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Hand over your scraps. Help the planet

Sending rubbish back to farms might be a sustainable option

A new start-up out of Perth wants to help you recycle your kitchen scraps, and the best bit is you don’t really have to do anything.

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Kooda is a small business that will collect food scraps from your place and send them to farms where they will be recycled and used to grow more food.

Founded by chemical engineer and single mum Carly Hardy in September 2016, Kooda is trying to help address climate change.

“It’s a work necessary for this particular time in society and our world.” – Carly Hardy

“Christianity has lots of good things to say about looking after this world, and maybe we don’t necessarily have a reputation for putting that out there,” Carly tells Eternity.

“As a Christian, I believe we have a duty of care for this world and that we need to act on that, and that fits completely in with this social enterprise [Kooda] that seems very left and non-conservative.

“It’s not more important than the gospel, but it’s a work necessary for this particular time in society and our world.”

According to Carly, if all Aussies were composting their food scraps, we could be making a huge difference to global warming.

When we throw banana peels, potato skins and old lettuce into the bin, it gets taken to a landfill. In the landfill, under all other rubbish, there is not enough oxygen for the banana peel, potato skin and lettuce to compost properly. In a compost bin with enough oxygen, those fruit and vegetable scraps would produce carbon dioxide, but in a landfill, they decompose and produce methane (a highly flammable gas).

Methane is a naturally occurring greenhouse gas which, together with other greenhouse gases, form a sphere around the earth. They insulate the planet’s surface against the chill of space. (It’s kind of like a huge blanket keeping us warm). Without greenhouse gases, the average temperature would be about 33 degrees cooler than it is now, according to the Australian Government’s Climate Change in Australia site.

However, climate scientists largely agree that methane produced from other sources (including your kitchen food scraps) is increasing the proportion of the gas in the atmosphere. As a result, they say the surface temperature of the planet is increasing (kind of like putting an electric blanket around the earth, and cranking the temperature all the way up).

“You don’t have to turn your life ‘green’ to participate in being sustainable.” – Carly Hardy

“Methane is really bad,” says Carly. “It effects the atmosphere really quickly in the five years after it is emitted. If we reduced our methane emissions, we could make it less hot.”

“We want to take this waste product that is harming the world and send it back out to our farmers. We want to stop our soil being sterile and put the nutrients back in it so we can feed the population of the world in a better way.”

A committed Christian, Carly doesn’t want to see evangelism being replaced by sustainable living.

“It’s the mission of the church to be on mission and doing evangelism. But that doesn’t stop the members of the church who are participating in the world and working outside of the church from doing all sorts of things, including protection of the climate and environment.”

“You don’t have to turn your life ‘green’ to participate in being sustainable. We can make it easier for your life, so that it’s easy for you to put your potato peel in a bucket and put it out and not in the general waste. Why shouldn’t you participate in that?”

Kooda has been collecting and processing around 3000L per week of food waste from Perth residents and businesses for five months. Kooda has a vision of going national, and then global. If you’d like to see Kooda in your neighbourhood then you can get behind the vision here

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