A barren earth, derelict flower beds, desolated buildings and impassive faces…an ideal dystopia. Will this be our future? Is this the world we are pacing towards? I still remember the chill that ran down my spine, when I watched Nat Geo’s documentary on global warming, “6 Degrees Could Change the World”.
So what can we do, more specifically how can we eradicate the qualms of moving towards a void future? One of the simplest steps we can take is to start composting. Food wastes, if not composted, are usually either burnt or dumped in streams and barren fields. Through burning and dumping waste, not only are we accelerating our death ride in the global warming express but also we are exposing ourselves to harmful chemicals like dioxin and furan that kill us slowly.
Composting is a simple yet at times, an overlooked solution to bio-degradable waste management. Composting is a method through which organic waste decomposes naturally under oxygen-rich conditions through the action of microbes. With the current incentives provided by Trivandrum’s Corporation to install a Bio-composter and the presence of Aerobic Bins in various locations in our city, it has never been easier to make a difference. From the portable “Kambha” or the efficient “Bio-composter” for a household to the “Aerobic Bin” for an entire residential colony or school; there are a myriad of equipment to get your hands on. Not only would you be contributing to a sustainable future through composting but also you would benefit from the final nutrient-rich compost that could be utilised as a soil-enricher in organic fertilizers.
Even in our homes, to get started on composting all you need is a pinch of patience, a dash of commitment and a dollop of optimism. Through taking certain steps like checking the moisture content, providing regular aeration and ensuring the presence of microbes, there wouldn’t be any odour. You can even use the dry leaves scattered in your yard to control the moisture and the stale bread that you were about to throw to increase the composting microbes. Finally, within 50-70 days your compost would be all set.
I personally believe composting shouldn’t just be limited to our homes. Each and every school, company, institution, fest, or event, should take the necessary actions to ensure composting of wastes. Having seen the horrendous sight and ramifications of improper waste management after a food fest in Kanakakunnu where food waste was dumped into the water drains and surrounding trees as well as having breathed in the morbidly sickening stench just two days after the event; I truly think even during festivals or one day events, the food waste should be composted. Nevertheless there have been organizations like Technopark, one of India’s largest IT hub, that have taken up composting. Currently it has over 30 large composters and a few biogas plants to manage the food waste generated by the companies. They have been really successful in creating the compost and they do have plans to commercialise the compost created.
Back in my highschool too, we had tiny panda-bins in each wing and each floor that was kept to promote composting among the student body. Even though initially people didn’t utilize it that often; through persistent efforts, slowly and steadily those bins became an integral part of each individual’s segregation routine. This is just one instance that bears testament to the change a tiny group of individuals can make in a larger community.
Finally some might ask why should we care? USA is no longer part of the Paris agreement, global CO2 emissions are soaring, natural disasters induced by climate change are becoming more frequent. Even recently, after the tragic cyclone Ockhi, 25 tonnes of waste was spewed out on the shores of Kovalam: a consequence of our ignorance. The change begins with you and me. Then just like how the flapping of a butterfly’s wings could potentially cause a hurricane, we could slowly initiate a wave of perpetual change that leads us to a sustainable future.
For details on the various composting equipment available, visit the below link: