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This week is International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW)! If you aren’t familiar, we made a short animation to explain what the program is all about.

 

For this special ICAW post, we decided to go local and discuss composting in Austin.

 

Austin is a vibrant growing city full of culture, scenery, and amazing food. Aside from our live music, hiking trails, and barbecue, Austin is also home to some progressive sustainability initiatives.  In 2011 the city recognized the need and potential to make positive environmental changes.  Thus the master plan was born.

Austin Resource Recovery Master Plan

In all its glory

 

The goal of this plan is for Austin to become zero waste by 2040. The Master Plan outlines the strategy of how to keep at least 90% of “discarded materials” out of the landfill.  This may seem like a lofty goal to some, but the city has already made great strides toward the finish line.

 

 

Zero Waste

The Zero Waste International Alliance provides us with an internationally accepted—and peer reviewed—definition of zero waste:

ZWIA Zero Waste Quote

The original quote is a little longer but this is the most important bit.

 

 

Essentially “zero waste” means creating a closed loop.  Resources are discarded then repurposed into usable products once again.  Previously useful materials become valuable again instead of adding to the waste.

 

Closed Loop System

With a closed loop system, it’s okay to go bananas

 

The composting process is an excellent example of a zero waste system.  Composting, as we’ve previously discussed, is the process of taking wasted food and other compostable materials and transforming them into new products like compost and soil blends.  This process not only supports healthy soil (and happy gardeners!) it also diverts waste from the landfill.  For a more in-depth look at the composting process, feel free to check out The US Composting Council’s website.

 

 

Austin

Austin has embraced composting as a part of its zero waste master plan.  The city provides rebates for citizens interested in home composting, and they’ve recently added a new program for raising chickens!

 

Chicken Rebate

Don’t be a chicken, raise a few.

 

 

There are free composting classes offered as well, both in-person and online. You can also learn more about composting and zero waste through the educational resources provided on the City of Austin website.

 

 

 

Organics “By Gosh”

We fully support the zero waste philosophy and are proud that our work not only benefits the community but also the environment as a whole. Every day we save wasted food and other compostable products from the landfill and return those valuable nutrients back into the local soil via our organic landscaping products.

Triple Power Compost

Feed the Soil. Not the Landfill.

 

 

Here at Organics “By Gosh” we feel lucky to call Austin Home.  OBG alongside other local businesses are working together to help Austin achieve their zero waste goal and strengthen the community.  We partner with organizations like Keep Austin Beautiful to promote a green, clean city!  Keep Austin Beautiful organizes events throughout the year like park cleanup days, teen projects, and other beautification activities. They recently hosted their Resource Giveaway Day, which helps neighbors in the community with their gardening projects.  Organics “By Gosh” always donates materials to this awesome event because we love to help Austin (and KAB)  in any way we can!  It’s a privilege to promote local growth, especially in a city so supportive of our mission.  As you can see, our main goal and Austin’s go hand-in-hand.

 

 

 

 

Just like with our 2017 New Year’s Challenge we’re calling on you.  Get out there and celebrate International Compost Awareness Week in your own way by attending an event, composting at home, or visiting us so we can celebrate together!

 

Ps: We’ll be at the SFC Downtown Farmer’s Market this Saturday (05/13)! Come check out our booth.

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