A Visit to a Community Health Fair | Composting session at Recycle Haynesville

What do you do with your fruit peels?

Over the weekend, I went to ‘Recycle Haynesville’ – a health-fair, coordinated by Barbados Red Cross, that brought the community together with a family-friendly event on a bright Saturday afternoon.

The evening view

At the dawn of a national drive for a “Plastic-free 2020” officially starting April 1st, Barbadians are looking at making better ethical and eco-friendly decisions, so this event harmonized sweetly.

There was a stall where people could check their blood pressure and sugar, a lady selling natural juices, a sno-cone and popcorn (selling) woman, a community dance group, a live performance by spoken word artist/rapper, Rhy Minister, reps from the Ministry of Health sharing on the importance of vector control, a play area for the little ones, reggae music from the region in rotation and a composting session with Live Earth.

George Gill led the composting session, sharing his extensive knowledge on the topic and life rhythm. He encouraged eager listeners to dispose of everyday food waste sustainably, by composting.

Questions flowed about how discarding fruit peels and remnants of homemade meals can translate into fertilizer to use in the garden or farm, and a few wanted to know if this would attract rodents.

George explained how composting is truly a forward-thinking solution that can alleviate the current lull in prompt garbage collection in many parishes (in part, due to a recent truck shortage), which directly attract rats to pick-up points in and around homes.

Using a sample bag of his own weekly garbage from home as a visual example, he walked listeners through the process of consuming and discarding food, efficiently and consistently layering it with leaves and soil, in a designated outdoor area, turning it intermittently then observing it transpose into fertilizer over time.

Macaroni scrapings, a banana peel, dem chicken bone scraps, leftover lettuce and dah half scoop of rice – many see as ‘garbage’ but George lightly corrects, “it’s dirt. It’s just dirt.”

Instead of becoming present food for rodents, it becomes future dirt for the earth.

Composting also eliminates the stinky smell of nearby garbage and can alleviate the frustration that can come with any late garbage retrieval (’til they get that sorted out.)

While we consider making better choices about:

Reducing plastic purchases

• Making healthier food choices

• Reducing waste

• Maintaining clean homes and surroundings while keeping vermin away

• repurposing items

we can consider composting as a form of recycling.

Already doing one of the things listed, and have helpful tips to share?

Is composting something you’d like to start doing? When we think about keeping a clean home, let’s also remember that waste is not always pieces of paper and dust in a corner.

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