There are endless memes about coffee bringing people together, but who would’ve thought that this delightful caffeinated drink would lead to the start of a composting revolution on the Gold Coast called Seed the Ground?
In a playground in Talle Creek over half-priced coffees, a friendship was formed between Nat Lidgerwood and Jess Maxted after they realised they had shared interests in the environment, conservation, growing their own food and they also lived 200m from each other.
Jess reported that as they sipped on their coffees “we started wondering where all the coffee grinds waste was going”. That thought led to the creation of Seed the Ground, a composting initiative that aims to enable people to do small bits at home that will ultimately make a huge difference in greening our fair city.
After some investigation, Jess and Nat discovered that a café will generate three tonnes of coffee waste a year.
“We were growing a lot of food and a neighbour was using natural systems, which planted the seed for us with using coffee grounds”, reported Nat.
As they thought about what to do next, they simply decided “Let’s just start!”.
They soon secured a space near Miami Marketta where they set up the Miami Compost Hub. Currently they collect coffee grinds and food waste twice a week from six local cafes, a salad bar and fruit shop. These goods are then added to their compost pile, called a lasagne, which they nourish with water and turn twice a week.
The end result can be used to grow fruit and vegetables in, with Jess and Nat hoping to sell this nutrient-rich compost in the near future along with their currently available beloved red wriggler worms, which they bundle up in used coffee sacks from KoKo Coffee Roasters.
Their goal is to have little hubs everywhere that are relevant to those suburbs, with centres at Burleigh and Helensvale in the works. There are also plans to start native bee farms and what Nat terms “guerrilla composting” where they can connect to community gardens.
They would also love to help others to take up composting, educating the community about circular economy and how we can use waste and close the gap.
Something they have found is that organic waste, which is entirely preventable, contributes to 5% of our greenhouse gas emissions. By simply composting our food scraps and paper we can make a difference.
“People don’t realise that you can compost meat and bones. Our kids now scrape their food waste into the bin without being asked as it has become part of their routine,” said Jess.
Seed the Ground is now taking their knowledge and imparting it to the community through workshops, with the Spring Local Table at Jandarra Farm kicking off their events, with more planned at several Biome stores.
Climate Change has become one of the most important issues for Australians, with 80% of the population believing climate action needs to occur immediately. For many of us it can be daunting knowing where we can start, but there are plenty of small things that you can do at home.
Top Five Tips for starting your own composting revolution from home:
- Have two composting caddies under your sink, one for “browns” and one for “greens”
- Browns bin – For collecting toilet rolls and other paper
- Greens bin – For your organic waste, ensure to chop up your scraps so it composts quicker
- Check out the Sharewaste website
- Come to a Seed the Ground workshop
Seed the Ground have started training volunteers and are looking for more! Get in contact with them via their Instagram @seedtheground.
IMAGES: Catherine Coburn