Crash course on compost

As natural as dropping extra vegetables into one bin and plastic waste in the next may be to some proponents, many people have become involved in events on campus. Compost week, Oct. 5 through 10, coordinated by Alex Clark, Communications Coordinator at the Office of Sustainability, has as much to offer to its voluntary visitors as they do to their ecosystem.

Bellevue College students are seen daily, throwing away compostable coffee cups and food scraps, not bothering to implement proper disposal methods. To quell our carbon footprint, compost week and its accompanying educators will be scattered throughout the C building to provide integral training to college consumers. Wearing green capes and marked by inspiring smiles, eco-friendly helpers will be available to those who wish to forestall detrimental environmental effects.

Ideally, more students will become motivated to compost their waste and will learn that doing so feeds the soil and the microorganisms within it, prevents soil erosion and as a result allows local crops to sustain themselves without artificial fertilization methods. Clark explains the vital nature of composting as “an intrinsic part of life and death” which allows life’s energy encapsulated in food to be “put back into the earth” somewhere it can be used. Composting is seen as “the purest form of recycling” which motivates him to share with others an awesome feeling of “empowerment” one gains when taking part in rather than being afraid of what it means be a member of the cycle of life. By attesting to our weakening ecosystem, we can all embody a manifestation of carefulness and personal empowerment during these times of political technicalities and school-life stress.

Involvement in composting shouldn’t be seen as stressful. The food we eat, the beings we love and the things some people claim to cherish are all a part of our world. Consequently, anyone who is a part of the earth is driven to nurture it but for some reason there are those who act to destroy it. We can all feel the effect of our choices: irregular precipitation patterns, decreased seafood availability, even increased gas and oil prices. The process of changing our lives for the better doesn’t have to be a hard one, what it will take is communal support and persistence.

Students aren’t the only ones taking a stance against environmental cruelty; staff members have taken personal and professional steps towards becoming a tenable community. Kyra Olson of Workforce Development used to bring home a container of compost every week, and now a compost bin that can be emptied on campus has been made available to her office, thanks to the work of Deric Gruen and other sustainability enforcers. Recently even larger office bins arrived with the compost cans now located in the Café.

It takes care to accept that what is inside us is from the earth, and when we send all our waste to locational “fills”, a majority of land is drained of nutrients and energy and is given no opportunity to sustain life. When we don’t reuse and recycle what we’re blessed with, we are killing our home.

Beginning this year on a good note means a lot to all students here, and knowing that one’s actions impact a world beyond their thoughts brings relief and sublimity. So even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone, step into the world we live in and realize that your every-day decisions affect lives beyond your own.