Sharing the joy of composting: Earth Day at the Canadian Embassy in Jordan
The Jordan Valley Links (JVL) project aims to improve the entrepreneurial and business acumen of women and youth and reduce both market and socio-cultural barriers to their entry for enterprise development. The project works in access to finance, food processing; community-based tourism, and clean technologies, ensuring all these sectors strive for environmentally sustainability and gender-responsive practices.
JVL champions the adoption of environmentally sustainable practices and clean technologies that minimize harm to the environment and creates positive environmental outcomes. Ultimately, the purpose is to make households and businesses more energy efficient, less wasteful and cost effective (saving money). In order to achieve this the JVL project is partnering with local private sector and non-governmental organizations to promote and increase awareness about environmentally sustainable practices and clean technology businesses in the Jordan Valley, with the aim to reach 20,000 women and youth with awareness and create 500 clean technology businesses.
One of the initiatives JVL is championing is composting – which is the biological decomposition of organic waste such as food or plant material by bacteria, fungi, worms and other organisms under controlled aerobic (occurring in the presence of oxygen) conditions. The result of composting is an accumulation of partially decayed organic matter called humus that can be used as soil and fertilizer.
The project’s Environment and Clean Technology Advisor, Anwar El-Halah, is a huge advocate for composting at the household level and has been composting at home for the last two years. And no, it does not smell! On Earth Day 2019, Anwar was invited to showcase his composting efforts and techniques to the wider Canadian community in Amman at an event hosted by the Canadian Embassy in Jordan.
The majority of people who attended Anwar’s presentation were pleasantly surprised at how easy and low-cost it is to set up household composting. The total costs for setting up two bins of compost was JOD 10 (approximately CAD 19) – this includes two small plastic boxes cost about JOD 8 in addition to mesh and glue to open windows at each side of the plastic boxes then cover them with mesh to prevent insects go inside this cost about JOD 2.
Not only did Anwar showcase his personal composting efforts and bins, he also shared a number of educational materials for the audience at the Canadian Embassy, including a short quiz and the following poster that outlines the main steps to set up one’s compost.
The quiz was developed and distributed to educate participants on the basics of composting – can you answer the following questions?
· Moisture is necessary for the composting process to occur – True or False
· Do worms need to be added to a compost? – Yes or No
· It requires a lot of time and expensive equipment to start composting – True or False
· Select which items are examples of ‘green’ materials for a compost – Grass, Sticks, Vegetable Peelings
· Select which items are examples of ‘brown’ materials for a compost – Twigs, Fruit Peelings, Paper
· What is essential for successful composting? – Air, Moisture, Food
The JVL team is currently exploring ways in which composting could become a viable business opportunity for its clean technology entrepreneurs – the team is trying to get answers to questions around who would buy/sell compost, what would be a viable price point, transportation of compost, etc. Stay tuned for more on the project’s composting journey!
Farah Chandani, Senior Project Manager, West Africa/Middle East and North Africa Program
Farah is responsible for promoting increased financial access, entrepreneurship and employment opportunities for women and men in West Africa/Middle East and North Africa. She currently manages the Jordan Valley Links project which focuses on women and youth entrepreneurs and will run until 2021.