P.O. Box 266
1833 Park Lane
Burlington, WA 98233
Office: (360) 757-6053 / Fax: (360) 757-4143
Every April 22, Earth Day, 198 countries hold events around the world to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First proposed in 1970 by a college student in San Francisco, California, Earth Day was designed to honor the Earth and promote the concept of peace. Today, over 200 million people participate in the celebration, making Earth Day the largest secular holiday in the world. However, Earth Day is not just meant to honor the planet and work to bring awareness to different environmental issues, it is also meant to be a day of personal lifestyle change. Many local communities hold different events to demonstrate support for environmental protection and educate their communities on lifestyle changes that have positive impacts on the planet. Events may include; tree planting parties, educational workshops on composting, local park or water clean-ups, and the March for Science.
Personal lifestyle changes can be difficult, but promising to change the littlest things can have a monumentally positive impact on the environment. Celebrate Earth Day by planting a tree in your yard, learning more about recycling in your area, or even consider starting a composting pile. Did you know that EPA estimates 24% of American’s waste is organic material that could otherwise be composted? An average adult can throw away up to 1.3 pounds of food scraps per day, translating to about 12% of the Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) system.
If composting is something you would like to try this year, a system called Vermicomposting might work well for you. Vermicomposting uniquely utilizes worms to help break down organic materials at a more rapid rate. Worms, like the red wiggler, are very voracious and quickly turn organic material into usable soils for gardening or landscaping projects. Vermicomposting can also be done in small spaces, including apartments! If you were unable to start a compost pile in the past due to space restrictions, this method may be the best option for you.
This Earth Day, celebrate by putting together your very own vermicomposting bin with supplies found at your local Country Store. Follow this step by step “Do It Yourself” project instructions to make a difference in your lifestyle this April 22nd.
What you need:
-1 or 2 large plastic containers with lids
-A drill for putting holes in the bottom of the bin and lid
-Recyclable paper (newspapers work well)
-A small amount of soil
-Worms (about a pound per container, Red Wigglers are the best)
Drill small holes evenly along the base and lids of your container. Holes provide air flow and allow for seepage of liquids. If bins are located inside or on a porch, place a container under the base to catch liquids.
Dampen the recyclable paper and lay one layer inside the bin over the holes along the base.
Poor in a layer of soil to evenly cover the base of the bin.
Add your worms
Toss food scraps into your bin including: fruits, vegetables, produce peels, egg shells, paper, tea and tea bags, coffee and filters, and leaves. Do not add plastic, animal waste, citrus (most worms just don’t like eating it), meat, bones or dairy.
Each time you add more scraps to your bin, cover with another layer of damp paper
Repeat until bin is full
Having two bins helps you rotate where you are tossing your food scraps, giving the worms time to work through the food. Once the bins are full and all the food has decomposed, you can use the soil for gardening or landscaping projects.
Contributed by Bailie Welton, Community Outreach and Marketing Coordinator