Today’s Solutions: January 19, 2022

A Nottingham-based initiative called the Urban Worm Community Interest Company (UWC) is helping spur on an urban worm farming movement in the UK that will help the nation deal with waste while simultaneously providing high-grade fertilizer.

So far, the enterprise has been granted 50,000 GBP from the national lottery to send out 1,000 packs of composting worms to anyone who has a DIY worm farm that can handle a population of 100 wriggly worms.

“Using worms to manage organic household waste is happening at scale all over the world except in the UK,” states Anna de la Vega, UWC’s managing director. “The reality of climate change, natural resource depletion, and mass urbanization present unprecedented threats to global food security and the survival of humanity.”

Composting worms—called tiger worms because of their red skin—can eat up to half their body weight in organic waste per day and can reduce the volume of that waste by a whopping 90 percent in two to six months.

“The process particularly lends itself to the urban environment with small-scale indoor, low-tech, and low-cost systems,” de la Vega continues. “With 83 percent of the UK living in cities, an urban worm farming movement is essential for future food security and provides easy solutions for our kitchen waste.”

The solid waste that these worms produce is grade-A soil that is rich in the 14 nutrients plants need. A meager tablespoon of worm manure per plant is so nutrient-dense that it’s enough for an entire growing season. Just be aware that worm urine, which is drained out of the bottom of the worm farm, is so potent that it should be diluted before being used to fertilize anything.

If you are somehow short on food waste, then the worms can be fueled with damp shredded paper and cotton socks, or other textiles made of natural fibers. “Worms just want to eat and mate. If you give them enough food and space, they won’t try to escape,” de la Vega says assuredly.

“If you don’t want them multiplying, don’t give them loads of food. They’re really clever: they’re hermaphrodites, so they can all lay eggs. But they don’t lay unless there’s enough food and space to sustain and increase in their population.”

So far, worms have been sent to 26 schools across the nation, and even to a prison. Interested parties who are not at all familiar with worm farming can find guidance from the videos that are available on the UWC website. A few months after their worm farm has been started, another video will be sent to the worm farmers that instructs them on harvesting their fresh fertilizer.

If the urban worm farming movement is a success, then the national lottery has promised to continue funding the project.

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

The Philippines bans child marriage to help stop child abuse

According to a report issued last year by the United Nations Children’s Fund, more than half a billion girls and women across the globe were married as children, meaning under the age of majority (18). ... Read More

This circular leather alternative is made from algae and peels

As people are increasingly becoming reluctant to use clothes and fashion accessories made out of animal-sourced leather, more and more designers are turning their eyes towards more sustainable and ethical alternatives. One of the latest ... Read More

Rapidly retrofitting old buildings is key for climate goals – Here̵...

Buildings account for about 40 percent of annual global carbon emissions. In order to meet our climate goals, every building on the planet will have to be net-zero by 2050. But since most of the ... Read More

IKEA buys land ravaged by hurricane to transform into forests

The Optimist Daily has shared several stories about the popular Swedish furniture company IKEA and its environmentally friendly initiatives such as its buyback and resell program, its pledge to stop using plastic packaging, its zero-waste ... Read More

This market is tossing “use-by” dates to help curb food waste

The British supermarket Morrisons has decided to remove “use-by” dates on milk packaging by the end of the month in an effort to save millions of pints of milk from being needlessly thrown away each ... Read More

The population of Ugandan tree-climbing lions is growing

One of the only populations of Ishasha tree-climbing lions in the world resides in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP). Unfortunately, the population faces numerous threats such as loss of habitat, climate change, and illegal ... Read More