By Larraine Roulston:
The U.S. Composting Council is inviting entries for its 17th annual poster contest promoting the 2019 International Composting Awareness Week (ICAW) to be celebrated May 5-11. This year’s theme “Cool the Climate — Compost!” connects healthy soil to the climate. Composting returns nutrients to the soil, not only helping capture carbon from the atmosphere but also helping resist drought and disease. Having healthy soil is the key to good soil management and our basic health.
During the past 16 years, poster winners have created amazing images with accompanying slogans such as “Healthy Soil — Healthy Food,” “The Soil and Water Connection,” “Nature’s Way to Grow,” “Be Loyal to Your Soil,” and “Replenish the Earth for Future Generations.” Winning poster contestants receive $500.
Maryland’s Talia Mitre, an eleventh grade high school student, wrote a winning entry for the 2018 theme “Compost! Building a Better Future.” She explained the concept behind her design: “I wanted to show on my poster how composting can really help our world become beautiful in the future. To achieve this, I created a globe shaped as a flower growing out of a pile of compost. Compost takes what many people consider as trash and turns it into something both beautiful and useful for our planet.”
Teri Sorg-McManamon, ICAW Chair, states, “The International Compost Awareness Week poster contest is an evolving program that draws enthusiasts from ages ten to adult to present some very creative and truly magnificent art to promote composting. The contest has continued to grow every year since it started in 1999. The Composting Council Research & Education Foundation is excited to see the program expand and get better each year. It’s considered to be a cornerstone of our outreach activities.”
ICAW is celebrated annually the first full in May. Approximately 300 citizens from over 30 countries sent in designs to promote ICAW 2018. Artists can check out the Poster Contest Rules. Entries are being accepted from September 1st until November 15th, 2018.
Those who are less artistic can channel their talents towards composting and enjoy its benefits. In order to do so, you’ll need a small container to capture kitchen food scraps, a supply of dry leaves or wood shavings, and a compostingunit.
- Kitchen Catcher: My recommendation to collect food scraps is a medium sized ceramic bowl that you have on hand. A smooth bowl is much easier to clean than a plastic container. Do not include meat, bones, oils or dairy. Use a pot lid or plate to cover.
- Dry Browns: If you do not have sufficient brown leaves to provide the carbon, ripped cardboard, pulp paper egg cartons, and sawdust from untreated wood will suffice. Occasionally add a thin layer of soil.
- Backyard Composter: A compost heap is an option; however, a compost unit, either homemade or commercial, will deter animals and keep out excess rain. Some municipalities offer them to residents at a subsidized rate. The average composter has ventilation and no bottom. The Tumbler is a barrel mounted on a stand for easy rotation. The Digester is an anaerobic black cone. To enable high rise dwellers to compost, the Bokashi composting method relies on fermentation whereas Vermicomposters contain red wiggler worms and their bedding of dampened paper. The links detail compost units and how to compost.
Larraine writes children’s adventure books on composting and pollinating. To view, visit www.castlecompost.com