So it's mid-April now, and we're just about halfway through our very first composting trial run. We have a lot of updates and things on our mind!
So far composting is going really well. We printed up giant signs for the cafeterias and also made some smaller ones to put above each composting bin. We have stationed ten composting bins across our school, and we have received really positive feedback from students and faculty!!
It would, however, be a lie to say we have not faced any difficulties. Unsurprisingly, it has been a bit of an adjustment for the students and especially the custodians. New routines are confusing, people!! It's hard to adequately communicate with the custodians about what they should do and about how exactly they should do it. It's also really hard to motivate the students to actually put their organic waste in the compost bins. It all boils down to habit, though. After all, our goal is to influence the way other students live so that they adopt sustainably responsible behaviors, and then keep them for the rest of their lives. This goal cannot be achieved quickly at all-- it really does take slow, unwavering effort to change people's regimented habits. For us, this can be a bit discouraging because we are working our patooties off trying to make this whole shebang happen. Between t-shirt selling, bank account making, social-mediaing, and straight up composting, sometimes it feels as though we are constantly working towards this far-off goal.
But the truth is that the way life works and that's the way you make change. One step at a time. No matter how slow! So yeah, sometimes it's frustrating because you're like...'well geez people, let's just hurry on up and put the organics in the compost bin and stop using Ziploc baggies and get on with it'! But then we look at all the progress we HAVE made so far and its so inspiring, and very motivating. We have received loads of positive feedback, and so I think when we look back on greenteen a couple years from now we will be more knowledgeable as people and more sustainable as a brand. We just need to keep reminding ourselves that change takes time, one day at a time kind of time.
And while we face these frustrations, we are learning so much about the world and about ourselves. Not to be cliché, but we are definitely adulting. Communicating with t-shirt companies and HealthySoil Compost, making signs and mailing packages, and designing this website (among a gazillion other things)- it really feels like we are accomplishing a lot. We celebrate and value all the little things in life, and so we are proud of these accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem.
What are you feeling proud about today? Tell us in the comments below, or just reach out on Instagram, @greenteenchicago.