Coke and compost - desertSMART COOLmob

Coke can't take away my compost
When Coca Cola sued the NT Government over the Cash for Containers scheme, our ability
to deal with our own waste was seriously compromised. Our efforts to recycle have been at
the mercy of distance, of population size, of Coca-Cola, and now at the viability of running
the service in Alice Springs. It is disempowering to not be able to live sustainably by having
most recycling options taken away from us or requiring considerable effort.
Evidence suggests that economic growth contributes to an increase in waste. On the one hand,
the strong Australian economy contributes to our fantastic standard of living. On the other
hand, it comes with a responsibility to manage our own waste. What is not often talked about
in Alice Springs though, is how we can reduce our food waste.
Food waste contributes to 40% of household waste, produces methane, a gas 25% more
dangerous to the atmosphere than CO2, and costs households around $1,036/year. We are
wasting a whopping 20% of food that we buy! Putting that into perspective, it’s the same as
buying 5 bags of shopping then dumping one of them into the bin. The only good thing about
food waste is that we have 100% control over what food we buy, and how much of it goes in
the bin.
There are many inventive ways to limit the amount of food waste, the simplest being buying
and cooking less food. Other ways to reduce food waste are pickling and preserving, eating
more leftovers, and my favourite… composting.
Coca-cola can still sue the government and try to remove the CDL, but it can’t take away our
right to compost.
Unlike Coca-Cola with its fizzy zing, compost is more of a slow brew—a recipe of carbon
(hey or grass clippings), nitrogen (food scraps or manure), a sprinkle of water, a dash of love,
and a regular turning with a pitchfork.
There is a beauty in turning food scraps into an earthy, nutrient-rich material that you can use
in your garden. So much so that some people get very excited about compost. But even if
you’re a bit of a novice, like me, you can still get results in 6 months or so and gift your
garden with a good injection of homemade compost.
What’s not to love about saving money, reducing food waste, reducing your household’s
greenhouse gas emissions, and growing soil.
Hayley Michener is the Communications and Membership Officer with DesertSMART