There are many fears that haunt us when we think of garbage: unpleasant odors, proliferation of vectors of diseases, such as rats, cockroaches, mosquitoes and pigeons, all gravitating around a mountain of accumulated things that no longer serve us. Most people are very disgusted when they come across vegetables and animals in the process of decomposition.
What is disgust – Understanding where disgust comes can change everything, causing the person to review his position in front of the trash. Disgust is an emotion, just like anger and fear, and plays a key role in many aspects of our lives: from personal hygiene habits to social relationships.
Although disgust can be associated with instinctive reactions that alert us to avoid certain foods or places, it also has a socially constructed aspect. Health-related advertising campaigns often appeal to disgust to make people aware of certain risks. That is, disgust can be taught and learned.
What they taught us about junk – Certainly, the concept of junk that we use in our daily lives is loaded not only with the instinctive disgust, but also with the social disgust, fomented. Yes, part of the repulsion we feel when we think of trash has been taught to us. This is due, in large part, to the negative impacts that discard it in an inappropriate place and the accumulation of garbage cause to the health and the public coffers.
What we ignore about garbage – And here, we come to a crucial point, which is the transformation of all the garbage that causes us repulsion, in compostable material. Garbage offers many possibilities for a sustainable world, such as the decomposition of organic matter.
A lot of people may still have some kind of resistance in doing household composting, after all, instinctively or not, we always seek the greatest possible distance from the garbage we generate. But this fear can only be overcome by deconstructing the idea of trash as something useless and dangerous, something disgusting.
What is composting – To end the myth created in relation to waste, we need to understand what composting is, because once we understand it, our whole view changes. Composting is the activity that humans have developed to facilitate the decomposition of organic matter. While decomposition is a process that occurs spontaneously in the environment, composting is a technique. Both result in a material called organic compost or compost.
This material can be applied in crops and urban gardens to nourish the soil, replacing chemicals that may cause risks to the environment. The decomposition of organic matter is vital for the renewal of the life cycle. Composting, in turn, is the technique capable of reducing the impacts caused by solid waste to health, the environment and public coffers, the latter resulting from expenses incurred with the collection, disposal and treatment of what is conventionally called garbage and which has been taught to us as something without any use.
Rafael Holsback and Ricardo Santander are the owners of Compostchêira.
Photo of the album Beco do Batman 2017, by Corália Elias.