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CULTURE

Ecoscraps Organic Potting Soils

Reducing food waste and slowing landfill growth through composted soils

by Kevin Serai
on 26 January 2016

Though the practice dates back to ancient times, most people composting these days seem to be avid home gardeners with some time on their hands or science class students. Urging others to get in on the all-natural endeavor is Ecoscraps, a Utah-based company that's making composting even more mainstream. On a mission to “grow gardens, not landfills,” they collect food waste from local restaurants, grocery stores, stadiums and any other willing establishment to repurpose as Earth-friendly fertilizers and plant food. Started in 2010 by co-founders Daniel Blake and Craig Martineau, it's quite literally a business built upon someone else’s trash and has quickly become the smart soil option for any green thumb.

Blake conceived the idea for Ecoscraps after witnessing massive amounts of food being wasted at an all-you-can-eat buffet. "It really struck me that 30 minutes ago I had spent money to buy the food and now I was throwing it away. There was nothing wrong with it, I was just full—and French toast doesn't make for good leftovers. It struck me that I was treating food as nothing more than a cheap commodity," he tells CH. He rapidly went to work researching ways to turn that unwanted food (mostly the fruits and vegetables) into something useful. "We realized that you could use food waste to create premium, organic garden products like soils and plant foods that benefit the environment instead of sending them to the landfill where they create all sorts of environmental problems," Blake explains. And so far, every aspect of the business model has been a hit. Restaurants spend less hauling away their waste (EcoScraps picks it up), retailers profit from selling the product, consumers feel good about investing in something that's healthy for the planet and, ultimately, less waste ends up in landfills, where they can often produce harmful methane gas. Now, Ecoscraps is sold in major retailers across the nation—including Target, Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot and more, with many others hoping to get in on the action.

Ecoscraps offers 12 different products—from citrus and avocado plant food to moisture retaining potting mix—all available to purchase on their website, which also provides a store locator if you prefer to pick it up in person. Prices start at $10.

Images courtesy of Ecoscraps

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