April is the month of our planet and we are also celebrating the 5th anniversary of Zero Waste, a project we decided to embark on in 2016 that allows us to sort 100% and recycle more than 80% of the garbage generated in our work offices.
With the new reality that we face, and that leads us all to be in our homes, we want to share some learnings to spread Zero Waste to the home. It is an ideal activity to do with the family, a way to transmit values of responsible consumption, recycling and respect for the environment. There are colleagues who have been composting at home for a long time and share their experience with us.
Moment 0, where do we start?
We assumed this prior knowledge, as accurate as possible, of how much fruit, coffee, tea and yerba mate were consumed at each site, as well as the exact number of people living in each one, to design a sorting and recycling campaign with the successful adhesion of the whole team.
We share with you the step-by-step recommendations to adapt Zero Waste to the quarantine.
Step 1. Sorting
Thanks to the sorting effort, we avoid burying more than 4,000 kilos of waste per year. This means that Pyxis stops emitting 3 tons of CO2 equivalent into the atmosphere every year in this respect.
To take this experience home, it is important to define a space where to sort our waste. You can identify garbage cans with 3 colors: green to identify recyclable waste (paper, cardboard, glass, plastics, metals such as cans and lids, textiles, wood, cartons), brown for compostable waste (fruits, vegetables, yerba mate, coffee, tea, napkins and kitchen paper) and gray for mixed or discarded waste (cooked/condimented food, sanitary toilet paper, bones and everything that is not in the other two categories).
Step 2. Composting
At Pyxis we have 3 compost bins, 2 at the Parque Rodó site and one in Pocitos, and we harvest periodically. What to compost? Here are some basic tips to get you started.
What you can compost: raw fruit and vegetable peels, yerba mate, coffee, tea and napkins.
What you CANNOT compost: leftover cooked food, leftover meat, poultry or fish.
It is important that you place the composter away from the sun and sheltered from rain. It is also important to cut the waste as it helps to reduce the decomposition time. And always keep the compost bin closed to prevent worms from escaping. Yes, worms. You can buy them and they are a fundamental part of the process. They are in charge of processing organic waste and producing humus, an ecological fertilizer of the highest quality.
You can incorporate a family-sized composter for all the compostable waste you generate. Not only do you reduce what you throw away, but you can also obtain compost or humus for your plants, vegetable garden project or whatever you have on hand. Turn unused space into a space to grow and harvest life.
There are several places where you can get a composter. Meta Sustentable can advise you. Their compost bins are made in Uruguay with 50% recycled material. They have two digester boxes where the worms feed and a box where the leachate (highly concentrated natural fertilizer) is collected. They are designed to process the organic waste of up to 5 people.
Step 3. Giving away and spreading
After each harvest, at Pyxis we distribute soil and leachate among collaborators and friends. You can do the same with friends and family to continue this environmentally friendly wheel.
Whether you live in a big house or a small apartment, you can apply Zero Waste. Adapt your balcony, kitchen, garden. It’s always a good time to start getting informed and taking action.
Times like these teach us how valuable it is to take care of the planet. Change starts with you. Join us!
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