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May 2019 Volunteer Of The Month: Lois L. Lynn

May 2019 Volunteer Of The Month: Lois L. Lynn

Lois L. Lynn is the first volunteer in 2019 to attend two of our Volunteer Processing Site Days! We are excited to have such an awesome and dedicated volunteer join us! Learn more about her here:

What do you get up to when you’re not volunteering with the NYC Compost Project Hosted by Big Reuse?

My hobbies are cooking whole plant foods, studying about food as medicine, and attending Toastmasters club meetings to hone my public speaking and leadership skills.

What got you interested in volunteering with us?

For the past several years, as a recent postmenopausal female, I was having joint pains and did not know why.  When I changed to a lifestyle-medicine focused doctor, she said that my eating, vital signs, and blood tests were perfect, however when she sent me for a bone scan they revealed that I have osteoporosis in my spine and osteopenia in my hips.  My doctor’s prescription for me was to wear a weighted vest, lift weights to strengthen all the major muscle groups (shoulder, back, legs and buttocks) at least twice a week, and to walk five miles a day for five days a week. Looking back at how I got to this situation, I attribute this diagnosis to a lifetime of jobs where I sat all day looking at a computer screen as a statistical analyst for medical research.  Volunteering at the NYC Compost Project Hosted by Big Reuse has me out in the fresh air, filling 25 pound bags of compost and lifting them for a few hours on a Friday afternoon, every two weeks. With each bag of compost that I lift, I can feel my muscles getting stronger and that in turn grows stronger bones. The muscle strength gained from this manual labor lasts a few days. This positive health effect is having me come back for more.  I have since signed up to volunteer at another composing site to lend a hand to continue my ‘physical therapy’ that is strengthening my muscles and bones. This community service is how I fill my doctor’s orders to lift weights to strengthen all the major muscle groups.

What has been your favorite part of volunteering with us?

My favorite part of volunteering at Big Reuse is digging in the finished compost, seeing how the food scraps I drop off at the farmer’s markets throughout the city are transformed into a fresh soil amendment, and meeting like-minded people who are participating in the reduce, reuse, recycle solution.  A friend once commented that he was amazed at the fact that I would walk over a mile to a farmer’s market to put my food scraps in an organics recycling bin. I enjoy going the extra mile to be a part of the recycling solution.

* Note: Lois’s responses have been edited for clarity.