Organic waste management is of extreme importance to the survival of us and our planet. Living in the anthropocene, in which we are aware from Lab A is the period where humans are responsible as the dominant influence on the climate and the environment, organic waste management is a fraction of what we need to address to be within our means of the planetary boundaries. Organic waste management, if done correctly, would address the about 5 of the boundaries, but the most important one it could address is biogeochemical flows. We mine phosphorous to feed our industrial crops of food and then it gets eaten, urinated out and the rest goes into landfill. Essentially, we are eating up more phosphorous than we piss out [literally] and where are we sending it? Straight into the toilet [literally]. A desperate perception shift is in order but our poor disenchanted hearts are lacking the ability to percieve this newly formed 4 dimensional world through our biologically set 3 dimensional lens that a shift of perception wont happen fast enough.
Bob from the locally famous Hobo Grow is a man on a mission. On the most local level, he is taking in waste from all around Marrickville and turning into compost with his volunteers, using the garden as a form of therapy for them all who suffer from a mental illness. It’s an amazing business model, literally turning waste in his surrounds and generating it into 100% profitable wealth. This is a super simple technique that I find quite unbelievable people don’t do it themselves. A way of bettering the system is to not outsource it to people like Bob, but do it ourselves. The real issue, though, is that people don’t garden, don’t want to garden and fundamentally don’t know how to garden anymore, so, in the wise words of Bob himself “what use is nutrient rich compost when you can pop down to woolies hey?”
Fungimental is a small startup creating gourmet oyster mushrooms from coffee ground ‘waste’. They collect coffee grounds from all around the city and brew them with mycellium spawn in their small little shop in Central Park. Phill, owner of the startup, has the right mindset. “Cafes are bonkers!” he says, “It would be so easy for them to grow their own mushrooms from their coffee grounds, but I guess they’re just as time poor as everybody else so I just thought I would do it for them!” Not dis-similar from Dr Gabor Matés hypothesis in his conference lecture “Our toxic culture has bled into every aspect of our lives. We have lost the fundamentals and have alienated ourselves from our planet due to our time poor lives.”
Smil, V. (1999) ‘Nitrogen in crop production: An account of global flows’, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 13(2), pp. 647–662. doi: 10.1029/1999gb900015.
Smil, V. (2000) ‘P HOSPHORUS IN THE E NVIRONMENT: Natural flows and human Interferences’,Annual Review of Energy and the Environment, 25(1), pp. 53–88. doi: 10.1146/annurev.energy.25.1.53.
Dunne, A. and Raby, F. (2014) Speculative everything: Design, fiction, and social dreaming. Cambridge: The MIT Press.
Coffee grounds (2010) Available at: http://businessrecycling.com.au/recycle/coffee-grounds (Accessed: 21 June 2016).
WakingTimes (2014) The changing face of revolution – 3 inspiring people who are undermining the matrix. Available at: http://www.wakingtimes.com/2014/04/03/changing-face-revolution-3-inspiring-people/ (Accessed: 17 June 2016).