Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A brand new blog!

Welcome to the Compost Go-Live blog! Compost Go-Live is a team of students dedicated to creating a composting program for the University of Arizona. Our short-term goal is to purchase a large-scale in-vessel composting unit for the campus to compost food waste from the restaurants in the Student Unions, green waste from Facilities Management, and animal waste from the Campus Agriculture center. Our long-term goals include creating a small business from which to sell our compost in order to ensure the longevity of this program (we are partnering with SIFE - Students in Free Enterprise to sell our product), and to someday branch out to composting waste for the greater Tucson community. Our two immediate projects are completing a business plan to submit to the University's administration and performing a waste audit on the Student Union to see how much food waste we will be composting. We meet on Thursdays at 8:00pm, and discuss our projects and what we accomplished individually and as a team throughout the week.

Compost Go-Live is one of eight sustainability teams within the greater Students for Sustainability (formerly ASUA Sustainability) initiative. This entirely student-run-and-operated organization is dedicated to promoting sustainability across the campus of the University of Arizona. The other teams are Garden in the Desert, the Solar Dorm Initiative, General Sustainability, Education and Outreach, the SAGE Fund, Earth Day, and Climate Action Planning. If you wish to know more about any of these teams, don't hesitate to contact us!

Some terms that will be used commonly in this blog: 

Sustainability - (ecology) a means of configuring civilization and human activity so that society, its members and its economies are able to meet their needs and express their greatest potential in the present, while preserving biodiversity and natural ecosystems, planning and acting for the ability to maintain these ideals in the very long term. (From wikipedia: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/sustainability)

Food waste - Waste from the food we eat (at this time, we are only planning on being able to compost non-dairy and non-meat foods). 

Green waste - Leaf cuttings, grass clippings, and other such natural plant materials. At this time, we will only be receiving these materials from Facilities Management. 

Animal waste - manure, which at this time will be coming from the Campus Agriculture Center. 

Compost - a combination of decomposed plant and animal materials and other organic materials that are being decomposed largely through aerobic decomposition into a rich black soil. The process of composting is simple and practiced by individuals in their homes, farmers on their land, and industrially by industries and cities. (From wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compost)

Amendment - Compost that is added to the soil for improved plant growth.

Fertilizer - Compost that is added to the soil for improved plant growth. In order for compost to be classified as fertilizer, it must be tested in a lab and certified. 

Large-scale in-vessel composting unit - A large piece of machinery that processes large volumes of waste into compost through aerobic decomposition. 
Contributers to this blog:
The following lovely people are all affiliated with the Compost Go-Live team, and will be contributing to this blog so that our experience can be shared completely with anyone interested!

Miriam Frieden: Blog administrator; U of A alumna, with a B.A. in Anthropology and Creative Writing; Compost Go-Live Volunteer (formerly an intern); Grammar Nazi.

Lesley Ash: Director of Students for Sustainability; senior at the University of Arizona, majoring in Veterinary Science and minoring in Chemistry; Brit-in-Disguise.

Ashton Inskeep: Compost Go-Live Project Manager; University of Arizona sophomore, majoring in Environmental Science and Spanish Translation; Compost Guru.

Blake Zimmerman: Compost Go-Live Project Manager; University of Arizona junior, majoring in Accounting; Bicycle Aficionado. 

Alex Harris: Compost Go-Live Intern; University of Arizona sophomore, majoring in Chemical Engineering; Ginger.

Amy Veek: Compost Go-Live Intern; University of Arizona junior, majoring in Environmental Science; Volleyballer. 

Marcos Fernandez: Compost Go-Live Intern; University of Arizona senior, majoring in Engineering; Resident Bro.

Nikhil Handyal: Compost Go-Live Intern; University of Arizona freshman, as yet undeclared; Evil Genius. 

Polly Juang: Compost Go-Live Intern; University of Arizona junior, majoring in Engineering Management; Musical Adept.

We will all contribute to the blog any time we feel that there is something important to share! I for one look forward to blogging about this exciting project as we get closer to achieving our goals.

- Miriam

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