Kristen Hess worked at Omega as a seasonal staff member for two months in the summer of 2010, an experience she describes as “fun, educational, healing, and uplifting.” During her time at the Rhinebeck campus, she met a number of environmental luminaries, including Colin Beavan, author of No Impact Man, and Deborah Eden Tull, author of The Natural Kitchen. Hess expanded her awareness of ecological sustainability and received her first introduction to permaculture.

Upon leaving Omega, she said, “I was so inspired by the environmental lifestyle that I began working on a project with my Dad to help boost participation in composting.” Over three years that project has evolved into a fantastic company called CompoKeeper. Kristen Hess and her father developed special bins that streamline the composting process. The end result is an effective, cleaner, and simpler system that will allow more people to make kitchen composting, like recycling, a routine part of their lives. Kristen’s next step is to raise the funds that will make it possible to manufacture the CompoKeeper on American soil, in order to reduce the company’s carbon footprint as much as possible (a guiding philosophy of permaculture).

Hess recently shared with us her story about CompoKeeper and how her work as seasonal staff at Omega helped inspire it. “Omega has shaped my life and guided me to devote my energy toward helping others and the planet,” she said.

We are proud to have been a part of this remarkable staff member’s journey and are in turn inspired by the ingenuity, determination, and integrity of her work. Thank you, Kristen, for demonstrating Omega’s mission to “awaken the best in the human spirit.” Check out CompoKeeper’s Facebook page to learn more about Kristen’s work and the evolution her company.