Tag Archives: tedx

Compost king: Paul Sellew at TEDxBoston

While TED talks mostly make me cringe, this one explains composting pretty well.

To be clear, he owns an anaerobic digester and that puts his presentation in a light I don’t fully agree with, but if you put that aside it’s worth watching.

The initial pitch is spot on up until about 6 minutes when he goes pro-burn while taking a dig at solar and wind…super lame.

It’s best to view composting as avoiding the landfill, cutting emission, and replenishing soil- the energy talk is nice, but it’s not the job for anaerobic digestion.

That being said, the reality is that this model is expanding, and I’m not opposed to it entirely- outdoor aerobic piles can be difficult to manage when their daily allowance is several hundred tons per day and the inputs aren’t being screened properly.

Our efforts must focus on everyone composting at home for the best results- no trucks, no burning, and immediate use of the finished compost at home and in the community.

Don’t get me wrong- whatever it takes to get organics out of the landfill is great…but I encourage everyone to learn how to compost at home and leave anaerobic digestion facilities for the large quantity generators.

Everything You Know About Composting is Wrong: Mike McGrath at TEDxPhoenixville (video)

Everything You Know About Composting is Wrong: Mike McGrath at TEDxPhoenixville

Super good video by the excellent entertainer Mike McGrath.

I read Mike McGrath’s Book of Compost a while back, and I honestly didn’t expect him to be adamantly opposed to adding food scraps to compost piles.  I wonder if he’s saying that to avoid any conversation about what food is good or not good for your pile…I would understand that to an extent.

Then again, I’ve learned over the years and I’m quite happy where I’m at with throwing absolutely everything in one pile and letting it do what it does.  It works!

I’ll have to try his massive pile made strictly of shredded leaves and coffee grounds.

I also like his comment railing against layering your materials…it’s true!  Just toss stuff in and mix it up.  No need for a layer of browns then a layer of greens.  While I don’t know how severe the difference is, the point stands that less thinking is better.

Time to get back outside and hoard more leaves. 🙂