A Green Gospel: Tiny Kitchen Scraps Have Big Civic Impact

  • Post category:Community

Greetings compost nuts!

Since May, we’ve welcomed over 200 new Bootstrappers into our growing community of urban composters. With so many of you new to the Bootstrap game, we figured it prudent to take a moment to outline the tremendous benefits of having you on board. Your commitment to composting (a completely voluntary commitment at that) is laudable. So please, take a bow.

Now, let’s look at the impacts!

Tiny kitchen scraps; big civic impact!

As a Bootstrap customer, you’re reducing your own carbon footprint (to date, you’ve helped to eliminate the emission of more than half a million pounds of harmful GHGs into the atmosphere), while helping to produce a over 250,000 pounds of natural soil amendment for local growers. Talk about a twofer! Additionally, as a BSC client you’ve helped create and fund over a dozen green jobs; support educational programming for students from kindergarten to college; and reduce the detrimental effects of landfills. So whether you know it or not, every Bootstrap subscriber is part of a community of activists that is spreading a profoundly more sustainable way of life. As a result, your membership allows The Boot to fulfill our biggest mission: empowering residents of Boston and its environs to practice a green gospel. Amen to that.

BSC volunteer Nancy talks vermicomposting at Harvard Square Farmers’ Market

Toward that aim, all summer long our small but mighty team faithfully staffed farmers’ markets in Cambridge and Jamaica Plain, contributing to our busiest warm season yet. The goal was to create stationary composting hubs for members of the community, whilst giving BSC a chance to conduct workshops on topics such as vermiculture, best practices for home composting, and tools of the trade. Every Tuesday since June, longtime BSC team member Megan and volunteers (a BIG shout out to Nancy and Michelina) tabled at the Harvard University Farmers’ Market outside the bustling Science Center Plaza; likewise, every Saturday, staffers Briana and Patrick ensured a reliable presence at the Egleston Square Market. In total, we collected 1,100 pounds of organics from the two outdoor bazaars, all while touting the pros of food diversion to a legion of market-goers.

Crashing a fermentation workshop & collecting scraps from neighbors in Jamaica Plain
BSC’s Igor proudly mans our table at Boston GreenFest 2014

Between the markets and demands of daily pickups, Bootstrap answered the call for several marquee summer events throughout the city. At the two day Hyperlocal Brewfest in Somerville, the only things that didn’t get wasted were the compostable cups and culterly we salvaged. At the South End’s Jerkfest in June, our efforts earned some love from (name drop alert) NPR’s own Robyn Young, whose tweet (which accompanied a photo of our buckets) read: “How cool is that?” Meanwhile, in August, Boston Green Fest was quite the shindig for sustainability, as thousands of eco-warriors descended upon City Hall Plaza for three straight days. Amidst the food, festivites, and live music, BSC helped the event live up to its name by diverting hundreds of pounds of useful feedstocks from the waste stream. Somehow in there, we also captured organics from the long-running Wake Up the Earth Festival in Jamaica Plain and most recently, the Arlington Town Day.

BSC's Andy and Briana "Wake Up the Earth" with our compost display
BSC’s Andy and Briana “Wake Up the Earth” with our compost display

Lastly, we entered some new terrain this past August, building out a three-tiered composting station for the Harvard Community Garden. Constructed out of recovered wooden palettes and bolstered by hardware cloth, the station will allow current and future Harvard College students a means to grow and harvest their own compost for their own crops. And so, the Bootstrap gospel goes on.