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Week #10: Our Impact – The Proof is in the Pail

We’re nearly at the finish line, Compost Champions! You’ve completed 10 whole weeks of collecting and weighing scraps, reporting data, filling up compost bins, and helping keep food out of the Rockbridge landfill. 

This week will be our last data submission, but just the beginning of a composting way of life. May we all go forth with a new habit, a new fulfilling endeavor, and a new way of feeling empowered. It can be tough as individuals to feel we can make a difference, but when individuals come together we can do so much. How do we know? We’ve got the data.

With reported data from 90% of the project, we’ve averaged 495 pounds of composted food waste per week, and we’ve already diverted 4,457 pounds of food from the landfill. That’s over two tons! How do we even understand a number that big?

Well, two tons is the same weight as two Great white sharks. Or two 1979 Volkswagen Beetles. Or even two Liberty Bells. 

This two-ton figure can also help us understand how composting protects the climate. As you may recall, food rotting in landfills generates methane, a greenhouse gas ten times more insulating in the atmosphere than carbon.  Some complicated calculations on our end tells us that keeping two tons of rotting food out of the landfill is equivalent to preventing the release of more than 13 tons of carbon. That’s impact!  

But the impact keeps growing. If it took just 9 weeks for 104 households to keep two tons of waste out of landfills, what could we do in a year? Well, if we multiply our average of 495 pounds a week by 52 weeks, that’s 25,740 lbs of food waste diverted. That equals 12.87 tons. Quite the heap of sharks, Volkswagens, and Liberty Bells. Not to mention an equivalent 76 tons  of carbon emissions prevented from just over 100 composting households.

What we’re really trying to say with all these numbers, Volkswagens, and comparisons is: THANK YOU. Thank you for your effort, commitment, and enthusiasm. Thank you for setting aside time to be a part of this study, and for contributing data that helps us discern next steps. 

In a country where a third of the food produced gets wasted – and in a world with increasing climate challenges – it is vitally important to tread lightly on this Earth. We here at Boxerwood are so thankful to have found a community of folks who feel the same way. Thank you for making the world a better place, one compost pail at a time. 

Slop on, Earth Stewards! Now, please click the green button below to access the simple data upload page. Thank you for your participation through the Challenge!

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