I'm so proud of my students today! Last fall, a few students built a worm compost bin for the Montreal Campus of Champlain College of Vermont. It was part of their activism project that I require for students in my environmental science course. By the end of the fall semester, they had built a compost bin out of two big rubbermaid containers and created two beautiful color posters to explain what should be composted and as how to take care of the bin. During the spring semester, another student acquired worms and diligently maintained the compost each week. I was really impressed by his commitment to it - he came to the campus every day to spritz water into the bin, and feed the worms vegetable scraps that another student collected. He even spent hours (literally, hours) sifting through the compost to separate tiny pieces of styrofoam that we acidentally dumped into the bin from a dead potted plant. (That was all my fault, it was my idea). The vermi-compost bin has been plugging away for months now, slowly eating many pounds of food that would have otherwise been tossed into a landfill.
However, there isn't really that much food that is thrown out on campus, due to its small size. Today, my coworker Stefi helped me bring the compost bin to Dans La Rue, a local non-profit, serving homeless and at risk youth. In addition to their large kitchen, part of the services that Dans La Rue offers is a daily job program. One of the aspects of this program is a gardening project that runs in conjunction with the residents of a low-cost housing project.
I'm so proud that my students came up with an idea, saw it through to the end, and passed it on to others! Not only is this beneficial to the environment by regenerating soil from organic material that would have otherwise gone to the landfill, but the students worked as a team to create a service project that will help develop other organizations in the Montreal community.
I have to admit that I was a little sad to see the worms go to their new home today, since I've realized that I have become emotionally attached to them (not just the individual worms, but the project in general). :)
But more than that, I'm really happy that my students used what they learned in class to make a small part of Montreal better.
I'm an eco-conscious girl from Montreal, Quebec. I'm currently an adjunct science professor at Champlain College of Vermont (Montreal Campus). I'm interested in any opportunities to expand my experience with grassroots activism, climate change legislation, or environmental education.