The New Year presents opportunities for resolutions to improve the way we live and go about our daily lives. The principals at Moonshot Compost, a company specializing in food waste diversion, believe we can all make meaningful changes in our routines that can lead to a “greener” and more sustainable lifestyle, individually and community wide.
“Houston is working toward environmental sustainability in several ways, including the Mayor’s Climate Action Plan that develops strategies to help minimize the City’s carbon footprint, as well as save money and improve the quality of life of residents,” says Chris Wood, Moonshot co-president. “Benefits include decreased traffic and congestion, improved air quality, better access to parks and green spaces, and cost savings through energy efficiency projects.”
“It’s about changing attitudes and behaviors,” says Joe Villa, co-president. “As individuals, we can all reduce our carbon footprints by making incremental changes in daily routines. Once these behaviors become habits, positive, healthy results will ensue for us, our families and the larger community. We at Moonshot are trying to do our part by educating people about composting.”
Wood and Villa share practical ideas on how we can work toward resilience and sustainability in our small corners of the world. It all starts at home. Tips to consider for a “greener” lifestyle include:
- Reduce water usage by using energy efficient appliances, low flush toilets and low flow showerheads. Run the dishwasher and washing machine only when full. Avoid running your washer with hot water and opt for cold or warm water when possible to save energy. Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth.
- Save energy and money by lowering the thermostat in winter and raising it in summer. Turn off lights when you leave a room and unplug electronic devices when not in use.
- Change incandescent light bulbs (which waste 90 percent of their energy as heat) to LEDs (light emitting diodes). Though LEDs cost more, they use a quarter of the energy and last up to 25 times longer.
- For a healthier you and healthier air, cut down on car rides and walk or bicycle to do errands nearby, visit friends, go the park, shop and more. When you need your car, try to “bundle” your errands and do them all in one trip. Also, take care of your car with regular maintenance checks, including proper tire inflation and rotation, which increase fuel efficiency. Also consider taking public transportation.
- Reduce, reuse and recycle. Reduce overall consumption of goods, especially plastics, and reuse items, such as cloth grocery bags, food containers, water bottles and coffee cups. Many people recycle paper, plastic and bottles, which is a great start. Take unwanted used items such as clothing, electronics and home goods to resale shops.
- Consider a composting solution to food waste. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, between 30 to 40 percent of the food supply is estimated to result in food waste, which ends up in landfills. Once there, the waste produces methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Instead of throwing food in the trash, start a composting program where it goes into a collectible bin and ends up benefiting the environment.
Wood explains that Moonshot collects food waste from residents and businesses that then goes to composting facilities. It eventually becomes useful compost for consumers and commercial food growers.
When compost is placed on top of existing soil, there are many benefits. Among these are the addition of valuable nutrients, leading to healthier plants; enhancement of soil structure which increases water retention; and the ability to grow healthier plants, increasing the amount of carbon dioxide drawn from the atmosphere.
Moonshot is a member of the U.S. Composting Council, which advances compost manufacturing, compost utilization and organics recycling to benefit its members, society and the environment.
For more information about the company and its composting programs, visit either www.moonshotcompost.com or www.startcomposting.com, or call 713-955-0011. The office is located at 708 Main St. in downtown Houston.
Link to educational cartoon video here