household...

The yogurt change: Almost every day I bring a yogurt to work for my mid-morning snack. I grab a plastic spoon from the office kitchen, eat my yogurt, and toss the spoon in the garbage can. Now that we've been composting at home, I've been more aware that those spoons are never going to break down. It might seem obviously wasteful to some, but for me, it was just a convenient habit. So now every morning, I throw a regular spoon in my bookbag. Simple. Easy. And that's an average of four or five fewer plastic spoons in the landfill each week. 260 fewer every year!

Jeremy Faludi on gives a link to biodegradable plastic silverware (made out of corn, I believe)...just in time for summer picnics! They apparently will decompose within a year.

And here is a fascinating article from National Geographic about the amount of plastic that is found in the ocean. According to the article, more than a million seabirds and 100,000 mammals and sea turtles die globally each year from either eating or getting tangled in plastics. Richard Thompson, a marine ecology lecturer, says:
"Plastics have a wide range of indispensable uses, from telephones to radio sets, but those aren't the products we're finding on the beaches. What we are finding, increasingly, are plastic bottles, caps, bits of packaging—disposable items which are used once and then thrown away...There's a challenge here for all of us to be more careful in the way we use and dispose of plastic."

Missed anything in this series? It's easy to catch up:

Step 1: Make it a Priority
Step 2: Choose a System
Interlude: Nature Tried to Kill My Composter
Step 3: Collect Organic Material
Step 4: Mix the Materials
Step 5: Moisten the Mixture
Step 6: Wait
Interlude: The Lightbulb Change
Interlude: The Yogurt Change
Interlude: The Sponge Change
Interlude: The Leftover Change
Interlude: The Napkin Change
The Sort-of Sun-Mar 200 Review Part One
The Sort-of Sun-Mar 200 Review Part Two
Sun-Mar 200 Compost Update
Sun-Mar 200: Starting All Over Again

Step 7: Use Your Compost
Step 8: Sun Mar 200 Garden Composter Review

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