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Building Common Ground Erin Fenley

DMGT 740 SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES IN DESIGN erinfenley@gmail.com


BUILDING COMMON GROUND It all began with a table. The idea of installing an outdoor eating area at Thrive Cafe using reclaimed materials from the Emergent Structures project led a group of nine SCAD graduate students down a path of sustainable exploration. By engaging Wendy Armstrong, chef and owner of Thrive Cafe, we began searching not only for solutions for the outdoor eating area, but also seeking other opportunities that could bring sustainable practices to Thrive and the shopping mall where the restaurant is located, Whitemarsh Plaza. From there, we sought out many possibilities for education, cost reduction, and community involvement. Early in the process, Wendy spoke about Thrive’s composting practices. At the time, she was collecting 125 gallons of compost per week. This was adding up nicely and being taken to her newly established garden at Oatland Island. The garden at Oatland had been in disuse for some time along with composting demonstration bins and an educational area focused on composting. Seeing that this area offered much potential for education and outreach led to the items included in this document. This is only the beginning for some very promising seeds of growth in the arena of expanding restaurant, shopping center, and community composting practices.

.

Erin Fenley

erinfenley@gmail.com


Compost Happens Compost Happens

So what is this stuff anyway? Nature’s method of recycling is called compost. It happens all the time. Natural composting began with the first So what is and thishasstuff anyway? plants on Earth continued ever since. Composting delivers us a partial solution to an issue of concern in many communities. All around the country, Nature’s method of recycling is called compost. It happens all the time. Natural composting began with the first landfills are filling up, garbage incineration is becoming increasingly unpopular, and other waste disposal options are plants on Earth and has continued ever since. becoming ever harder to find. Composting delivers us a partial solution to an issue of concern in many communities. All around the country, By composting we can reduce the amount of waste that needs to be disposed of and also convert it into a finished landfills are filling up, garbage incineration is becoming increasingly unpopular, and other waste disposal options are product that is useful for gardening, landscaping, or house plants. becoming ever harder to find. By composting we can reduce the amount of waste that needs to be disposed of and also convert it into a finished product that is useful for gardening, landscaping, or house plants.

The Compost Timeline The Compost Timeline water Organic Waste

air

FinisHeD cOMpOst

T I M E

water soil

Organic Waste

T I M E

air heat

soil

FinisHeD cOMpOst

heat

The Green List The Green List

What’s in and what’s out! To start composting at home is easy, take a look at some of the items you can begin composting today. For more information check out.: www.epa.gov/compost

What’s in and what’s out!

Throw it IN

Leave it OUT & Why

Animal manure Cardboard rolls Clean paper Coffee Animalgrounds manure and filters Cotton ragsrolls Cardboard Dryer vacuum cleaner lint Cleanand paper Eggshells Coffee grounds and filters Fireplace ashes Cotton rags Fruits Dryer and vegetables vacuum cleaner lint Grass clippings Eggshells Hair and fur Fireplace ashes Hay and straw Fruits and vegetables Houseplants Grass clippings Leaves Hair and fur Nut Hay shells and straw Sawdust Houseplants Shredded Leaves newspaper Tea Nutbags shells Wood chips Sawdust Wool rags newspaper Shredded Yard trimmings Tea bags Wood chips Wool rags Yard trimmings

Black walnut tree leaves or twigs

Compost Happens Compost Happens

So what is this stuff anyway? So what is this stuff anyway?

To start composting at home is easy, take a look at some of the items you can begin composting today. For more information check out.: www.epa.gov/compost Releases substances be harmful to plants Leave it OUTthat & might Why

Throw it IN

Coal charcoal Blackorwalnut treeash leaves or twigs

Might contain substances harmful plants to plants Releases substances that might betoharmful

Diseased or insect-ridden plants Coal or charcoal ash

Diseases or insects might survive be Might contain substances harmfuland to plants transferred back to other plants

Diseased or insect-ridden plants Dairy products and eggs Diseases or insects might survive and be Fats, grease, lard, oils plants transferred back or to other Meat or fish bones and scraps Create odor problems and attract pests Dairy products and eggs such as rodents and flies Fats, grease, lard, or oils Meat or fish bones and scraps PetCreate wastesodor (e.g., dog or cat soiled cat litter) problems andfeces, attract pests Might contain parasites, such as rodents and fliesbacteria, germs, pathogens, and viruses harmful to humans

Pet wastes (e.g., dog or cat feces, soiled cat litter) YardMight trimmings chemical pesticides contain treated parasites,with bacteria, germs, Might kill beneficial composting organisms pathogens, and viruses harmful to humans

Yard trimmings treated with chemical pesticides Might kill beneficial composting organisms

The Green List The Green List

Waste = Food

What’s in and what’s out! What’s in and what’s out!

