You may remember the organic waste fiasco. The easy solution; a worm hotel. However, I only have temporary work contracts and thus I am reluctant to buy bigger things. After throwing my organic waste in the regular waste bin week after week, I got more and more frustrated. Thus, in the end, I decided to invest even if it would mean that I may not be able to keep the worm box for a long time. In my letter to the Christkind there was only one item, a worm hotel. Luckily the Christkind read my letter and so, I got the worm hotel for Christmas.
My mom assembled the box for me and when I arrived in The Netherlands I ordered the worms, which is itself a funny task. A couple of days later, the worms were delivered. I am very excited. After work, I started the worm hotel, following the instructions of the company I got my worm box from (wurmkiste.at). Now I have to wait 72 hours before I can start feeding the worms. The worms are dizzy after the long travel and thus they need some rest before they are disturbed again. I parked my pretty hotel in the kitchen. It is indeed a pretty box. My mom even bought a colorful knob for the worm tea tray, which is below the box. The worm tea is a nutrient-rich liquid that is naturally derived from the compost. With the tea, plants can be fertilized. Apart from this, one can harvest the soil after some time. The soil can then of course also be used in the household.
I have asked wurmkiste.at if they know more about their customers. I was actually surprised that an Austrian company is providing this product. As far as I know, organic waste collection is standard in Austria. According to a customer survey from 2021 most customers of wurmkiste.at are living in an urban area (64,5 % urban, 17,6% suburbs 17,9% rural). The main reasons for customers to get a worm hotel are 1) doing something good for the environment and 2) using the soil and fertilizer for their own plants. Thus, the lack of organic waste collection seems not to be a main reason for getting a worm hotel. Wurmkiste.at does deliver its products within Austria, to Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. They have a Dutch webpage (wormenkrukje.nl) and they are about to translate their main page to English so that more people have access to their products. I was also told that other municipalities in the Netherlands cooperate with other worm hotel providers. Outdoor worm hotels are managed by smaller communities as an alternative and solution to the lacking organic waste collection. Amsterdam seems to be one of these municipalities. This is understandable as Amsterdam commits to a circular economy.
As I have stated in an earlier post soil is a non-renewable resource because it takes long for a couple of centimeters of soil to build. Soil is a valuable resource, soil degradation, and desertification are serious issues. Organic waste is a waste that should not be wasted! I also think that composting is an easy way to educate people. It is easy to observe how nature creates something new out of something dead. People are more and more losing contact with nature, a worm hotel is an easy way to reconnect with nature and learn that life is a continuous circle. And finally, the worms are soooo cute!