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Vermicomposting For Sustainabilty E-mail
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Thursday, 31 May 2007

Vermicomposting For Sustainabilty




Joanna Kostecka

 Rzeszow University, Biology and Agriculture Department, ul. Ćwiklińskiej 2,

35-959 Rzeszów, Poland, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it

2005-2014 is the period of the Decade for Education for Sustainable Development announced by UNESCO. Sustainable development has three pillars: economic, social and ecological. Large-scale presentation of the new ideas, especially within the third pillar, is immensely important. To be a responsible citizen we should read a lot, get acquainted with new possibilities of actions and discuss them with our families and friends.

Using an earthworm ecological box will help to develop and practice many skills needed in every-day sustainable activities. When using earthworms for ecological activities in favor of sustainable development we can easily find that being responsible can be enjoyable for teachers and pupils or for children and their parents! By introducing vermicomposting to kindergarten, schools, universities, offices and enterprises it is hoped that a great environmental awareness will develop. Education of the children is the most important. It has to be stressed that well educated children will take care of education of their adult relatives.

In that paper major benefits of introducing earthworm ecological boxes for the youngest are presented. Working with worms in a “kindergarten /class /home vermi-recycling system” we can introduce a lot of various activities to the pupils. In order to increase their motivation we can grant them skills after a well performed task. The most obvious would be the skill of a worm breeder but apart from that we can introduce an activity that involves utilizing the humus produced by earthworms in order to acquire skill of a gardener. Another activity, this time on examining the earthworms, could give the pupils a skill of a scientist.

This system of skill reward can be made even much more complex and is limited only by the creativity of the teacher. There is no reason why pupils should not be able to obtain such skills as a skill of a journalist who reports on the value of vermicomposting to other classes and schools and other skills that at first might not seem relevant to the issue. Moreover, they should be informed that even a journalist should live up to the expectations of a sustainable society.

What is more, it is possible to earn money using the earthworm ecological box and its products. The class that breeds the earthworms may earn money by selling flower seedlings potted into vermicompost medium, breeding and selling aquarium fish fed with earthworm biomass (that are usually beautiful specimens, valuable to aquarium fish breeders), or selling earthworm population to an ecological box in a neighbouring class or schools as well as fishermen to use the earthworms as bait.

The whole experiment can be incorporated with many courses, namely, on mathematics pupils can be taught how to calculate the vermicomposting rate, the biomass growth rate etc; elements of economy may be taught by preparing a business plan of the entire enterprise, financial social and environmental benefits should be pointed out and made clear to the children.

Again it is only the creativity of the teachers that limits the enterprise’s scale. Pupils may learn how to make vermicomposting boxes of various types during a manual training course, which is extremely beneficial as they may need to know how to make them in case they manage to encourage their parents to perform vermicomposting at home or at work.


Last Updated ( Thursday, 31 May 2007 )
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