Hawaii Non-ProfitWritten by Stacy Yuen Hernandez On 13 January 2012
Each One Teach One seeks funds for food waste recycling project

Jim DiCarlo believes everyone should use a Bokashi Bucket.

“It’s an easy and efficient way to turn your food waste into nutrient-rich soil for your garden,” says DiCarlo, founder of Each One Teach One, a sustainable agriculture and education organization based on the North Shore. “It’s an alternative to a worm bin in that you can put meat and dairy products in it, something you can’t do with a worm bin.”

The process is simple. Layer your food scraps into the bucket and sprinkle with Bokashi Activator Mix. When your bucket is full, bury the contents in a hole in the ground or empty in a storage bin and cover with soil. In about four weeks, your food waste will have broken down and turned into rich, dark soil for your garden.

DiCarlo brings the idea to the masses by selling the buckets at the Haleiwa Farmers Market every Sunday and at the Ala Moana and Hawaii Kai Farmers Markets on alternate Saturdays.

However, on a large scale, he has hopes to find a viable solution to the food waste problem by launching “Throw to Grow,”a food waste recycling pilot project.

“The project will allow us to demonstrate the viability of Bokashi fermentation on a large scale, while gathering key data necessary for scaling up the system,” DiCarlo explains. “The data we collect will also be used for obtaining the permits and licenses required for collecting and processing solid waste.”

Di Carlo believes the system could one day divert close to 100 percent of food waste away from landfills while rebuilding healthy soils.

“Over the course of four months, we will work with a handful of larger scale waste generators such as restaurants, schools and supermarkets to recycle their food waste using our system.”

But the project, with a launch date of next month, needs funding. It is raising money through kickstarter.com, an online funding platform for creative projects. With six days of fundraising to go, Throw to Grow is still short of its $15,000 goal. The project will only be funded if the goal is reached, so more donation pledges are needed by the deadline of 2:33 a.m. HST on January 19. Donors can receive incentive awards from T-shirts to custom-painted Bokashi Buckets depending on their donation amount.

Those who pledge $350 or more receive a custom, hand-painted Bokashi Bucket, shown above.

DiCarlo says he hopes folks will help support this important project.

“Food waste is an issue that affects us all. It is magnified even more in Hawaii because we have such limited space,” he explains. “Even a small donation to help get this project off the ground will benefit people here and around the world.”

Photo: Courtesy Each One Teach One

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About Author

Stacy Yuen Hernandez

Stacy Yuen Hernandez is a writer for Hawaii Business magazine. A former writer/editor for The Honolulu Advertiser, Stacy has also worked in radio and TV news in the San Francisco Bay area. She possesses a Journalism degree from San Jose State University and a Juris Doctorate from Santa Clara University School of Law.

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