This summer I worked at Earth Matter, which is a composting center that manages Governors Island’s waste and educates visitors. Besides the compost piles, there are about 80 chickens, two baby goats, a bunny, and a garden. I spent some time maintaining the compost piles, but I also helped out managing the farm, taking care of the animals, and learning about organic waste and waste management in general. On Saturday’s, people would come visit Earth Matter and I played games with the children while teaching them about the importance of composting. A lot of parents had questions too so I was able to share everything I had learned. Earth Matter works with the Billion Oyster Project, which gathers shells from restaurants that would otherwise be thrown away, and regrows oysters in them to return to the harbor to clean the water. I collected the used oyster shells from the restaurants on the island, washed them off, and left them to dry. I had to sort the garbage from the island because people would always put things in the compost that didn’t belong in it like aluminum, plastics, and the occasional diaper. Because of that I’m very conscious of where I’m putting my garbage and I’ve tried to make other people conscious of it too. My time there was a lot of physical work but I still got to learn a lot more about composting, plants, and animals, and I enjoyed getting my hands dirty for a cause I really believe in.