SANTA BARBARA - Recycling is a common way to reduce and reuse your waste, but you can go even further by composting. To encourage locals to do so, one Central Coast Organization is giving free workshops on how and what to compost.
Jeff Simeon is the Composting Program Specialist for Santa Barbara County; he's holding two more Spring Composting Workshops, free and open to the public.
Simeon explains that most of our garbage can be reduced and reused. Plainly, it can be composted: "Organic materials, things that you can compost, make up 25-50% of the waste that people throw away," Simeon says.
He is doing his part to help reduce that percentage. Most of his daily intake at home or at work is composted. In his office, Simeon has a makeshift composting bin: "What I've done is I've made this traveling compost bin, and it's a worm compost bin. And when I eat my vegetables or my strawberries, I put my strawberry tops in here for my worms."
His worms, "rollie pollies", food scraps, and damp newspapers sit in a bin in his office. While he works, they work. He uncovers the lid, pushes the newspaper covering to the side, and reveals red worms, baby worms, and rollie pollies all at work: "There are little worms in there, and they're doing their job, eating my garbage, and turning it into a soil."
It's all in the name of saving the environment, and our landfill space, one bite and one choice at a time.
Simeon explains what his choice to compost means for the environment: "So you're basically taking food scraps, vegetable scraps, and yard waste... You're combining them in a certain way, you're making the environment just right for the microbes in the pile, and they break down the pile faster and make great soil for your garden and yard."
He hopes you will do the same, or at least try it. Simeon adds: "My hope is that people realize that this is something that, yes it does take a little effort, there is a bit of a learning curve, but it's not that difficult to really divert a lot of waste out of the landfill and keep our soil more healthy at the same time."
If you'd like to learn how to compost properly, there are two more free workshops.
One is this Saturday, May 22nd, at the Santa Maria Valley Sustainable Garden on Foster Road. There, you also can buy a compost bin at half-price.
For more information on the workshop, click here.
The final workshop is next Saturday, May 29th, at the Santa Barbara City College Lifescape Garden, facing the harbor.