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Worms take centre stage

They call her the worm lady. And Gerrie Baker doesn’t mind. In fact, it’s something she’s rather proud of.

They call her the worm lady.

And Gerrie Baker doesn’t mind. In fact, it’s something she’s rather proud of.

Worms are the reason her family produces only a small grocery bag of garbage every six months.

“I’m trying to get everyone to compost. We’ve all become very good at recycling inert objects, like glass, metal and plastics,” she said. “But now we have to compost organic objects.”

And it’s not just food waste, she said.

“You can compost dryer lint, pet fur, popsicle sticks, holey socks, wool or thread if you knit or sew, pencil shavings, rabbit poop, dog poop and old towels,” she said.

All it takes, she said, is half a pound — or between 600 and 1,000 — of earthworms.

There are certain fears associated with worms, she said. “But the concept that they are slimy or yucky is just a taught behaviour.”

Yesterday, Baker worked to undo those beliefs at her popular Worm Factory compost exhibit at Ottawa’s first Go Green Expo.

Thousands of people attended the show, which ran all weekend at Lansdowne Park.

Attendees ranged from toddlers getting their first lessons in earth-friendly living, to people who have been composting at home for more than 50 years and were looking for other things to do, said show spokeswoman Tanya Williams.

“It’s great to see so many people who care about making changes to their lives,” she said.

Ottawa resident Tom Levy said his family already recycles, composts, uses solar panels, fluorescent lights, rain barrels and hangs their clothing out to dry, but he wanted to see what more they could do.

“I like all the renewable energy stuff,” he said.

The show featured dozens of booths, from green home renovation companies to organic cooking to beauty products and hybrid vehicles.

Over at the Electric Vehicle Council of Ottawa booth, an electric-assisted bicycle gets a lot of interest.

“As the price of gas goes up, so does the interest in electric vehicles,” said the group’s vice-president, John Purves.

 
 
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