Published on July 30th, 2020 | by Alicia Silverstone
What if there was an opportunity to be kind to the planet right under our noses? Think for a moment about those bits of the Earth that are left over after they have fed and nourished us? Veggie scraps, coffee grounds, leftover tea-bags, and even dirty napkins (which were once trees!). These pieces of Earth gave us life and enjoyment, and in turn we take them and… throw them in the trash can.
That’s right — every day, in most places on Earth, people are accustomed to tossing the remnants from food-prep (or foods that have spoiled) into the waste bin, where they are hauled off by big smelly trucks and dumped into a landfill. If you think about it, that’s literally treating the planet like garbage! When those bits of Earth go off to a garbage dump they rot and produce methane, a potent greenhouse gas that exacerbates climate change. And by being mixed in with all that garbage their valuable nutrients are forever taken out of our food system. It’s a broken loop, not at all in harmony with nature, and it means that our food system is essentially becoming less nutritious by the day. And it’s completely unnecessary. Because instead, all of those beautiful bits of Earth can be turned back into new, living soil — soil that can be used to grow more healthy and delicious food.
This is why we created MakeSoil. MakeSoil makes it easier than ever to begin composting. To get started, just go to MakeSoil.org and search the map to find a soil site near you. Soil sites are hosted by neighbors called Soil Makers, who love these precious bits of Earth, and know how to turn them back into soil. All you need to do is join their soil site and begin taking your scraps to them. Week after week you’ll see your food scraps disappear and new, living soil build up in place.
Not only does making soil feel way better than making garbage, but to witness the Earth regenerating itself in this way is a truly transformative experience, leaving us with an even greater sense of connection with – and empathy – for the Earth.
Now maybe you’ve been reading this and thinking, “Me! Me! I have a compost bin! I know how to make soil.” If so, would you please add your compost bin as a soil site on MakeSoil? It really is one of the simplest and most immediate ways to begin having a positive impact on your neighborhood. If enough people participate, we could even help address climate change.
MakeSoil is also about having a good time. So we let you set privacy levels and participation limits so you end up with just the right number of trusted “soil supporters” making soil with you.
The power to create new living soil is in our hands. So why treat the planet like garbage, when we can make soil instead!
*p.s. — Some cities and towns have curbside compost pickup services. Worldwide, these are still relatively rare and it’s estimated that over 90% of compostable materials are still headed to landfills. Even places that have had such programs in place are finding it challenging to operate them due to financial strain from the Covid pandemic. New York City, for instance, has cancelled their composting service indefinitely – meaning that millions of pounds of water, energy, and nutrients are heading to landfills right now. MakeSoil can help – so please tell your friends! Besides, by participating you’ll build community, stimulate the local food system, and get way better feels than by chucking your compostables into a curbside bin.
Josh Whiton is the Founder of MakeSoil. MakeSoil is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization that develops and maintains the MakeSoil platform, which is being increasingly used world-wide. Donations are greatly appreciated and are essentially for powering this global movement to take better care of the Earth. Follow MakeSoil on Instagram here.