EDITOR’S NOTE: We want to learn how other companies approach sustainability, so we’ve decided to publish a series of posts featuring innovative companies and people who are doing their part to support our planet. See below to read a guest blog from Heather-Nicole Hoffman at Compost Coalition.
What’s the name of your company and what’s your company’s mission?
Compost Coalition is a volunteer network of individuals, groups and businesses working to divert “waste” from landfills and improve our soils.
Please explain your company’s sustainability efforts and goals.
Compost Coalition promotes reuse and composting through our website, which includes a resource map to find materials (if you are composting) and drop spots (if you are not). We also do this through our Facebook page, offering tips and limited materials, and through outreach at events such as the Funky Chicken Coop Tour and classes.
Our main focus is helping people realize that what many see as waste is actually a resource. Approximately half of our waste is organic material. Reduce, reuse, and recycle certainly applies with plenty of opportunities to change our buying habits, to get usable food to people and animals, and then to recycle all those yard trimmings, paper products, and food by composting.
Why is sustainability important to your company, and how do your employees and/or customers participate?
Individuals participate by collecting organics, developing outreach materials, teaching classes, spreading the word and/or composting. The Travis County Master Gardeners have been instrumental in expanding our Ground to Ground program, which diverts some 9 tons of coffee grounds each month from businesses such as offices, coffee shops and restaurants.
Community gardens are also participating by collecting organics and by offering drop spots for composting.Local businesses producing organic “waste” are starting compost programs on-site or offering the organic materials to the public such as the wood shop with sawdust, the riding stables with manures, and the sandwich shops with bread and veggies that feed animals and compost.
What advice would you give other companies who are trying to get their sustainability initiatives off the ground? Which ways can people support your company and where can they learn more?
Coffee grounds have proven to be an easy start, whether it’s one person or a company-wide endeavor. Coffee grounds can be collected easily, just set the empty coffee can or other container next to the coffee machine, and the grounds can be thrown directly onto your garden, your yard, your potted plants or they can be composted first. Visit AustinGroundtoGround.org for more information on the benefits of coffee grounds and to see some of the participating businesses.
Are you a business?
To read about more businesses and people focused on sustainability, visit our “Sustainability Stories” archive by clicking here.