By Kurtis Judd, Member-at-Large for the GCIEdit (February 2015): We, the Green Chemistry Initiative, are not associated with this product, but we do think that it’s a great option for household composting. If you’re looking for product information about The Greenlid, including where to purchase one for yourself, please visit www.thegreenlid.ca. Thanks!
Despite its many benefits, composting has not become the fixture that recycling has in Canadian homes. Walk by most subdivisions in Ontario on garbage day and you’ll see a blue box at the end of almost every driveway, but the green bin is a less frequent sight. According to Statistics Canada, in 2011, 61% of Canadian households composted their organic waste in some form. This is up from 39% in 1994, but just by my general perceptions, which are based on the practices of friends and family, we can do better.
I’ve had the conversation before, and many people seem to understand the importance of composting, but either aren’t sure how best to do it, or have tried it, and grew tired of dealing with the rotting mess in their kitchen that caused a fruit fly infestation, and left a rancid container to clean each time it was emptied. In apartments especially composting can be quite inconvenient, and this is enough to make some people not even bother.
More people will compost if we can eliminate some of these inconveniences with sound engineering, and University of Toronto alumni members Morgan Wyatt and Jackson Wyatt are attempting to do just that with The Greenlid project. Morgan received his HBSc at U of T, while Jackson is an Innis College graduate. They have designed a water-resistant, fully compostable container made of post-consumer moulded pulp, about the size of a KFC bucket. It comes with a reusable lid (the Greenlid), and compostable lids for disposing of the container in a green bin. The water resistance is a huge key to the design, as it leaves very little mess to deal with and may be just what people need to convince them to compost more frequently. For $60, you can buy a package that includes 24 containers and one reusable Greenlid, a quantity which should last about a year. This price may still be a little steep, but the product is still new, so there may be room for that price to come down as the manufacturing process is better understood. [Edit (February 2015): this pricing is now out of date, please visit www.thegreenlid.ca for the latest pricing information.]
I asked the designers what their biggest challenge was in designing The Greenlid via their website, and Morgan Wyatt responded quickly. He said coming from an academic background, where research is easy, navigating the manufacturing world was difficult. “With manufacturers, there aren’t the same types of online resources, and there is a lot more direct interaction to find the right partner,” he said.
Using Kickstarter, Morgan and Jackson reached their pledge goal of $25,000 on March 16, 2014 and will be sending the first batch of Greenlid packages out to pledge donors in the near future. They will also be pitching The Greenlid on CBC’s popular show Dragon’s Den on April 11 (set to air next season). For more information about The Greenlid visit their website at www.thegreenlid.ca, or check out some of the cool videos on their YouTube channel. Anything to get more people composting and diverting waste from landfills is a positive change, so if you have any friends or family who have decided to give up on composting, let them know about The Greenlid.