(Contenido disponible en Español está marcado abajo)
Today we are all about composting and included below are activities and tips for how you can get started composting at home, at your school, or in your community.
In honor of Earth Day 50, we ask you to join us, all week long, as we share ideas of how we can all heal our relationships with the natural world.
And for those who are able, we ask that you help us achieve this mission by making a donation to the Nature Museum, $50 for 50 years, so we can continue to carry a renewed message of Earth Day forward.
What difference does composting make?
Composting converts food scraps and yard trimmings into a special soil conditioner called humus. This amazing material helps fortify soil, holds water, and helps reduce the need for synthetic fertilizers. Plus, you can do it in your backyard. Not sure how to get started? Check out this guide from our friends at the Illinois Food Scrap Coalition.
Teaching Tip: Did you know that a teaspoon of soil contains between 100 million and 1 billion living things? We can’t see most of these tiny living things in the soil, but we can use a simple tool to help us focus our observations on some small things we might otherwise overlook! Click here for directions!
Take it to the next level with worms!
Composting with worms, or vermi-composting, is another way to break down your scraps into nutrient-rich humus. The worms, like red wigglers, eat the waste and produce nutrient-rich waste. Click here or our printable guide to vermi-composting. Want to learn more about it? Join us this Wednesday for our Vermi-Composting 101 webinar. We’ll share the basics and Kassandra Hinrichsen from Plant Chicago will discuss how to begin vermi-composting at home. Click here to register for free.
Teaching Tip: This is a great opportunity to learn more about worms! Digitally check out “Garden Wigglers: Earthworms In Your Backyard” from the Internet Archive and discover worm facts (they don’t have eyes!) and more!
What lunch scraps can you compost?
(Disponible en español)
We’ve already talked about the common items people compost. See if your young scientist can decide what can and can’t be composted with this simple card sort game. Click here to download and print them in English or Spanish.
Guiding Question: What kinds of things do you think we can compost? What is special about them? Think about the way they break down or decompose.
What will you do for nature?
We want to know, what’s the first thing you and your family will do for nature when we’re done with stay-at-home? We want to hear your ideas and share them with others!
Need an idea to get started? Nature Museum team member Janelle said, “I’m going to help my mom plant a pollinator garden in her yard.”
Behind the scenes!
What does it look like when our giant water bugs have lunch? Marjorie caught it on video. Click here to check it out!