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Image: Person throwing food waste onto a compost pile

Easy Ways to Go Green: The Compost Pick-Up Services Coming to a Stoop Near You!

Ready for an easy way to do impactful good in the world? Today, we’re taking a look at your food—more specifically, how food waste can be a limitless resource! And you don’t need a big backyard or to live in the countryside to get started. Services like this one are popping up everywhere to help us keep dangerous food waste out of our landfills!

Ingenious pick-up services are stepping up and making “being greener” easier and easier for us all, even in mega-cities like New York and Los Angeles!

Let’s take a look at how these sorts of systems work, the benefits you get, and the overall impact on the planet!

Image: Person throwing food waste onto a compost pile
Emptying a bucket of food waste onto the compost pile!
Courtesy of Compostable LA

Last summer, June 2020, the state of Vermont made food scraps in trash headed to the landfill illegal. There was a multitude of reasons for this, but the main one was that it takes almost 20 years for food to break down in a landfill, producing methane—a gas 80 times more destructive to the atmosphere than carbon dioxide—as it does.

Why can’t food just decompose naturally in a landfill?

Our landfills are structures that lack oxygen, which is the perfect environment for methane-producing microbes, but not the perfect conditions for organic materials to break down as they should. In contrast, composting our food scraps doesn’t produce methane. With the presence of oxygen in our compost piles, those microbes can’t survive! 1 This means that our food and yard waste can break down as it’s meant to, giving us beautiful, nutrient-rich soil in just a matter of months that we can use to feed our own new crops of food.

Food scraps and other organic materials like leaves and sticks from the yard make up about 30% of a typical Vermont family’s waste. For restaurants and cafeterias in the state, food scraps can account for half of their waste! 2

Vermont is a small state, but across the United States it’s estimated that more food reached landfills and combustion facilities than any other single material in our everyday trash. 3

Food wastage from producers, suppliers, and consumers accounts for 6% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions—that’s about 3x of what aviation produces! 4

When it comes to composting, a lot of people don’t have the green space or the time and energy to do it themselves. So now, folks in cities all over the country are making it easier than ever to compost and get all the benefits—by picking it up for you!

Here’s one of these services, Compostable LA, demonstrating their extremely simple yet effective system to help us all do this one easy thing.

Via: Goodful 5

Thanks to Goodful for pointing to their fantastic work! If you’d like to see more inspiring content from Goodful, head over and subscribe to their Youtube channel.

There are tons of people picking up buckets of compost all over the country. To find one of these services near you, visit Litterless.com! Not one in your area? Well, maybe it’s time to get one started! (If you’re in LA, definitely check out Compostable LA for all your compost pick up needs!)

If you’re interested in building a compost pile in your own backyard, this resource will help.

Image: person in the car with a bunch of the Compostable LA buckets!
Monique Figueiredo, founder and CEO of Compostable LA in the car with buckets!
Courtesy of Compostable LA

Small thing, big impact

We don’t have to perform some huge act to make a positive impact in the world. Simply separating your food scraps from your trash bin can make a big difference! And to have people come by and pick it up for you for a cost less than a Netflix subscription—that’s a win-win for you and for our planet!

For more small life-hacks that truly add up to make a difference on a personal and environmental level, check out these articles next!

Is Going Zero Waste Really Possible?

Have you seen those people who can fit a year’s worth of garbage into a mason jar? Is that even possible? Meet a family that tried to live zero waste for a month and see how it went!

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Forget Perfection, Here’s the Easiest Way to Form Any New Habit!

Want to create a habit that you can actually keep? This thought leader has a trick that takes the pressure off!

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The Secret Power of Checklists

The fastest way to start reducing your stress and increasing productivity doesn’t require any expensive new planners or apps. All you need to start working with the accuracy skill of a doctor or an astronaut is a piece of paper and a pen!

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As always, my friend, stay open to new possibilities!

  • Sam

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Notes:

  1. “Composting to Avoid Methane Production | Agriculture and Food.” Wa.gov.au, 2018, www.agric.wa.gov.au/climate-change/composting-avoid-methane-production#:~:text=Decomposing%20organic%20material%20in%20anaerobic,releases%20methane%20into%20the%20atmosphere.&text=However%2C%20the%20aerobic%20process%20of,in%20the%20presence%20of%20oxygen. Accessed 13 May 2021.
  2. “Food Scraps | Department of Environmental Conservation.” Vermont.gov, 2020, dec.vermont.gov/waste-management/solid/materials-mgmt/organic-materials. Accessed 13 May 2021.
  3. US EPA,OLEM. “Sustainable Management of Food Basics | US EPA.” US EPA, 11 Aug. 2015, www.epa.gov/sustainable-management-food/sustainable-management-food-basics. Accessed 13 May 2021.
  4. “Food Waste Is Responsible for 6% of Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions.” Our World in Data, 2020, ourworldindata.org/food-waste-emissions#:~:text=The%20other%209%25%20comes%20from,total%20global%20greenhouse%20gas%20emissions. Accessed 13 May 2021.
  5. Goodful. “This Food Waste Pick up Service Should Be Everywhere.” YouTube, 20 Apr. 2021, www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwMV48MGobM. Accessed 13 May 2021.
Published: June 7, 2021

Image: Samantha Burns

Sam Burns

Former Editor-In-Chief

Sam wrote and edited hundreds of articles during her time on the Goodness Exchange team from 2016-2021. She wrote about topics from the wonders of nature to the organizations changing the world and the simple joys in life! Outside of the Goodness Exchange, she’s a part-time printmaker, collector of knick-knacks, and procurer of cheeses.

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