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COMPOST: Part 4 - Ready for Take-Off

November 19, 2017

Process :

This is the fourth part of EcoSSIStem's Compost Series, based on our project design and process.

 

By Spring Break, we had finished all construction.

 

Now that we had our compost bins ready for use, we began planning the next few weeks carefully. Earth Day was on April 22nd -- a rough deadline that we’d kept in mind since the beginning of the project. What could be a more fitting day to publicly launch our project and raise awareness about food waste? At the same time, we needed to work with the Caterers and gardeners to coordinate our maintenance system.

 

Training

 

 

 

With the help of Ms. Huyen, once again, we organized training sessions with the Caterers and gardeners. After school, we invited all of the kitchen and garden staff to listen and ask questions about our new system. We explained who we were, why composting was important, and the important role we were asking of them.

 

We had designed posters to stick to our garbage bins, showing what materials should be composted (e.g. rice, fruit and vegetable scraps, egg shells) and what should not (e.g. oily foods, meat).

 NOTE: See the "Resource" section on our “SSIS Compost Initiative” page for the posters.

 

We also created separate record sheets for Mr. Vo, the gardening head, and the head chef to write down how much of each composting material was produced that day. Later on, we switched to using only digital records for the garden materials as our gardening head found it more convenient. Of course, in the first weeks, we had to do a lot of troubleshooting and last-minute modification, but because we kept in regular contact with Mr. Vo and the kitchen (via mobile and face-to-face), we eventually established a routine.

 

NOTE: Our record sheets can also be found on the "SSIS Compost Initiative” page.

 

 images credit: Gaia Nature Conservation

(sidenote)

During the construction, we were getting tired of calling them “Bin A, Bin B, Bin C…”, so we decided to name the bins. In the end, inspired by the word “bin” and Vietnam, we decided to call them:

 

Bình An (peace), Bình Đẳng (equality), and Bình Minh (dawn)

 

Good names, yes or no?

Launching event

 

We were also planning our Earth Day assembly to officially launch our composting project, raise awareness about food waste, and also appreciate the amazing service work initiated by our very own high school students. Less than a week before the event, we asked our school’s Dragon Broadcasting Club (DBC) to whip a video to show on our compost project. With such limited time, I’m amazed at what they were able to make for us!

 

In the end, we brought one of our actual compost models into the gym. We were able to have the whole high school student and teacher body listen as we introduced Earth Day, the issue of food waste, and what we’ve been up to for the past few months with composting. Unfortunately, we were so busy planning that we didn’t take pictures, but below are some of the slides!

 

 

Our “Service Awards” at the end featured four different titles: Outstanding Innovative Project, Amazing School Initiative, New Community Voice, and Outstanding Club Member. One by one, we invited service club leaders and members up to receive their certificates. Our informal ceremony wasn’t nearly as prominent an event as it deserves to be, but it was definitely a start to appreciating service work at our school.

 

Well! In about three and a half months, we had completed all of the leg work for establishing composting at our school.

 

Next step : As we had completed all of the leg work for establishing composting at our school about three and a half months, our next step is the real test :  how would our system stand under the pressures of reality?

 

 

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