Saturday, May 01, 2010

Cyclompostivermiculture... er, for the worms !

The title is linked to an article for the Center for Appropriate Transportation, or CAT, located here in Eugene.  While Sales Manager with Bike Friday Bicycles, I had the pleasure of meeting Jeremiah, the gent pictured shuttling the composting materials from restaurants to community garden, via human powered work vehicle.  I like to think this is a very reasonable means to employ people, while also keeping a lot of other people, in the upstream and downstream, healthier.

To consider the upstream, you have to look at Jeremiah himself.  He is doing work, exercising, and earning a wage - collectively.  In addition, there are people building the human powered work vehicles, manufactures of steel, bike components, trailer parts, etc., and even the recyclers who are restoring materials from waste back into the use stream.  It enables a lower embedded energy aspect, albeit small.  Additionally, you have the restaurant and its clients who are being serviced by a reduction of waste and carbon, by recycling the embedded energy of the food, which normally would have been shipped via fossil-fueled vehicle, to a landfill.

On the downstream, you have the worms, which benefit from something to eat.  They in turn, recycle the food into a mixture of compost and castings, which are both greatly benefiting the soil, which nourishes the users of the community garden.  And when you consider the low carbon aspect of Jeremiah's services, the reduction created by composting, soil amendment and health nutrition as an outcome, there doesn't seem to be any downside in comparison to the typical 'toss it in the garbage' mentality that we're currently sustaining... bad choice of word.  It should say something more like 'toss it in the garbage' unsustainable mentality.  Either way, this is good stuff and my hat goes off to CAT, Jeremiah, the restaurants that use their services, and the members who benefit from the efforts going on - to make a difference.  Keep it up (and support the restaurants who go the extra mile to make it happen)...

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