Results for a Survey Conducted March 5, 2009

     On March 5, 2009, the team of Vermiculture 101 surveyed 109 students at a premier high school in the Philippines. To the 109 students, we asked them the question: “Do you think worms are scary?” After collating the results, here is what we got :

Survey Results of Being Afraid of Worms

     We also had a follow-up question if the person in question was afraid of worms. Here are the results :

Reasons Why People are Afraid of Worms

 

Legend:

1 – Worms are icky.

2 – Worms wriggle around.

3 – Worms look dirty.

4 – Worms don’t have bones.

5 – Some are big, some are small.

6 – They have a lot of segments.

7 – They make hands dirty.

8 – They remind me of intestines.

9 – They remind me of scary movies.

10 – They look like snakes

11 – Other (most of the others wrote slimy)

 

     Thus, even though only 22% of our respondents stated they were afraid of worms, that (to us) is still considered a big percentage. One of our goals as an advocacy promoting Vermiculture is to raise awareness to worms and make people realize that worms aren’t scary at all.

     Thank you all for taking your time to  read this. Have a nice day. :D

Getting to know the worms

This is an introduction to the worms used in composting…

Eisenia foetida: The Red Wiggler worm. (A.K.A.: Tiger Worm, Redworm, Brandling Worm)

     This kind of worm is especially adapted to living in a decaying environment, especially ones such as rotting vegetables, manure and actual compost, which makes it a very good choice for vermicomposting. It does not burrow into soil, and is found in habitats where other worms will have a very difficult time surviving, therefore lessening the competition for food and space for Red Wrigglers. When it is threatened, it releases a disgusting-smelling liquid, most probably as a chemical self-defense.

 

Lumbricus rubellus: The Red Earthworm

     You can tell that a worm is Lumbricus rubellus if it has an iridescent red sheen on its back, and a pale yellow one  on its belly. Unlike Red Wigglers, they can burrow into soil sometimes, and are found in dark, moist areas with more or less acidically neutral soil.

 

     Now that you’ve achieved a heightened understanding of the worms, go ahead and use this knowledge to take better care of them.

Good luck!

The Ten Commandments of Vermiculture:

These Ten Commandments (or Tenets) of Vermiculture will show you the basic things you need to do/should not do with your vermicompost.

 

I. Thou shalt keep thy worms on dark, moist and cool locations.

II. Thou shalt create 8-12 holes underneath thy bin.

III. Thou shalt not feed thy worms with meat, pesticides, and other synthetic materials.

IV. Thou shalt not put non-biodegradable material in thy vermicompost.

V.  Thou shalt not put thy organic material on top of thy vermicompost.

VI. Thou shalt not keep thy vermicompost wet.

VII. Thou shalt not introduce thy other organisms in thy vermicompost.

VIII. Thou shalt not treat earthworms as cockroaches.

IX. Thou shalt not divide thy worms by brute force to have them multiply.

X. Thou shalt keep thy worms with tender, love and care everyday.

Think worms are useless?

     In the link we have provided below, we can see the story of a vermiculturist in the Philippines named Antonio de Castro. The link below also lets us see how vermiculture is helpful and how it makes an impact in our daily lives. For your information, 48 Phil. Pesos= U.S.$1  (as of Feb. 22, 2009).

 http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/metro/view_article.php?article_id=73105

Vermiculture set-up guide links!

If you guys ever want to start up on vermiculture, here are some sites which give you steps on how to do it:

Compost: Video Tutorial

Composting: Written guide

S3 (Social Science Supplements) : An Introduction

     When we first hear the word “vermiculture”, we usually think of Environmental Science and Biology; during the course of this blog, we also learned about the connection of Chemistry in vermiculture. Now, we will discuss another subject which has concepts related to vermiculture; and that is Social Science, more commonly known as History/ HEKASI/ AP/ Social Studies/ etc.

     When the history of man started, vermiculture was actually already a part of our culture, it was just not that obvious during that time;  as civilizations or societies based on agriculture and settlements became more complex, it became obvious that more and more wastes accumulated. Now in  relation to the previous post, we can see that vermiculture provides a greater role in using leftover biodegradable waste.

     So guys, this is just our introduction in vermiculture’s relation to Social Science; as we move on, we will find out more connections between the two, especially in the Asian perspective (as we are based in Asia).

Think worms are useless?… THINK AGAIN.

 

     After visiting this blog, you may be wondering “Can this REALLY make a difference in our lives and in our environment? Will we REALLY benefit from all this?”. Well, we would be biased in saying yes, so we have decided to convince you that this can really MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

     On July 10, 2000, the Philippines experienced one of the worst trash-based disasters in the world. During this time, a huge mountain of trash fell upon hundreds of people in the Payatas Dumpsite in Quezon City, killing most and injuring many others. Many Filipinos still remember this event with shock and disgust.

Payatas Dumpsite, Quezon City, Philippines

Payatas Dumpsite, Quezon City, Philippines

     If you take a good look at the situation, the cause of the tragedy was garbage; the copious amounts of garbage we dispose everyday led to that terrible disaster. In 2003, the National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) estimated that the Philippines disposed around 27,397 TONS of garbage daily; in contrast, in 2000, only 19,700 tons were being disposed daily. If in 2000, the Payatas Dumpsite was already a hazard, how much more today now that the amount of waste being disposed has  increased tremendously?

     Now, you might be asking “Where does vermiculture fit into all this?”; the answer is simple, it is one of the integral components in the solution to this problem. Of all this waste, 50% of its compostion is yard, wood, and kitchen waste; in short, BIODEGRADABLE waste. This is the kind of waste that is used for composting and vermiculture. As you SHOULD know by now, composting is the process of speeding up the decomposition process in biodegradable matter; in contrast, vermiculture is composting using worms. As you can probably see by now, there is a connection between the two. Both vermiculture (and composting) turn biodegradable matter into organic fertilizer; 50% of trash in the Philippines is Biodegradable matter (and is also probably the case in other countries). THEREFORE, from this given information, we can derive the following conclusion: Vermiculture (and composting) are important in the reduction of trash.

     IF vermiculture (and composting ) are both utilized to their fullest potential (ergo, they are widely practiced and implemented), the (positive) impact of this on the amount of trash generated (and the environment) will be phenomenal. Imagine, if they ARE utilized to their fullest potential, assuming that EVERYONE practices vermiculture and composting, half of the trash produced each day will be ELIMINATED. The amount of trash will be reduced from 27, 397 tons daily to 13,698.5 tons; in short, we will prevent 13,698.5 tons of trash from being dumped daily, 95,889.5 tons weekly, appox. 383,558 tons monthly, and 5,003,377.125 tons annually. Let us tell you this, that makes a HUGE difference.

     After reading this post, we hope that you will have changed your perspective of vermiculture (and composting as well) for the better; after all, those little, seemingly insignificant things that we do turn into big things when magnified to a population of hundreds of thousands, or millions, or even billions. So remember…. if you think worms are useless….

     THINK AGAIN.

References and sources:

http://thinkgreen.wordpress.com/2007/01/23/hello-world/

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/97/Payatas-Dumpsite_Manila_Philippines02.jpg

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