Millennial Problems: #RealFoodiesCompost

Imagine a world “free of hashtags and filters, or blog posts and updates. Where leftovers flourish and crumbs are reborn. And while not picturesque, it nourishes the city we love so it’s always postcard perfect. It keeps our green spaces beautiful, our soil rich, and neighborhoods smiling.”

No, that’s not an ad for a support group for unemployed millennials. And it’s not the brochure for a new planned community east of San Francisco targeting millennials who can’t afford the city. But this ode to the green bin (the near your recycling and regular garbage bins) was definitely created for millennials.

The San Francisco Department of the Environment thinks millennials aren’t good at composting — so much so that it created an entire outreach campaign targeting everyone’s least favorite generation. So in case you’re just dying to spread the word among your followers, there’s now a hashtag for that: #RealFoodiesCompost. (But judging by Twitter, the message isn’t close to going viral. Shocker.)

The scheme to link composting to the foodie lifestyle, according to a marketing industry blog, is actually pretty clever. Ad agency School of Thought put it together for the Environment Department, and it targets millennials not so much because they are poor composters but because they are largely new to the city and likely unfamiliar with all the rules that come with living in San Francisco. And, by and large, they like to think of themselves as foodies.

Outreach includes a website, ads concentrated in “gentrifying neighborhoods,” and direct mail, which, strangely enough, is one of the best ways to grab the attention of millennials.

Composting is probably one of the better ways we can all spend our time, even if opening a bin that hasn’t been emptied in a while reveals an odor that’s as close to a rotting corpse as many of us will ever come. All jokes aside, it’s a total win for Mother Earth, who needs our help right now no matter what your salty conservative uncle says. Composting might be confusing at first — do not put dog shit in the green bin — but just follow the guides and cards that come with the bin and you’ll be a real foodie in no time.

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