Composting can be messy business, which is why most people avoid it. When we look at the bigger picture, however, composting can be a win-win-win in terms of cost savings, fertilizer production, and reduced emissions.

One Junior WiseTriber wants to help families and neighborhoods take the ick factor out of composting and make it more of an everyday zero waste activity.

Organic Waste = Black Gold

Compost is decomposed organic matter. Composting is a natural process of recycling organic materials such a leaves and vegetable scraps into a rich soil amendment that gardeners fondly nickname Black Gold. Each planting season, gardeners add compost to the soil because it is rich in nutrients, and it promotes soil microbes that aid plant growth.

Healthy Soil = Healthy Humans & Healthy Planet

Compost not only makes for healthy plants, it also makes for healthy humans and a healthy planet. The vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B12 and magnesium, we need to fight off the endless stresses of modern life come from nutrient dense soil which is enhanced through the process of composting.

When it comes to the environment, composting is beneficial for several reasons. It saves water by helping the soil hold moisture and reduce water runoff. Recycling organic resources leads to conserving landfill space and reducing the greenhouse gas methane, which is released when organic or biodegradable resources decompose in the absence of oxygen. It also helps prevent soil erosion and decreases the need for petrochemical fertilizers and several other environmental benefits.

From Fringe to Mainstream 

The nation’s trash disposal system lacks the ability to process food waste on a large scale. However, as concerns over climate change, local governments, entrepreneurs and community activists are experimenting with composting.

Enriching a Fertile Young Mind 

A Junior WiseTriber happens to be one these experimenters. An 8th grader from Carver Middle School, Mashfiqur Rahman noticed that the school’s composter, which requires manual cranking to aerate and introduce oxygen, was largely avoid by the Gardening Club because of the ick factor. In collaboration with a 6th and 7th grader and with encouragement from the school’s garden manager, Mr. Chang, Mashfiqur conceived of a design for automating this unpleasant task. He is working toward a prototype for “CompostBot,” an automated composter which he hopes becomes an everyday household item or neighborhood solution for reducing food waste while enriching soil quality for backyard and community gardens.

He is just beginning his journey as an inventor and is looking to raise $1,500 for the first prototype of CompostBot, which will be housed at Carver Middle School as a learning project. With WiseTribe’s help and the help of several generous WiseTribers, he has raised over $500 in just three days. If you’re interested in supporting this Junior WiseTriber in his quest to produce Earth-friendly solutions, please consider making a donation to this project by clicking here. One hundred percent of funds raised will go directly to this project.

In addition to funds, WiseTribe is also seeking to support “Mash,” as we fondly refer to him, with the wise counsel of engineering mentors. Should you or anyone you know who fits the bill and would like to support a young inventor, please email us (together [at] wisetribe.us).