Looking Back on Compost Month

Jan. 15, 2013

Sophie Golomb

Compost Month Participants

This past November, the Campus Sustainability Eco-Reps led by the Recycling and Waste Reduction Eco-Rep, Jesse Koklas ’14, launched Waste Reduction Month. The focus this year was on compost: the process of converting decomposable organic matter into soil and fertilizer. Prior to kick-starting the month, the Eco-Reps were surprised at how many members of the Brandeis community had little to no knowledge of the concept of compost. While several residence quads on campus have compost bins, including the Foster mods, the Charles River apartments, Ziv/Ridgewood and Massell, students were unaware of the ease and convenience of compost—let alone how significant compost is in conserving the environment. As landfill space increases globally, compost is becoming a significant alternative.

The Campus Sustainability Eco-Reps created activities and events to take place between the launch of Waste Reduction month, November 12, and the conclusion of the semester, December 10. Throughout that time period, all members of the Brandeis community were welcomed to create their very own home compost bins, watch the documentary, “Dirt,” test their knowledge with a compost trivia and sorting game, and carry at all times all the non-food, non-recyclable waste they produce in a single week as part of the Weigh Your Waste Challenge. Successful challengers received a certificate and tote bag. With each event, members of the Brandies community became more educated on the topic of compost and more inclined to consider reducing waste and turning to compost as an alternative to trash or recycling. One Weigh Your Waste participant and winner, Deanna Heller ’15, commented that the challenge made her realize “how we always have a choice to be a little bit more environmentally friendly, to not be lazy and that we don't always make that choice unless there are rules or incentives.” Hopefully Waste Reduction Month highlighted how with a little effort, being environmentally friendly by reducing waste, can make a big difference.