Jan 17, 2023
We The Children - Compost for Climate Change
Welcome to the We The Children podcast, the podcast where kids talk climate change! The show is hosted by your resident kid, Zachary James. He may be 11 years old, but he has big concerns for our future - concerns about how decades and even centuries of our forebears have done damage to our planet and profited at the expense of our future. Each week, we will discuss the most pressing climate issues and meet climate warriors who are working to protect our planet.
Today’s episode is all about composting and fermentation with guest Nick Kiss, Founder of Bokashi Living. Nick is a farmer and gardener, and he created Bokashi Living to reduce our carbon footprint by composting food. Nick spent years in the trash and recycling industry, where he watched many people throw away items that shouldn’t have been garbage. The community started to recycle various items, but was shocked that food waste wasn’t the first one to correct since it can be composted. He wanted to make a change by composting food waste and educating homeowners.
According to the Department of Agriculture, 30-40% of food is wasted each year while millions of people suffer from food insecurity. All of our food waste collectively piles up in the land waste and rots. This rotting food produces carbon dioxide and methane gas, which contributes to greenhouse gasses and accelerates the climate change problem. If we properly compost our food waste, then we can prevent those gasses from entering the atmosphere. If you left your food in a warm kitchen with sunshine, you would start to see mold in 3-4 days, which really is microorganisms feeding on the food. This is not beneficial to us as humans and there are a whole host of different organisms that will eat the food before it rots, which starts the fermentation process for food waste. Fermentation is the process of microbes at work, and can actually be used to store food and feed plants. An example of fermentation is pickling, where you change a cucumber to a pickle. When food ferments, the rotting microbes don’t want this food anymore and the garden soil microbes eat this fermented food instead. The Bokashi Method speeds up the process of fermentation by supplying microorganisms, fungi and yeast that will eat your food waste.
After a wacky weather report on meteor showers, Nick explains that fermentation is a great solution for urban areas. Residents don’t have a lot of space, but they can add special microbes to their food waste to feed their plants with good soil. He says the most concerning aspect of climate change for him is that so many people think their own individual actions don't add up to much, so they don't do their part. If we all make a contribution and effort to be more sustainable, it makes an impact and collectively, we are the solution to climate change. He says the next generation gives him the most hope about climate change because kids are aware of this problem.
Then, Nick and Zachary engage in a round of compost IQ trivia. Finally, Zachary leaves listeners with action steps of the week: eat leftovers or freeze them, buy ugly food (the misshapen ones are typically thrown away if not sold), be a smart shopper and buy wisely so you don't overbuy and start composting. Remember that our small, every day efforts go a long way!
Learn more about Nick Kiss and Bokashi Living.
Learn more about We The Children.
Reach out to us @wethechildrenpodcast
Thanks for listening! And always remember, if we act together, we the children, can inspire hope and create change for our climate!
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