In a world filled with so many problems, it's easy to get lost in a sea of disappointment and lost hopes. War, poverty, and famine still plague our world, epidemics in obesity and health-related problems continue to rise, and don't even think about sea level rise or climate change! Just a few minutes of the evening news can make anyone feel overwhelmed, scared, or depressed.
While it's important to be aware of all the problems of my neighborhood and the world, I think it's equally important to be aware of the solutions as well. What good is it to know how bad things are if no one can tell me how they or I can fix it? Call me idealistic, but I still believe individuals are capable of sparking true, deep change. Is idealism or optimism really such a terrible and "unrealistic" way of viewing life? As Will Smith once said, "Being realistic is the most common path to mediocrity." Whether you deem us idealists, optimists, realists, pessimists, ingenious, foolish, virtuous, hopeless, different, cutting edge, hippie, brave, weird, or whatever other adjective may pop up in your mind, we are launching this new reoccurring environmentally conscious contribution to the HuffPost Miami to provide useful information. Our intention is to make our city and world a better place, through thought provoking platform for discussion -- transforming awareness into practical, applicable lifestyle changes.
How we choose to view the world greatly affects our reality; but this article is about more than just a classic case of the glass being half empty or half full. We at FEF are throwing a whole new perspective at you: WASTE = RESOURCE. If one man's trash can be another man's gold, why give away your gold? I see so many gardeners spend tons of money on soil and fertilizer while they toss their food scraps in the garbage. If only they knew they were throwing out the very ingredients to make rich soil and amazing fertilizer! Even before you get to the garden those food scraps can be useful. For example, if you save the veggie scraps (potato, carrot & beet peelings, onion tops, broccoli stalks, kale stems, etc) separately, you could make your own organic, preservative-free/additive-free vegetable stock. Now your "trash" just made you and your garden food!
I volunteer with Fertile Earth, because I want to teach others the severity and vastness of this problem, the problem of how disconnected we have become from our environment and even ourselves. The very first step: Rethink your concept of waste. Whether it be your garbage, your time or your bodily fluids, waste has many definitions. But no matter how you define it, it's usually referring to something unwanted, unnecessary, or useless. If you can imagine something you previously thought of as useLESS, into something useFULL, then you just found yourself a lucky pot of gold at the end of your metaphorically perceived rainbow! This useFULL mentality is incredibly optimistic because with it, we live in a world of abundance. When there is abundance, there is less competition. There is less fear. There is less greed and poverty...
You see, nature does not know man-made ideas like "useless" or "deficient." Left to her own devices Mother Nature reuses her waste to produce life. If we simply followed her example, instead of trying to dominate or outsmart her, we can learn a lot. We could learn how to produce the richest most Fertile soil from compostable waste; we could learn how to live in peace with ourselves and our environment; we might even learn to love ourselves, and every single thing we do -- even #2.
Priscilla Carolyn, LMT, CPD is the Director of Development with Fertile Earth Foundation, an environmental nonprofit committed to teaching individuals and communities how to live sustainably, predominantly through composting education.