A Few Reasons to Start Composting

Waste = Food

According to the EPA, 24 percent of the U.S. municipal solid waste stream is composed of food waste and yard trimmings. If these materials were diverted to another use that kept them out of the trash, a significant portion of A Reasons to Start Composting the Few country’s everyday waste could be recovered for reuse. The environmental savings of composting can not only be seen in the amount of waste diverted from landfills but also the transportation cost savings to get it there. According to the EPA, 24 percent of the U.S. municipal solid waste stream is composed of food waste and yard trimmings. If can these materials useand thatgarden, kept them of the trash, a significant portion of Composting also pay youwere backdiverted at hometoinanother your yard it canout even reduce waste hauling fees in some the country’s everyday waste could be recovered for composting reuse. The environmental savings of composting canthat not you only areas. As an extremely effective sustainable activity, can give you the satisfaction of knowing be seen the amount of waste diverted from landfills but also the transportation cost savings to get it there. are doinginsomething good for your community. Composting can also pay you back at home in your yard and garden, it can even reduce waste hauling fees in some areas. As an extremely effective sustainable activity, composting can give you the satisfaction of knowing that you are doing something good for your community.

Why Compost? it’s earth Friendly

Food scraps & yard waste make up 20-30% of Why Compost? the waste stream. By composting these wastes

it promotes Higher crop Yields Farmers use compost for enhancing crops, reducing chemical fertilizers, and building richer soil.

they stay out of landfills where they take up

it’svaluable earth Friendly space and release methane,

Food scraps &gas. yard waste make up 20-30% of a greenhouse the waste stream. By composting these wastes it saves Money they stay out of landfills where they take up Using compost in your garden can lower or valuable space and release methane, eliminate the need a greenhouse gas. for chemical fertilizers. If you live in an area that charges for trash hauling by it saves amount,Money you can significantly reduce the weight Using in yourcomposting. garden can lower or of yourcompost trash through eliminate the need for chemical fertilizers. If you live in an area that charges for trash hauling by amount, you can significantly reduce the weight of your trash through composting.

it Benefits Yardcrop Yields promotesYour Higher

Compost cancompost help build soil with nutrients Farmers use forpoor enhancing crops, reducing along withfertilizers, increasingand its building ability toricher retainsoil. water. Soil chemical fertility is increased and healthy root development

it Benefits Your Yard compost. is promoted through

Compost can help build poor soil with nutrients

it’salong easywith increasing its ability to retain water. Soil Start simply. Whether you collectroot yarddevelopment wastes or fertility is increased and healthy food scraps, through choose the items that are readily is promoted compost. available to you now.

it’s easy

Start simply. Whether you collect yard wastes or food scraps, choose the items that are readily available to you now.

Waste = Food Waste = Food

Just Compost It! A How-to Guide

Just Compost It!

A Few Reasons to Start Composting A Few Reasons to Start Composting

So now that you know a little about the what’s and why’s of composting, here’s how you can do it.

A How-to Guide

3 Easy Steps:

So now that you know a little about the what’s and why’s of composting, here’s how you can do it.

3 Easy Steps:

step 3:

step 1:

Once you’ve collected your materials, you can beginstep your own 3:pile at homeyou’ve Or bring it to Once collected thrive for composting! your materials, you can

start collecting compostable materials, yard waste1:or step kitchen scraps. start collecting

Askyour at theown counter begin pile at homefor Ordetails! bring it to thrive for composting!

compostable materials, yard waste or kitchen scraps.

step 2:

Ask at the counter for details!

if you’re collecting kitchen scraps & don’t want to make 2: so many step trips to yourcollecting composting if you’re centerscraps - freeze it. kitchen & don’t want to make so many trips to your composting center - freeze it.

Just Compost It! Just Compost It!

A How-to Guide A How-to Guide


IN STORE EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS Understanding how composting works is the first step to getting people to begin the practice themselves. This set of four cards was created for Thrive in order to show customers what composting is all about. 1. Compost Happens: So what is this stuff anyway? A brief explanation of the composting process, including a graphical time line from waste to a usable product. 2. The Green List: What’s in & What’s Out! This card provides a brief list of compostable items along with things that should not be composted. Giving reasons why items are or are not compostable can help people gain momentum in the composting learning curve. 3. Waste=Food: A Few Reasons to Start Composting All of us need incentive to change up our daily routine. So some statistics can lead to taking steps toward change. For example: the EPA has stated that, 24 percent of the U.S. municipal solid waste stream is composed of food waste and yard trimmings. If these materials were diverted to another use that kept them out of the trash, a significant portion of the country’s everyday waste could be recovered for reuse. The environmental savings of composting can not only be seen in the amount of waste diverted from landfills but also the transportation cost savings to get it there. 4. Just Compost It!: A How to Guide Some tips and advice to get started along with a push to bring compostables to Thrive. Did you know you can freeze your kitchen scraps before putting them in the compost bin to avoid mess at home?

