So we're halfway through 2019 and a whole lot has happened in the cultural zeitgeist but how much of it has been about compost?
Compost is cool. If you’ve been keeping up to date with us, you’ll know that it has the potential to mitigate climate change, save lives and improve societies. It is an incredibly complex natural process, with trillions of microorganisms decomposing what would otherwise lie around in landfills.
Obviously we’re obsessed but even those who aren’t should admire it the same way they do renewable energy and electric cars. Compost is amazing but unfortunately not everyone thinks so.
Why is this? Well, admittedly, it can get a little gross sometimes and not everyone is the biggest fan of the masses of insects a messy compost can attract. The same could be said though about soil and agriculture in general and vertical farms and growing automation is always hitting the headlines.
The public perception of compost isn’t great. As we’ve previously written about, because the benefits of compost are not broadcast enough and most people’s exposure is limited, they fall back to the stereotype of compost simply being a hobby for gardeners and hippies.
Pop culture doesn’t help.
On the few occasions compost gets a shout-out, it’s not great. Most of the time, it’s treated as a joke or a throw-away line to show a character as either lame or boring.
Compost was given a shout-out in the biggest movie of the year, Avengers Endgame, which would be amazing ... if it wasn’t being used to show how exceptionally dull Ironman's life has gotten.
Twilight name-drops compost to make sure everyone knows that Bella’s friend is a massive nerd who never has a chance with her the way her sparkly vampire boyfriend does.
On a funnier note, who could forget Ace Ventura’s ending and the iconic Captain Compost.
And these are the moderately positive examples.
In Fight Club, Tyler Durden compares the plight of depressed middle-aged men to rotting in a compost heap. Yikes.
This needs to change.
As unfortunate as it is, when perceptions of something are this bad, no matter how great the sustainability benefits, it’s hard getting people on board.
Compost needs to be cool.
Okay so maybe cool is an exaggeration. It’s probably impossible to ever get a pile of decomposing organic matter being profiled in Vogue or Rolling Stone. Maybe compulsory is a better word. In the same way that recycling and renewables are considered to be indispensable to the sustainability movement, so should compost be. Instead of making compost the butt of jokes, those who don’t do it should be.
It won’t be easy reinventing compost, changing public perceptions never are, but with education, innovation and maybe even a monitoring system, we can do it. If you want to be a part of this change make sure you're subscribed and following our socials - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn!