Amandine and Benoit, Grey Lynn

Tell us a bit about yourselves

We’re a couple who’ve lived in Auckland for a few years. Amandine is an architect and Benoit is a software developer. Along with her friend Tracey, Amandine is the co-founder of Lagom, an editorial website which shares plant-based recipes, inspiring articles and interviews to empower people, giving them guidance to cultivate change towards a fair and habitable world.  Benoit, along with Eduardo, Tracey’s partner, are also part of this venture.

Which composting method(s) do you use?

We use an indoor worm farm and two Bokashi bins. We found these two systems are the best in our situation, as we’re renting with no appropriate garden for composting. They are complementary in what they can process, and easy to move around if necessary.

When did you start composting?

We bought a Bokashi system out of curiosity a few years ago, for our apartment when we started to apply zero waste principles in our lives, but stopped using it after a while. Then about two years ago we came across Compost Collective. We went to a workshop to learn how to compost properly and got our worm farm from there, paired with our previous Bokashi. We got the second Bokashi when we started sharing a house with friends, for easier Bokashi rotation.

Why do you do it?

As part of our zero waste journey, it’s a very easy solution to reduce the amount of waste in our rubbish bin, and it reduces the smell! We then discovered we had a supply of useful organic material to grow plants in pots.

What do you love about it?

We really love having a dry and clean rubbish bin. It makes our day-to-day life so much easier. No smell, no bugs, no rubbish bin bag. We reduced the amount of waste we were putting out, so now we only put the rubbish bin out once every two months. Composting is a huge reason for that. 

How do you think we can encourage more Aucklanders to compost?

The work Compost Collective is doing is a great way to encourage people to compost, as education is key in helping to change people’s minds, by teaching that composting is easy and brings a lot of advantages in day-to-day life. More talks, more education and more advertising would help engage more people.

On a city scale, we believe that a weekly compost collection should be implemented in Auckland, the same way as recycling and general waste is collected. It should be compulsory for businesses and individuals to use this, and organic matter should not be allowed in the general waste bin. It’s a shame that such a wonderful resource gets lost in landfill. We’d love to see council produce their own compost for the city’s gardens, and give it away for local farmers or individuals like they do in San Francisco.


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