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One right after the other, the barrage of doomed pumpkins hit the ground with just the right amount of explosive gusto. Carlson Elementary School students dutifully lined up, taking turns to climb a …
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One right after the other, the barrage of doomed pumpkins hit the ground with just the right amount of explosive gusto.
Carlson Elementary School students dutifully lined up, taking turns to climb a small ladder and launch their families’ jack-o’-lanterns onto tarp-covered concrete last Tuesday. The post-Halloween event was appropriately named the Pumpkin Smash.
Each salvo, and subsequent rupture, was met with the sounds of cheering or horrified laughter — depending on the gourd’s condition.
The event was hosted by the local prospective business Scraps-to-Soil Neighborhood Composters to teach children about the importance of composting.
“(The Pumpkin Smash) was a very nice extension of the recycling effort that we have been doing in this school for the last three years,” said Carlson principal Marcia Jochim. “It was good to expose kids to composting, because that’s an area that we have not pursued, and so it is good for them to learn about that.”
The event started innocently enough with a slide show presentation in the elementary school library by Scraps-to-Soil’s business partners: Cameron Marlin, her cousin George Marlin and his wife, Ursula Cruzalegui.
“How would you guys define being green?” Cameron asked the room full of children. Doomed pumpkins filled every free space.
“Picking up trash.”
The group was off to a good start.
Cameron said she and her business partners approached the school with the idea for the Pumpkin Smash as both an educational event for the students and to get raw material for their new community composting business.
“George and I both went to Carlson, so we kind of thought we’d come back to our alma mater and do a little project here,” Cameron said.
Cameron graduated from Denison University in Granville, Ohio, with a major in environmental studies and sociology. George is studying environmental engineering at Red Rocks Community College. Both are members of the Clear Creek Sustainability Committee.
The business is expected to be up and rolling by the end of the year. Currently, the partners are experimenting with different kinds of composing on family land outside of town to see what works best.
“We are basically trying to figure out what we’re going to start with,” Cameron said. “… We are trying to get a community-supported composting program. That’s why the pumpkin smash is … so critical for us, because we really want to do a lot of outreach, education and get (the) community involved.”
Cameron said their goal is to produce a quality composting product from local organic waste that can be sold back to individuals for gardening.
“We also ideally will be doing more school programs where we’ll be taking the finished compost and helping them garden and … (with) horticulture activities,” Cameron said.
She added that if the younger generations are going to start being more green, then participating in things like composting events like the Pumpkin Smash are ideal.
“If we really can convince these kids and teach them how important it is to compost, then ideally they’re (also) going to take that home and talk to their parents about what they learned at this Pumpkin Smash,” Cameron said.
For more information about Scraps-to-Soil Neighborhood Compsters, call Cameron Marlin at 303-921-0616 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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