Jamestown, N.Y. – May 1 - 7, 2022, is International Compost Awareness Week, whose goal is to raise the awareness of the importance of composting our organics, recycling, and using compost. The theme for 2022 is “Recipe for Regeneration: Compost.”
Did you know that when you create compost from your food scraps and yard trimmings, you are making our food more nutritious, our air cleaner, and our climate healthier?
While providing sustenance for the biological diversity in the soil, organics recycling and compost reduces climate change by removing carbon from the atmosphere and benefits both water conservation and quality. It also reduces methane, a greenhouse gas twenty-five times as powerful as carbon dioxide, and the need for landfill space, incineration and pesticides.
Throughout International Compost Awareness Week, community and business events are held to encourage and celebrate all types of composting, from backyard to large-scale.
Locally, Janet Forbes, chair of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Jamestown’s (UUCJ) Giving Garden Project, is promoting composting, following the two-bin compost system she helped create at the church last year.
Forbes said they added grass clippings, buckets of coffee grounds from RydersCup Coffee in Lakewood, and other organic yard trimmings to get the compost started. She encouraged the congregation to add kitchen scraps, shredded paper and newspaper, sawdust, wood chips, and fireplace ashes. She explained what not to compost and why, such as dairy products and meat-related items that could attract pests, and yard trimmings treated with chemical pesticides that could kill beneficial composting organisms.
The compost will be added to UUCJ’s Giving Garden beds as the Giving Garden Team prepares for this year's growing season. They will again grow radishes, kale varieties, greens, and herbs. The team has a rain barrel near the Giving Garden where they capture runoff from the roof to water the garden and compost bin.
Linnea Carlson, a member of the congregation, is manager of the Jamestown Public Market and Mobile Market, under the umbrella of St. Luke's Episcopal Church. Produce from the Giving Garden is donated to the Mobile Market to help address the issue of food insecurity in Jamestown.
The subject of a recent Sunday service was the importance of topsoil loss on the planet. One way we can all contribute to building soil is to compost either at our own homes or by contributing to a community composting project.
According to Forbes, “Our Unitarian Universalist faith calls us to affirm and promote seven principles. The Giving Garden is our members’ living our seventh UU principle, ‘Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.’”
More information about composting and Compost Week can be found at CompostFoundation.org/ICAW.
For an introduction to composting at home, visit the Environmental Protection Agency at EPA.gov/recycle/composting-home.
Information about the Jamestown Public Market and Mobile Market is at JtownPublicMarket.org and their Facebook page.