It's International Compost Awareness Week 2020 and, despite a certain global pandemic, this year is the biggest yet.
But hold up - what even is there to be aware of?
Well, in recent years, the world of compost has seen way too much massive change, innovation and growth to list but here are the five trends that we love the most.
1. Coronavirus composting
Of course, this had to be the number one trend in 2020. This year will truly be defined in history as the year COVID-19 hit humanity, along with everything that has come with it. Out of all the disruption, one welcome change has been the massive increase in home gardening and, by extension, composting. As people self-isolate and cabin fever takes over, compost is increasingly being looked to as a perfect boredom buster.
This isn’t just limited to the home either - community composting has been taking off over the past decade and is getting even more popular. While we can’t go shopping, to the movies or out to dinner, there’s nothing stopping a quick trip to the local community garden to drop off your kitchen scraps.
2. Top-of-the-line tech
We’ll be the first to admit it - compost isn’t the most innovative area. We’ve been doing it for thousands of years pretty much the same way, with just a few variations on these existing methods. But this has definitely been changing, with new innovations and ideas appearing every day. Technologies featuring more sophisticated process controls and biofiltration are allowing composters to operate faster, cleaner and better for the environment around them.
3. Compostable cups and cutlery
The once-mighty plastic straw has fallen amidst countless bans on single-use plastic and there are new eco-alternatives popping up every day. From coffee cups to bin liners, packaging materials that can be composted are slowly replacing the place of plastics in our lives. We’re hoping this trend continues to the day where all you need is a compost bin!
As we’ve written about in the past though, this area has a long way to go, with many supposedly “biodegradable” materials only being so in highly specific conditions and definitely not your backyard compost bin.
4. Going green goals
Scientists have been saying it since the 1970s and before - we need climate action. 2020 is probably the first year where governments might actually be ready to take that seriously. Fortunately for compost, that means mandates at every level, from council to state to federal, to minimise waste through various eco-friendly solutions.
Some cities are definitely far ahead of the curve - shout out to San Francisco and the residential food waste collection program they’ve had since 1999. Others are catching up though, seeing not only the environmental but economic and social benefits of such programs.
5. Winning the war on waste
An interesting trend in composting may actually be a declining demand for it, though not for a very long time. People are increasingly aware of the severe global problem of food waste and are, rightfully, trying to solve it at the source. Ultimately, compost should be one of the last resorts for food, only a place for the scraps and inedible parts of our food supply, rather than the items in our grocery stores.
We’re not particularly worried though, considering the massive amounts of municipal, green and agricultural waste that still needs compost. After all, no one is about to start eating banana peels … are they?
If you're keen to check out even more compost content, this is the week to do it. You can find heaps of quality reading on the rest of our blog and regular scheduling on our socials - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Happy #ICAW2020!