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TRASH TO TREASURE
Earth Day 2004
Stormwater Erosion & Sedimentation
Bio-retention  (rain gardens)
Composting  Mortalities
TEACH YOUR CHILDREN WELL
Worms
Internet Links
Funeral for a friend
Global Warming
Links to the Environment
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Waseca
Waseca is a Native Indian word meaning Fertile. Seems like it was meant to be, that I would be taught and then get a chance to teach at such a wonderful place. I've been working with Waseca to teach the children about organics and composting since 2002.

Measuring Compost Temperature

Before we take the compost to the school, we make sure it has reached a temperature above 131oF for a minimum of three days. This heat generated by the thermophilic bacteria will kill any pathogens that could harm plants or animals, we being the animals.


The Slide Show

 

The first part of our presentation consists of a slide show. We (my assistants and I) create our presentation based on our target audience. In this case children ages 2 – 6 and a few of their parents.



Hands On

 

When the students are all seated we give the kids a bone. This particular bone is from a deer we composted. The idea is to show how through the act of composting we can return the sun’s energy back to the earth, completing the full cycle of life.


It doesn't smell! It doesn't smell!

 

The children all get a chance to see, touch and smell. Returning the nutrients in organics, back to our soils, is a completion of the cycle of life. This animal will now foster new life. Through the process of thermophilic composting, this animal will feed plants which it once consumed. It will then sequester carbon from our atmosphere through those plants, add to water purification and infiltration through microbial rich compost and plant roots, as well as prevent soil erosion by means of compost mulching - a truly rich afterlife.

Presentation Content Presentation Content

 

In all our presentations we explain the processes involved in growing thermophilic bacteria. Thermophiles do most of the work in breaking down the organics into compost. The system only works efficiently as a whole. Without the right combination of water, carbon, oxygen and nitrogen, the process will not work. These microbes like all living things need the right conditions to thrive.

Any Questions?
 

There are always questions or more often comments and stories from the children pertaining to their own life experiences.



Outside
 

Feeling the heat generated by these microbes is amazing. We bring thermophilic compost in a cooler as part of our presentation. The thermometer is reading over 140o F; it’s so hot you can’t keep your finger in it for more than a few seconds.


Anxiously Waiting
Everyone gets a chance to look at the thermometer and if they want, stick a finger or two into the hot compost.

Out of the Box
I dump the compost out onto the tarp. It's fun to watch the reaction when the water vapor steams up off the pile.

Feeling The Heat
The heat that is generated by these microbes is absolutely amazing. Now we look at the environment in which they grow so well.

Closer Look

 

The hands on or hands in interaction of this program really touches all those who participate.


Back In The Crate

 

Now it’s time to put the critters back in the cooler. I'm sure trillions of my thermophiles just died as the temperature of their environment changed. Oops! No worries, in a short time trillions more will repopulate this rich growing media.



Organic Residuals Organic Residuals

 

Every year in the state of Georgia alone, 800,000 tons of food residuals go into our landfills. In a landfill under anaerobic (without oxygen) conditions, organics generate Methane (CH4) which is 21% more potent at trapping greenhouse gases than Carbon Dioxide (CO2). Curbing our Methane release will be essential to slowing global warming. To find out more about Methane and climate change check out our "links to the environment".

 

Crate in pile 4 17 05
Compost Study Separation Crate buried in active pile.




|Welcome| |About| |TRASH TO TREASURE| |Earth Day 2004| |Stormwater Erosion & Sedimentation| |Bio-retention (rain gardens)| |Composting Mortalities| |TEACH YOUR CHILDREN WELL| |Worms| |Internet Links| |Funeral for a friend| |Global Warming| |Links to the Environment|