I get an average of three visits a day in the Edible Learning Lab. It’s usually a parent that wants to see what their kids have been doing in the afterschool program, a local member of the community that was intrigued by a recent article about the Lab, or a supporter of our program that has friends visiting and they just can’t help but show off the Edible Learning Lab. All of the visitors I get are welcome and I truly enjoy the exchange.
But I often highlight that our Lab aims to minimize if not completely eliminate the waste in the process, particularly our food waste. We are doing well at this early stage but there is always some way to improve our efforts.
Here are a few of the things we are currently doing to eliminate waste in the cycle of our process:
- All waste paper in the office is shredded and used for bedding in the Worm Factory 360 vermiculture setup
- All organic waste from the Lab and the daily snacks is composted to recapture the nutrients so they can be used in the raised planters
- We even pickup the coffee grounds from the local coffee shop for our composting operation in addition to bag of leaves in the fall
In the near future, we will have our rain harvesting system online to capture the rainfall from our roof system. We plan to use fish in an aquaponics system to capture their waste and convert it to a nutritional source for the hydroponics systems.
But as a community, and as a country, we still manage to waste nearly half of the food we produce and with very dire consequences. The system is flawed, inefficient, and in desperate need of a substantial overhaul.
This article from the NRDC just might overwhelm you with a reality that you never knew existed. Please share this with everyone you can.