When Victoria Aguilera went on her summer camping holiday with four other families, she wanted to continue composting, but didn’t want to save up the food scraps to bring home. Instead, Victoria signed up to ShareWaste NZ, connected to a host local to the holiday spot and was able to continue her composting journey away from home.

Tell us a bit about yourself:

Kia ora! My name is Victoria, I am an avid ‘soilprenuer’, ShareWaste NZ user, and a very keen composter. I enjoy educating others on the many benefits of composting, as well as busting compost myths whilst reducing food waste sent to landfill.

What composting methods do you use at home?

Currently I am using a combination of hot/cold composting, as well as Bokashi. I have used an in-ground worm tower in the past which I hope to get back into this year. You can never have too many compost systems!

You joined ShareWaste recently, just before you were heading away on holiday – tell us about your journey so far.

I joined ShareWaste at the end of last year (2021). We were about to go on a summer camping trip with four other large families so we wanted to make sure we were still able to responsibly manage our food scraps on holiday.

We sourced a host that was super accommodating. We did daily drop offs over a week and management of food scraps .

We will continue to utilise ShareWaste for camping trips & holidays in the future! My experience of ShareWaste so far has been fantastic – easy to sign up to and the website is very user friendly.

Why and when did you start composting?

Since I can remember, our family has composted our food scraps & green waste. Once I left home (many lunas ago), I took this life skill with me. For me, composting is a journey and a meaningful way to connect with the earth. I haven’t always done things right, but that’s OK too.

Often people don’t compost because they feel they don’t have enough time and that it will be too hard – what do you think?

Composting works seamlessly into my normal daily activities. I enjoy the whole process including reaping the benefits – I actually make my own potting mix which makes great gifts for friends and whānau.  

I would say, If you can invest in a fridge to keep your food fresh, then you should also invest in a compost system that will work for you and your family.

I’ve found a lot of people simply don’t compost because they are unaware of the harmful effects of placing food in the bin. I would encourage people to learn more about circular vs linear economy, and greenhouse gases produced by food scraps.

Do you have any tips you use to make it easier and less time consuming?

Find a compost system that works for you! It can be as simple as digging a hole or making your own bokashi bin. Having a compost caddie in the kitchen that is easily accessible during food prep & meal time helps. Get the kids involved too or share responsibilities between household members (you might be surprised at their level of interest).

Have you faced any challenges on your compost journey? How did you overcome these? 

Of course! Composting is a continuous journey. I would also say having a good understanding of the conditions of your compost is key. Too wet? Add carbon and aerate. Too dry? Add water/more nitrogen. Stinky? Add carbon and aerate. Too many fruit flies? Be sure to bury your scraps & sprinkle some garden lime on top. Perseverance is key, you will learn to ‘troubleshoot’ as you go.

What is the main benefit for you and your family from composting?

If I had to only share ONE (because there are many!), it would be that I am teaching a valuable life skill to my children and normalising responsible management of food scraps. As a mother, this is extremely rewarding.

Victoria loves composting so much that she has even created New Zealand’s first clay composter, the Pacha Pot

About ShareWaste NZ
ShareWaste connects people who wish to recycle their food scraps with their neighbours who are already composting. You can join ShareWaste NZ at www.sharewaste.org.nz or download the app at the App Store or the Google Play Store. If you are about to start your composting journey or want to learn more about a different system, check out our free upcoming workshops on our Compost Collective workshop calendar.


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