Composting digs deep into sustainability

I went to the Seventh Annual Composting Symposium at the Illinois State Fairgrounds this week. It was super interesting, and I wish I could’ve stayed for all the events. (My mom’s been working on our backyard compost pile for years, and while I used to make fun of her for it, I now go to events like this. It’s hard to realize your mom’s usually right!)

I took my own photo this week, after not using a camera since last summer. It felt good to practice photography again. I’d love to get some more practice this weekend. I have been wanting to take some pictures of the old Route 66-style signs around town. I think they’d juxtapose nicely with the bleak February weather.

Another blog I love is Livejournal’s “Abandoned Places.” Check it out for fantastic photos of abandoned houses and decaying businesses and tons of info about urban exploration. Life magazine has a beautiful/sad/haunting photo essay about Detroit’s urban decay this week.

Anyway, here’s my story:

Autumn leaves, the contents of your hamster’s cage and last week’s chicken wings may not seem like a recipe for success, but together they form the perfect combination of waste for a backyard compost pile.

For Ken Dunn, founder and director of the Chicago-based Resource Center, leaves, wood shavings and food waste are essential ingredients for composting. When layered together, what was once waste will, over time, become rich, fertile topsoil.

Dunn believes composting is more than just reusing resources, improving your garden and making earthworms happy. He believes compost can save the planet.

“Composting is the main thing we have to accomplish in this century,” Dunn says. “We must return organic matters to the soil.”

Click here for the full story.

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