This is a particular question I have been asking myself here lately. To be honest there are others who have been asking me this same question. It’s a good question to ask because the way Rose City Compost runs is different than what we have come to expect here in the US. We have grown accustom to big corporations doing/making most everything for us: entertainment, food, transportation, banking, and many other goods and services we consume. So, having some local person ride a bicycle around a Midwestern city pulling a trailer full of food scraps will make anyone question why that person is doing it they way they are.
I started thinking more about my life and what I was doing when I found out I was going to be a father. Questions started arising around what values and ethics my wife and I wanted to instill in our new addition to our family. Those questions led to changing our actions in certain areas of our life. We started questioning why we were buying certain things, why we were throwing certain things away, why were we driving everywhere when we could ride or walk, where things we bought were coming from, what affects were our actions having on others, etc. (Keeping in mind we are far from perfect, but it is a good thing to always be questioning why we do what we do and what affects we have on others we do/do not meet.)
During this time of questioning I came across a couple of different groups that were doing things differently and making a positive impact where they lived. Pedal to Petal from up in Canada and Compost Pedallers in Texas. I have always liked riding my bicycle and I never imagined that riding my bike could be used as a part of a business. Not a business that was only in it to make money, but to have a good lasting impact on a local community. It wasn’t only that particular aspect that caught my attention, but the simpleness of their respective businesses that was inspiring. All they need to start is a bicycle, a trailer and a place to compost their food scraps. Getting started did not require a huge investment.
They were completing the part of the food cycle that we have glossed over in our food industry. Taking our leftover food scraps and returning it back into the cycle of food production, but they were using simple tools and methods to provide a service for their communities. After a lot of thinking/dreaming/planning this was something I wanted to be a part of!
There are many other benefits that come with doing this particular type of business this way (which will be topics of later posts), but what has stayed with me is its simpleness in doing an important work. We do not need to have someone else with a huge startup investment to get the ball rolling in our local communities to try and make them better. A little creative thinking, a few friends, a few dollars, and some luck can go a long way.