NEXT STEPS o

What other in store materials could be beneficial? o Posters o Stickers o What about public education materials? o Throughout Whitemarsh Plaza o Throughout Savannah

Erin Fenley

erinfenley@gmail.com


OATLAND GARDEN COMPOSTING CONFIGURATIONS OPTION 1

bins

finished compost

garden area

OPTION 2 stacked bins garden area

finished compost


OPPORTUNITIES AT OATLAND ISLAND Thrive’s Oatland Garden is new, but is growing in beautifully. They are using the produce from the garden in the restaurant and donating 30% of the vegetables grown to feed the animals living at Oatland. Since Oatland is an educational facility, Wendy will also be using the garden as a teaching tool. These photos show the current state of the compost bins at Oatland, they’ve seen their better days. A new bin design was created for Wendy to utilize in this space, an initial sketch of possible bin configurations can be seen below the photos. This type of composting can yield higher amounts of compost without turning the bins, reducing smell, and eliminating vermin problems. See the next page for instructions on how to build the individual bins. The educational centers have a great potential as well with a little sprucing up. A shady area for demonstrations, benches, and a beautiful garden is the perfect place for inspirational learning.

NEXT STEPS o o o

Revitalize educational composting area Revitalize utdoor classroom area Expand composting system to stackable pallet system (See next page for building instructions)

Erin Fenley

erinfenley@gmail.com


BUILDING PALLET BINS MATERIALS: 6 Pallets Electric Drill Hammer Utility Scissors 50 ft ¼” Hardware Cloth Box of 3” Coated Deck Screws Box of Fence Staples 2 or 3 Helpers DIRECTIONS: 1. Find 6 pallets of similar size or same make. 2. Line 5 up in a cube, making a bottom and 4 sides. Set aside the sixth pallet for the lid. 3. Attach the pallets to one another with the screws. Make solid attachments in the corners. Use plenty of screws - don’t be shy! 4. Line the interior with hardware cloth for rodent proofing. Use the utility sissors to cut the cloth. Hammer in the fence staples to tack it down. No need to be overly-thorough with this step, the weight of the compost will hold the cloth down. 5. Tack some hardware cloth to the last pallet that was set aside for the lid. The lid can be loosely placed atop the bin and lifted up whenever compostables are thrown in. 6. Decorate if you’d like! Adapted from: Growing Power, Inc.and gtgardens.com/TheSeed34.html

A GOOD MIX CARBON SOURCES (BROWNS)

Paper cardboard mulch

NITROGEN SOURCES (GREENS)

manure coffee grounds veg scraps

75% 25%

LAYERING THE BIN Start with “browns” on the bottom and end with “browns” on the top. This method will control unwanted smells!

is the ideal center temperature for effective composting. You can limit the temperature by watering and aeration.

Erin Fenley

erinfenley@gmail.com


Join Thrive on Facebook to find out more!

COMMUNITY COMPOSTING Wendy is very enthusiastic about beginning a community compost drop-off at her restaurant. In addition to her own compostables (both pre-consumer and possibly post-consumer), other business in Whitemarsh Plaza, and individual members of the community, Thrive could potentially have an entirely new business in composting. This is a matter that needs to be tested and thought through thoroughy before opening to the public to ensure its success. NEXT STEPS o o o o o

Define/highlight the benefits Define/decrease the barriers What are the incentives? What about local partnerships? How can this become a profitable endeavor?


PEOPLE TO KNOW:

ERIN FENLEY MA Candidate Design for Sustainability 2011

WENDY ARMSTRONG Chef and Owner, Thrive Cafe

HEATHER MERBS Director, Oatland Island

SCOTT BOYLSTON Professor, Savannah College of Art and Design Director, Emergent Structures

REFERENCES:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

epa.gov/compost

COMMUNITY BASED SOCIAL MARKETING

cbsm.com

EMERGENT STRUCTURES

emergentstructures.com

Pass it On! Erin Fenley

erinfenley@gmail.com


Charisse Bennett Erin Fenley Jessica Grenoble Leslie Marticke Sarah Smallwood

charisse.bennett@gmail.com erinfenley@gmail.com jessica.grenoble@gmail.com leslie.marticke@gmail.com sarah.e.smallwood@gmail.com

Thrive Composting: Pass It On  

This document provides background information, research, and implementation of design ideas for increasing composting capabilities for Thriv...

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