With a family to cook for, Suzanne Carpenter typically ends up with a bit of waste.
“There’s a lot of scraps at the end of each meal and it’s really hard for me to then just throw it in the garbage can,” said Carpenter, who lives in Saratoga County.
Like many environmentally-conscious people, she decided to start composting, but in her case, all she does is leave the scraps in a small bucket outside her front door.
“It’s super convenient,” she said. “I have Whitney come every two weeks and it’s super cost-effective.”
Whitney refers to Whitney Davis, who started her company Loving Earth Compost about a year ago. On pickup days she shows up to the homes of customers like Carpenter with a fresh, empty bucket to leave behind in place of the one filled with kitchen scraps.
“Ok, so that’s about 15 pounds, minus two, which is the bucket,” Davis said as she weighed Carpenter’s bucket right in her driveway.
With about 70 total customers, the Saratoga Springs woman does between 10 and 30 pickups on a given day. She says the whole point is to make living sustainably a bit more convenient.
“There’s a lot of anxiety that comes with trying to live a sustainable lifestyle because it’s almost impossible to do it perfectly,” Davis said midway through a recent pickup run.
All of the legwork she saves customers usually results in several hours and many miles behind the wheel.
“It does take a lot of time but I really enjoy it,” Davis said. “Getting an electric vehicle or at least a hybrid, getting a vehicle that I can be as efficient as possible and reduce my carbon impact is the next step.”
The last stop on Whitney’s run is either her home or a farm in the North Country where she adds all of the scraps from the buckets to new or already existing compost piles. After it’s properly mixed, the scraps take a few months to fully decompose.
“It’s messy, it is smelly and sometimes you deal with bugs and other creatures and it takes time, so that’s what I do, I do all of the dirty work,” said Whitney, who said the “greens” or scraps take few months to decompose after they’re properly mixed with “browns” like leaves or woodchips.
Like other composting businesses, Davis’s customers get a bag of fully composted soil at the end of the year. To separate herself, she adds in an educational report detailing their personal environmental impact.
“My goal is for customers to really have that full-circle experience,” Davis said. “You get the numbers to show ‘this is equivalent to keeping my car off the road for however many weeks’ and ‘this is the equivalent to keeping the amount of lights off.’”
Carpenter says the service has been as easy as advertised, which is the type of review Davis hopes will inspire others to sign up for her eco-friendly service.
“Once Living Earth Compost opened up, I thought this is amazing,” Carpenter said. “It’s very convenient, I don't even have to bring my scraps anywhere and it’s been great ever since.”
“I love getting my hands dirty and knowing I’m making an impact, knowing that I’m helping to spread awareness,” Davis said. “For right now, it just feels like the right path for me.”