Sophie Kaplan is a sophomore at The George Washington University studying political communication. She heard of Planet Forward’s Storyfest 2016 contest from her professor, Dr. Cheers, who is also the educational partnerships coordinator for Planet Forward. For her submission, Sophie created a video that focused on Compost Cab, an organization that encourages local composting to create hundreds of pounds of nutrient-rich, fertile and natural soil.
We asked her a few questions to learn more about her entry.
Q: Describe Compost Cab’s innovation in simple terms for those who have never heard about it.
A: Compost Cab is a company that picks up your waste for you — similar to garbage truck — except they only take your food scraps and use it to make fertile soil.
Q: What was the process behind creating your submission? Why did you choose to communicate your innovation through this video format?
A: I really wanted to do my project on Compost Cab but I was having a hard time getting in contact with them. After 5 calls and a few emails, I finally got a hold of them and set up a time to interview the founder, Jeremy, and go to the compost site and farmers market. I had a really good time filming this video. The compost site was in the National Arboretum. After I was done filming, I helped them unload all the waste and start the composting process. I think video is a really fun and interactive way to communicate (a message). It engages a variety of senses...
Q: Why is this innovation so important to you? Why do you think it is one of the most essential methods to help sustainable cities?
A: I really wanted to find an innovation about trash. My dad worked on landfills and waste treatment plants when I was younger. It always baffled me when I was younger that we just buried all of our trash. In a city that is growing exponentially, where we put our trash is becoming a really important question. Composting is a way to reduce the waste that we produce but also to reuse our waste and put it back into the cycle of earth. This innovation makes it easier for people and families to participate in this cycle of life.
(Editor's note: Answers edited for grammar and spelling.)