Rose Buds: Java Compost

At Rosebud, we believe that taking care of the earth is a vital part of our personal, and communal wellness as humans. Our CBD Oil is 100% from the earth (the hemp plant and coconuts for MCT oil), and we take care to make sure the ingredients are organically grown and rigorously tested, but when it came to our packaging, we knew we could do better. 

Soon all Rosebud CBD Oil will come in 100% compostable and recyclable boxes made from Hemp Paper. We’re not perfect, but we’re determined and excited to build more sustainable business practices as Rosebud grows!

“Compost” has turned into a buzzword as companies and brands turn to a more environmental approach to their products and packaging, but we discovered there is a huge lack of education around the concept. As we approach the launch of our 100% compostable and recyclable boxes, we wanted to provide our community with all the information they need to properly dispose of their Rosebud boxes.

We reached out to our friends at Java Compost to get the scoop on what composting is and how to get started. Below is our conversation with founders Michelle and Java, keep reading to learn more about their brand and all about composting.

Image courtesy of Java Compost

The Story Behind Java Compost

In a sentence or two, what do you do at Java’s Compost? 

We are a residential and commercial compost pickup service and backyard compost consulting company.

Were you always into composting? If not, what got you started?

Not at all! I was actually anti- composting for years until I watched the documentary Dirt, The Movie. I feared mice and smells and just thought the whole idea was pretty gross. After watching the movie, it made me see that my food scraps actually had a purpose and was a valuable resource. Before then, I just thought of it as garbage (see ABOUT US for the full story).

When did you have the realization that you could turn composting into a business? 

It was pretty early on after we started composting in our apartment that we conceived of the business idea. We thought it would be cool to see if we could collect our neighbor’s food waste for a fee and bring it to the community garden to compost it. After some research, we realized that was actually illegal in NJ but we were so committed to composting at that point we pursued the idea until we found a solution to make it work. 

Image courtesy of Java Compost

Composting 101 via Java Compost

As the expert in composting, we’d love for you to break down (pun intended) some composting basics: 

  • Why is composting important when it comes to sustainability?

Our current methods of dealing with food waste aren’t sustainable over the long term. Available landfill space is limited and when food goes into landfills it rots emitting methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Incineration is also not a great solution because it doesn’t allow us to capture the valuable nutrients that are in our food scraps. When composted, these nutrients can be used to amend and restore our depleted soils so we can grow healthier and more nutritious food. 

  • Why can’t you just put decomposable and compostable packaging into the trash? 

If you put these items in the regular trash and they end up in a landfill, they will get buried. A landfill is an anaerobic environment, meaning there is no oxygen. Under these conditions, even organic materials like food, paper, or compostable products don’t have an opportunity to decompose because they need oxygen in order to do so. 

  • For the beginner composter, what are easy ways to get started? 

The easiest way to compost is to see if there is a pickup service in your area or even a drop-off option. You can check out the interactive map on the website of The Institute for Local Self Reliance to see if one exists where you live.

If you want to be more hands-on and do backyard composting, you first need to decide what type of composting system is right for you. We suggest getting a tumbler that is easy to turn and that has two separate compartments which allow you to use one compartment for your fresh scraps and one for your decomposing scraps. Tumblers are great because many of them are animal proof which is one of people’s main concerns about backyard composting. 

The other essential items you need in order to compost successfully are a bin to collect your scraps and a steady supply of carbon-rich material like wood chips, dry leaves, sawdust, shredded paper, or wood pellets. If you don’t add enough carbon material to your food scraps, you will encounter smells and a mucky mess because the microbiology that thrives in a wet environment produces a bad smell.

Image courtesy of Java Compost

For The Love Of Compost

Aside from becoming your business, how has composting affected you personally? How else has it changed the way you live? 

In so many ways. I have now become that person that carries around her apple core until I get home so I can compost it! It’s so bizarre.

It has made me a lot more conscious of how I shop for food and also how best to store my food so it can last as long as possible. The first step in decreasing food waste is to make sure you aren’t overbuying and using what you have. But in reality, with three kids and busy life, food will go bad. It’s unavoidable and in those instances, I feel so much better knowing that I can compost it. There’s also all the unusable parts of food that we don’t eat like banana peels, chicken bones, that all goes right in our compost bin. We have very little trash because we compost. 

I would say it has also helped me look at ways I can reduce waste in other parts of my life. Right now, I am focusing on swapping out single-use plastic bottles where possible. I am a big fan of shampoo and conditioner bars and also refilling food items like spices, grains, and beans.

As a busy entrepreneur, how do you take care of yourself? 

Like many entrepreneurs, I am not great at this. Part of the problem is that I really like what I do so it’s hard to step away from it and remember there is more to life than work! I do try and be outside wherever possible and we have recently gotten really into growing our own food and trying to build a small suburban homestead so I see that as a self-care activity. 

What’s next for Java’s Compost? 

Continuing to build our compost community and provide excellent customer service to all who join in. We hope to be able to offer Drop Off Programs in several towns in the very near future which is something we don’t currently have and we’re excited to launch so more people can have access to composting. 

Rapid Fire Q’s With Java Compost

Favorite way to start your day: 

If it’s sunny, I love to sit outside with a cup of tea. 

Favorite way to unwind at the end of the day: 

Tik Tok! I know, I know but it’s addicting. My kids are horrified that I’m on it but it makes me laugh so they will have to get over it. 

Your go-to pump up or “good mood” song: 

Love Adele and Amy Winehouse. Kind of somber music but they have such beautiful voices. I have a horrible voice so I am always in awe of people that can actually sing. 

3 other sustainable small businesses you love and you think people should know about: 

Good Bottle Refill Shop

Dry Good Refillery

The Green Tap

Be sure to follow Java Compost on Instagram for more inside of their business and info on composting! And stay tuned for the launch of our 100% compostable and recyclable boxes!