Monday, March 05, 2007

As the Worm Turns

Worms are getting their day in the sun. They are finding homes in portable compost containers in apartments and even offices. There, they compost organic waste and create rich soil for planting. Even California's Integrated Waste Management Board ranked composting worms as the number two way to recycle in the office.

Not only are earth worms gaining popularity with people, but also with businesses. Some companies like TerraCycle are selling the soil that worms digest. According to an article on yesterday, the company is cashing in on the surge in organic products--despite the lack of strict definitions of the word.

"Sales of organic products, especially food, have surged of late. But the National Gardening Association estimates just 5 percent of the $8.5 billion U.S. fertilizer and insecticide industry is all-natural, with uncertainty about what 'organic' means muddying the picture, according to experts," the article states.

Yet companies are making the move to create genuinely natural products: "That may be changing, with market researchers Freedonia Group estimating 10 percent annual growth for the organic fertilizer market, twice the projected growth for all lawn and garden goods."

It's appropriate that now companies are starting to design products because of public demand for green goods, otherwise they couldn't make a profit, but it's not like worms are some sort of new technology. At least the benefit that worms provide is finally coming to light and people can stop thinking of them simply as slimy, wiggling garden dwellers.