The Angeletti siblings say their family has always been environmentally conscious, but realized when it came to fighting climate change, they could make an even bigger impact. Volunteering together, the four siblings, Ugo, Emma, Anna and Mila have united to educate people about the environment and offer hands-on training to make a positive change in their community and beyond.
Launching back2earth in 2017, the siblings teach their neighbors how to compost and stop contributing food waste to landfills. Creating devastating effects on the environment, food waste can lead to potent greenhouse gases to toxic leachate to climate change. Climate change and rising oceans, both negative impacts of industrial waste collection service, can be eliminated through decentralized organic waste collection, and by harnessing the power of communities, the Angeletti siblings have diverted 17,500 pounds of food waste from landfills thus far.
What inspires you to volunteer?
Ugo: Around 175,000 pounds of food waste end up in landfills every day. We teach people how to turn their food waste into compost, a nutrient-rich fertilizer.
Emma: The environmental movement is so broad, but we stand out for our volunteerism because we’re doing this as a family. We’re promoting the idea that you can make a change at any age. Any family around the country can fight climate change, so through our volunteerism, we are serving as an example for other people.
Anna: We’re all really interested in the environment. We believe it’s good to educate other young people about the environment and how they might be able to serve and give back.
Describe your role with back2earth:
Ugo: I am the president of the project so I reach out to organizations to partner with, in addition I solicit donations and grants as part of our fundraising efforts.
Emma: Every weekend a group of volunteers of all ages join us for hands-on composting and other activities.
Describe some of the hands-on activities you offer.
Emma: We teach young kids and adults about composting through workshops. We also visit local institutions like schools to teach children about composting, how to compost and how to start composting on their own. Our hope is that they bring that knowledge back to their own home, and get their family to start composting.
Explain how you encourage composting around your community.
Emma: We started this project solely based on a pickup composting service, but as our project grew we had to find a way to expand in a more efficient way. We’ve created a network of composting stations around Miami, and we provide people with free buckets to collect their food waste.
Share one personal story with me from your volunteerism.
Anna: The first time I held a presentation for preschool students, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to keep their interest because they were so young. To my surprise, it was amazing to see kids at such a young age recognize that we were discussing something important. They were engaged, touching and smelling and feeling the compost I’d brought in for the demonstration. It turned out to be one of the best presentations I’ve ever done, and their reaction was so inspiring to me.
What’s one way you hope to inspire others in your service?
Mila: We want to inspire people to understand that it’s time to act now and there’s no minimum age to start contributing to the environment.
What’s your motto?
Emma: “Grow gardens and not landfills.”
What’s been the most rewarding part of your service?
Ugo: It’s a nice feeling to teach people about composting and it’s nice to get closer to my sisters as we volunteer on this project together, they’re my teammates.
Anna: We love changing people’s mindsets, because they start off not knowing what compost is, and then after spending time with us, they know how to contribute to it. Composting brings our community together in a way, because we all have something in common and we can all contribute to the movement.
Tell me what volunteering means to you in one word.
What have you learned through your experiences as a volunteer?
Emma: Young people follow young people. It’s nice to see people our age and younger engaging in something they’ve never heard about and actually want to make a difference in.
How can readers help?
Please visit our website for more information about how you can donate to our cause and give back.
Do you want to make a difference in your community like the Angeletti family? Find local volunteer opportunities.