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Getting Hands-on with Composting

Cheshire Academy students are taught to be global thinkers, selfless, and considerate of the world around them. So, it should be of no surprise that junior Sahana Long and sophomore Aishlinn Parrinello have stepped forward as student representatives on the Cheshire Composting Task Force, a subgroup of the Coalition for a Sustainable Cheshire. 

The Coalition, which was organized to work with local organizations and residents to implement environmentally sustainable projects, is led by a Board of Directors and officers. Included on the Board is Jennifer Dillon, sustainability coordinator and history teacher at CA. 

One of the Coalition’s efforts is focused on getting more Cheshire residents and businesses to pursue composting. Over the summer, Dillon invited Parrinello and Long to serve as student representatives on the new task force. 

Composting was not foreign for Parrinello, whose family implemented the recycling method at their home about one year ago. Being home due to COVID-19 this spring and summer really helped Parrinello to further reflect on her actions. “I really started to care about not wasting food scraps and, since then, I have used the compost every day. I had a budding interest in the environment and have been researching ways to better your carbon footprint and reduce waste. I found that composting benefits the environment and is a really easy way to make a difference.” 

The Task Force’s current project is called Seeding Backyard Composting. Their hope is to raise $4,000 through tax-deductible donations, which will be matched dollar for dollar by Sustainable CT if their goal is met. With the funds, they plan to purchase 120 composters, 100 of which will be raffled off to Cheshire residents, and 20 will be donated to local farms and gardens. 

To better promote the project, the Task Force split into two teams—the project team and the education/marketing team. Parrinello and Long are members of the latter, which has been tasked with developing a campaign page, a promotional video, social media posts, email newsletters, and other efforts. 

While the Coalition and Task Force are in the beginning stages of their efforts, Parrinello admits she’s taken away a lot from her involvement that will help her for years to come. 

“I have already learned a lot from this experience—finding effective ways of communication, voicing my ideas to a group of people, and deciding on what works best for the project,” Parrinello said. “Overall, I’ve mostly learned how to work with others on something with a deadline that is not a school project, which is experience I can use in the future.” 

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