Watermelons are my mom’s favorite fruit. This summer, when we had more than a few lying around the house and my mom injured her arm, she asked me to slice some up for her on one particularly hot afternoon. As I cut away the outsides and tossed them into several plastic bags, I was appalled at both the sheer amount of waste that I had generated from cutting a single melon and also at the fact that this was new knowledge to me. Naturally, this was a lot of food for thought (pun not intended). I have always been environmentally conscious but this was the point at which I decided that what I was doing wasn’t enough.
I plan to implement a vermicomposting system at my town’s local elementary school this year. Not only is composting with worms a method to get kids more excited about saving the earth, but it’s also an opportunity to lessen the amount of food waste that the school regularly sends to landfills and in turn, greenhouse gas emissions. With a little dirt and a few biology lessons on the way (e.g. basic worm anatomy, the living components of vermicompost, etc), I hope that students take away the idea that the actions we take can make a real difference in our communities.
By Sukhmani Grover