Composting and bones for dogs: a girl from Ural took waste seriously

The winner of one of the nominations of the All-Russian SPARE competition “Energy and Environment” became young resident of Yekaterinburg Maria Rostovskaya with project "Waste minus CO2". According to the schoolgirl's calculations, during the three months of her experiment, her family "saved" 37 kg of waste, equivalent to more than 300 kg of carbon dioxide, from falling into the garbage.

The idea for the project arose after numerous projects for sorting and minimizing waste, the results of which always left a dry (and not always dry) residue. The goals of the project were set ambitious, but not fantastic: to test in everyday life available ways to minimize poor recycling waste that are not suitable for mass sorting and to minimize the carbon footprint of a resident of Yekaterinburg

With the support of adults, Masha tried composting organic waste, reducing the amount of used plastic, and handing over unnecessary clothes. And I recalculated the results in kilograms and the volume of CO2 equivalent.

“When it comes to reducing emissions, they usually suggest turning off the lights and cycling. It is relatively new to study the impact of waste generation on greenhouse gas emissions. – comments Olga Podosenova, SPARE project coordinator for the Ural region. - “At the same time, studies show that garbage is the cause of the formation of a large proportion of emissions into the atmosphere. The situation is aggravated by the fact that the waste is very heterogeneous, recycling is not an easy task, and it is also not easy to calculate their real impact on the formation of CO2 ”.

Residents of Yekaterinburg annually throw out 3.8 million cubic meters of garbage - if you add up these volumes, you get a heap one and a half times larger than the Cheops pyramid (data from the Russian Ecological Society). Waste recycling experiment has been launched in several districts of the city. But when the chain of sending all the sorted waste fractions for processing is not built, the sorting is useless - the sorted waste again ends up in one heap at the landfill.

“The object of my study was mass non-recyclable waste. First of all, organic. In various sources, I found information that food debris is a big problem with garbage. What to do with them? "- writes Maria Rostovskaya.

The schoolgirl analyzed the components of the trash can of a family of three living in the city. Several types of waste have been selected that can be recycled at home, prevented or recycled: 1. food waste, 2. cups for yogurt and disposable masks, 3. old clothing. For each of the types of waste, a method of treatment was chosen.

1 kg of food waste is equivalent to 2.5 kg of CO2. As a solution Maria Rostovskaya decided to try composting. I found out that a resident of a high-rise building has three options for making compost at home: using electric kitchen composters, special biological products, or earthworms. The owners of a country house have more choice.

First, I had to understand the intricacies of composting - what can and cannot be composted. Waste suitable for compost, using technology that can be found on the Internet, went to work. And the remains of meat, meat and fish dishes and bones unsuitable for compost began to be collected for feeding the homeless dogs.

The schoolgirl calculated how much the family produces daily plastic, which can not be bought. The first to fall out of favor was yogurt - 37 grams of plastic waste was added daily to its packs. I found a more environmentally friendly option - to make healthier and tastier yoghurt yourself - to buy regular, not sweet, live yoghurt and use it as a starter. “A liter of milk and this sourdough was enough for me to make yoghurt for the whole family for 3 days. This way we were able to avoid buying unnecessary plastic packaging,” - writes Masha. Also, restrictions affected disposable masks - about 30 pieces were thrown out in a month - they were replaced with textile ones that can be washed.

“I have demonstrated by personal example that not very complicated actions (reducing the amount of used plastic, composting organic waste, handing over unnecessary things) led to a decrease in the amount of difficult-to-recycle waste. For three months, my actions led to the prevention of 37 kg of waste and more than 320 kg of CO2 equivalent from entering the garbage, - writes a young resident of Yekaterinburg. - My example is the one of the small families in the city of Yekaterinburg. Even if some of the world's inhabitants use the simplest ways to reduce the generation of waste from their households, then on a global scale this will give a magic result. This is not only a way to unload landfills, avoid building unnecessary incineration plants, but also a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that lead to climate change and weather disasters. I shared my experience with my classmates, and I hope I set them a good example of how to help the planet in simple ways and make sure that we have a future of life on our beautiful planet.


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