For several years now I’ve been a religious zealot about composting, whether inconveniently on the road or conveniently at home near my bins. When I travel I have three composting options for dealing with food scraps, including restaurant scraps, random tea bags, and all the rest:
1. Compost local When I travel I try to find a local composter through various social networks for a place to drop off scraps. I did this in London with my friends Alex and DJ, and at a curbside compost dumpster (see below), and thanks to GrowNYC, this is sometimes possible in NYC. Unfortunately, GrowNYC doesn’t accept any animal products. But it’s a start!
I am very happy to leave scraps at a restaurant if they compost post-consumer scraps, but that is almost unheard of outside of the nice progressive bubbles (such as Burlington, Boulder, and Berkeley) that dot the country. Toronto has curbside pickup AND sidewalk disposal. Hats off to Toronto!
2. Bury it I like to practice random acts of guerilla composting wherever I can and/or need to. This is sometimes a bit tricky but worth a try in waysides, some parks, and under shrubbery. Think of it as fertilizing!
WILL ADD A PHOTO OF THIS CLANDESTINE ACTIVITY AS SOON AS THE GAL PAL GETS BACK FROM CROSS COUNTRY AND CAN LOCATE IT FOR ME.
3. Last resort: carry food scraps in luggage When all else fails, and it usually does, one must carry ones rotting pile of food scraps back to whence one came: in my case, Vermont. Like an eco-sherpa I have hauled and hoisted not literally TONS of scraps over the years in carry-on luggage, cloth bags of all sort, and of course in buckets in the back of hot cars (sorry, Alison!). Sometimes I’ve gotten quite creative. Check out my phone case packaging/food scrap carrying case:
But here’s how it usually looks en route:
And why do I do this? To stop climate change and to restore the health of our ecosystem. I know, it’s one small thing. But it’s one small thing that I can do, that we all can do. And if we all did it, it would add up.
What do you do with your food scraps when you travel? Please share any tips!
-Holly, Compost Maven, who has pledged her allegiance to the soil.