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Happy halfway point, Slop Superstars! To commemorate this occasion, we checked our Data Summary page and noticed a huge range of weekly weights. In Week 3, for example, one household diverted 18.8 pounds of food waste, and another diverted 0.7 pounds. How does that happen? 

To find out, we reached out this week to some of the households with the greatest and least amount of total diverted food scraps. Before we share their responses, it’s important to note that all weight ranges are helpful for the Challenge. Having more or less poundage is not a value judgment. As you’ll see, this data reveals the range of experiences that generate compost – so keep on doing whatever you’re doing. And now, here’s the inside scoop:

For Compost Challenge households with the greatest amount of diverted food waste, there were two common factors: preparing almost all of their meals at home and eating lots of fruits and vegetables. As one family put it, “Our 3 year old loves melons, apples, and pears right now, [and] we probably eat one small watermelon and a cantaloupe each week.” Another household noted that their weekly waste usually includes 2-3 pineapple peels, a dozen or more banana peels, apple peels and cores, and broccoli and cauliflower trimmings, not to mention leftovers. A third participant explained how some of their poundage comes from the normal weirdness of life: “Walmart gave us a bag of rotten apples at pickup one week that added 10 lbs (thankfully we got a refund!) And they accidentally gave us a watermelon. In March. Gross. It was awful so I chopped it up and composted it.”

Households with the least amount of diverted food waste noted a range of reasons behind their lighter poundage. Many of these households also cooked most of their meals at home, but noted that they generally have very little waste leftover. Some are also getting their fruits and vegetables from sources that don’t create so much compost: “I use a lot of canned and frozen goods specifically because I don’t like wasting food.” Others talked about how much their food diversion changes depending on the season: “I feel my totals will be higher in Summer with more fresh fruits and vegetables available from the garden.”

From out-of-season watermelon to tasty canned goods, we’re all doing our part to divert waste from the landfill and generate nourishing soil. Many thanks to the households who shared their experience.

Want to share your story? Spill the beans (or at least the orange peels) on our Compost Challenge Facebook Group.

Now, please click the green button below to access the simple data upload page. Thank you again for your participation!

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