Doing Good For The Earth
Frewsburg Business Welcomes Compostable Waste
Sarah Moller studied photography after graduating from Frewsburg Central School and actually had her own business, but soon realized editing pictures for hours was not enjoyable.
She liked the fun side of photography when she was meeting people and snapping photos, but the hours of editing on the computer was not the way she wanted to spend her time.
“I want to be outside getting my hands dirty,” said the 25 year old, who learned to love the Earth while being raised to participate in outdoor activities, such as camping and hiking.
She thought she had a unique idea when she came up with the plan to start a composting business, but soon learned there were others doing it around the country “and possibly the world.” Clearwater Creek Compost was started a week before the COVID-19 shutdown.
“I just kind of kept plugging away,” said the entrepreneur. “Social media has been my biggest marketing outlet.”
Since things are beginning to open up, she intends to promote her business at festivals and outside events.
“I really just want to teach people how to compost and about composting. I know many people know about it, but not all of the ins and outs. The more people know about it the more they will compost themselves.”
She supplies customers with either 2 1/2- or 5-gallon buckets that are collected weekly for residential accounts. Commercial accounts are collected twice weekly and three times in the summer months. The monthly fee for residential customers is $15 and it is $30 for commercial accounts. She offers compost free of charge to customers and all others may purchase the nutrient-dense product.
According to Moller, compost is a mixture of a few essential components. Nitrogen rich material, such as kitchen scraps, carbon rich material, such as dried leaves and sticks and fireplace ash, oxygen and water are needed. About 25% of the average household trash could be composted, but unfortunately, most people send it to the landfill. Since landfills are designed to store trash and not to break it down, organic matter does not decompose in the oxygen-free environment.
The businessowner eats vegan 100% of the time when she is home and about 80% when she is away.
“Basically, everything in your garbage can be composted when you are vegan. You can’t compost meat or dairy.”
All fruits and vegetables, any grains, including bread, cereal and cooked and uncooked pasta are compostable. Paper towels can be composted when used with biodegradable cleaners, but not when chemicals are involved. The tubes from wrapping paper, toilet paper and paper towels, as well as newspapers, junk mail and office paper, but not the windows in envelopes, are all compostable. Human and pet hair, sawdust, fireplace ash, houseplant trimmings, egg shells, leaves and sticks that fit in the bucket are accepted.
She asks that her clients remove rubber bands from broccoli stalks, as well as all produce stickers and twist ties. No plastic or wax paper, including butter wrappers, should be added to the bucket.
“Since I’m still a small business, I’m using home composting methods which are more natural,” she explained. “So, I just repurposed some things. I will be building more equipment as the business grows.”
She found some items her family had that could be used in other ways. For example, one of her screens was an old rolling bin that her mother used for storing toys when her children were young. She removed the door from a vacant rabbit hutch and now screens the materials through the wire mesh.
Pits and peels are accepted, even though they take longer to break down. After screening they are returned to the main compost bucket.
“I can’t take meat or dairy. Animal proteins and animal fats break down a lot slower and they tend to smell and attract animals and a whole lot of problems. Hopefully someday I can take them. I don’t turn away any material that could break down and return to the earth.”
“Reducing our waste is huge. I want to do what I can to make a difference,” she said. “It’s a municipal thing in a lot of cities and it would be a cool thing to make it a municipal thing here.”
She has been overwhelmed by the support she has received and has had people tell her how happy they are that she is doing this.
“I have never been prouder to live in this community,” she said with a smile. “I’m growing my business. Every week we have a couple of new customers. It is growing quickly and it is a good problem to have.”
Clear Creek Compost covers Jamestown, Frewsburg, Falconer, Bemus Point, Lakewood, Route 394 in Ashville and all points in between. She has seen an increase in her Jamestown customers over the last several weeks. She offers yard waste pick-up in the spring and fall and should be contacted for details.
Doing good for the earth is her goal. Last year she raised money to send to Australia when they were experiencing massive brushfires. She recently launched Clearwater Creek Clothing where one dollar from every item sold will be used to plant trees and flowers in the local area beginning in the city of Jamestown and later will include other localities. Donations can be given to the tree fund by going to the website.
“I want that to grow, trees improve air quality in that area,” she states. “It’s miniscule, but every little bit makes a difference.”
Ms. Moller resides just over the Pennsylvania state line in Russell, but her business is located in Frewsburg.
Clearwater Creek Compost can be found on Instagram and Facebook or by calling 485-3163. Their website is www.clearwatercreeksavetheearth.com.
Vegan Fudgy Cake
2 T nut butter
2 T cocoa
1/4 c mashed avocado
1 T maple syrup or honey
1/8 c chocolate chunks
Mix all ingredients in a microwave safe dish. Microwave on full power for 2 minutes. Makes one serving.
Pink Breakfast Smoothie
1/2 c oats
1 c frozen strawberries
1 small banana
2 T nut butter (I use peanut butter)
Honey (I use 2 T) or monkfruit
Milk of choice (I use almond cashew blend)
1 T chia or other seeds, optional
1/2 c baby spinach or greens
Put all ingredients in blender, adding milk last. Add a little more milk for a thinner smoothie.
Balsamic Avocado Toast
1 bagel of choice (I like blueberry for added sweetness)
1 ripe avocado
1/2 c chopped mushrooms
1 T minced garlic
Chopped spinach, optional
Seeds for topping, optional
Add a few tablespoons of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and water a frying pan. Add mushrooms and sautÈ on medium-low heat. Toast the bagel. Cut and mash avocado. Add minced garlic and a little more balsamic vinegar to the pan for the last two minutes of sautÈing. Put mashed avocado on top of the bagel and add sauteed mushrooms on top of that.