On Friday 14th February, the Eco Council, Year 4Y and Year 1C, with the help of Ms Sarah Ward, teaching assistant in Transition, started the composting process at Rome International School!
Ms Ward explained to the Eco Council how she built our compost site out of reusable materials (pallets and old wooden planks). Mr Young's Year 4 class participated in the session as they are currently learning about Global Warming while Ms Chambers' Year 1s are inquiring into the cycle of life.
Students heard about how composting is a natural process which produces rich degraded organic matter, also known as humus. Watch this informative video to learn more.
This humus provides channels for air and moisture to get into the soil and other gases to get out, for example, respiration gases from fungi and insects. Soils with organic matter in them allow mycorrhiza fungi (a symbiotic association between a fungus and a plant which helps the plant to grow stronger -source wiki), to form a network between different plants in order to facilitate nutrient exchange.
Students also learned how important reducing food waste is. Decomposing food waste in landfills releases methane into the atmosphere. Methane is 26 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas and is a significant contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions.
In nature there is no waste, therefore a part of the waste RIS produces such as fruit snacks, shredded scrap paper, dry leaves from the woods, ground coffee from the bar, can be turned into nutrients. Everything we will compost at school will become a thriving habitat and nutritious fodder for an entire population of bacteria, bugs, worms, fungi and creepy crawlies, and in turn, what they leave behind will become nourishing fodder for our plants.
Composting is an ongoing activity that will involve all classes engaged in a rotation of material collection, stirring and watering the compost to keep it moist and airy.
This is how students and the RIS community come together to learn to appreciate the cycle of life and the value of circular economy; reducing food waste to help save the planet!
- Ms Francesca Braghetta, Environmental Project Coordinator