Writing Contest Winners 2015-2016

Second Place, Grades 6-8

Nirantheri Vithiananthan
Grade 6, McCall Middle School, Winchester
Ms. Paladino, Teacher

A Worthwhile Investment

Bay State Fertilizer - how valuable is it? It's renewed, green, and earth friendly. It's the best choice for everyone, including the planet. I think that the best way to alert communities about this environmentally-friendly resource is to talk to children. Children are a lot more receptive toward helpful causes and things that help them feel good about the world. I feel that they will serve as powerful advocates. When adults hear children talking about something that is good for the
environment, they usually catch on and start practicing what they hear. It happened in my home - recycling became a part of our household after my sister and I insisted on it. I feel that good changes begin at home.

Schools could start "Farm to Table" gardens, and promote Bay State Fertilizer by using it in those gardens. It would be an exciting project to do at the school and will help raise awareness for the fertilizer and its benefits. The hands on experience will definitely help spread the word. Children will start talking to parents, who may decide that the fertilizer sounds like a good idea, and try using it themselves, and hopefully spread the word to others.

Another way to raise awareness is to go door-to-door or person-to-person and try to explain to people how Bay State Fertilizer is a better choice than a chemical fertilizer. I could definitely work with my friends and engage all our immediate neighbors. Think of how strong that message will be because of our community. Chemical fertilizers contain harmful substances that can affect the way a plant grows. They can cause plant burn, which kills the plant, or can decrease the amount of nutrients in the soil that are necessary in the plant's growth. Chemical fertilizer can also contaminate groundwater,
leaving some communities that rely on groundwater, with no clean water. Explaining these harmful effects of chemical fertilizers will help people understand that using Bay State Fertilizer is a safer and environmentally-friendlier way to fertilize plants.

One fun way to alert the community about "sludge" fertilizer is to have a public event where people in the communities are able to walk around and learn about going green, and what they can do to make a difference. There could be fun activities and trivia games that would make the entire event exciting and teach people about going green. In Winchester, we have our Farmer's Market that meets weekly, we have our Town Day, the En Ka Fair. These are all great places to hold events to educate our community, which is quite receptive to these ideas. One activity could be decorating a flower pot, then filling it with dirt and Bay State Fertilizer before planting a seed in it and having the artist take it home. This would be fun to do, and would also demonstrate the uses of the fertilizer to children and their parents. At the end of this event, someone could give a lecture to the adults on the uses of fertilizer, and some of the huge advantages of Bay State Fertilizer. This would make the event appropriate for all ages, so more people will show up. One of the reasons I feel that this is a great avenue to spread the word is because we could invite local landscape companies and suggest the benefit of using Bay State Fertilizer. It will help us spread the message beyond local families.

One more way to alert our community is to write an article in the town newspaper. The newspaper is read by many people every day, so having an article in the newspaper will inform many people about Bay State Fertilizer, by giving facts on the advantages of this organic fertilizer. Bay State Fertilizer is cheaper than most fertilizers, and serves the same purpose. You can buy bags of it in local stores, or buy pallets of it for a pretty cheap price. It doesn't "burn" your plants, and supplies your lawn with the
same nutrients as a chemical fertilizer, without the dangers that chemicals add to your soil. Explaining all these important facts in an article will allow people in the community to learn about the uses of fertilizer.

I feel that we can all work together to increase awareness and the number of people using and advocating the use of Bay State Fertilizer. I am keen on talking up this because it seems to be a no-brainer. Local, converted, green fertilizer vs. commercial, environmentally unfriendly chemical fertilizer. The choice is simple. It may be an effort that expands slowly but it will definitely be a worthwhile investment for a community like Winchester where everyone tries their hardest to be green.

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