Teaching kids to compost in Eagle County | VailDaily.com

Teaching kids to compost in Eagle County

Daily staff report
VAIL CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily

If your kids come home and ask for a bin full of worms, you’ll know the Eagle Valley Alliance for Sustainability (EVAS) has gotten to them.

Starting Monday, in honor of Earth Day on April 22, EVAS will spend an entire “Earth” week in locals schools talking to kids about ways to generate less trash, like by recycling and composting. Designed specifically for third- through fifth-graders, EVAS Director Tracy Andersen will teach kids how to make their own compost bin using worms to do the decomposing, a process called vermiculture.

EVAS is a non-profit located in Minturn dedicated to making the Eagle Valley community more sustainable in the areas of waste diversion, energy reduction, local food, green building and helping businesses become greener.

Andersen is fairly new to EVAS, but she’s not new to teaching kids. For the past several years, she worked as a science teacher at a Denver high school, initiating an environmental science program at her school.

Thanks in part to a grant from Vail Resorts Echo, EVAS has already taught waste diversion in two different classrooms.

“The fifth graders at Eagle Elementary School were great. They not only loved the worms, but already knew a lot about trash and where it goes and why we should try to generate less of it,” Andersen said. “They were not satisfied with just knowing how to properly dispose of food waste by composting, they wanted to know about food production and why communities should buy local food. They even wanted to know more about the environmental problems associated with fast food, too, wow.”

EVAS will hit five different schools for Earth Week and will set teachers up with a vermiculture bin that will live in their classrooms, so that kids can watch the worms turn food waste into valuable compost during the final weeks of school.

On Thursday, EVAS will do a special presentation live on the radio at Stone Creek Charter School as part of KZYR The Zephyr’s Earth Day Road Show.

“It is really important to get the young kids used to recycling and composting at an early age so that it becomes an ingrained habit,” Andersen said.

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