# Mazy's muddle: Turning over a new leaf

Hi friends, do you know why earthworms are the world’s best self-improvement species?

Because they are turning over a new leaf all the time! Ha, ha, ha. Our maths teacher loves idioms. This week, she talked about how ‘turn over a new leaf’ means ‘to start behaving in a better way’.

The ‘leaf’ in this idiom means ‘page’ but the minute I heard our teacher used the idiom, I started imagining me doing cartwheels on a giant lily leaf floating in a pond in the Amazon forest.

“Mazy! Dreaming again! When will you turn over a new leaf and be a more attentive in class?” said our teacher sharply.

“Ma’am, I was thinking about something I read – it seems there are 2,500 species of earthworms in the world, and India has 500 species.”

“That’s true Mazy. You know, earthworms can convert kitchen waste into compost in 60-90 days. And you can also compost kitchen waste without earthworms. Just start dumping kitchen waste in a corner of the garden or in terracotta composters, top them with dried leaves every day, and you’ll get good compost. This contains low levels of plant nutrients, and can be used to improve the soil so that plants can feed themselves.”

Whrrrrrr......that’s my ...ahem...amazing brain working at super speed: If my family and I compost all the kitchen waste properly, and we get upto 2-6 kg of compost per month after three months, what percentage of the world’s earthworm species do the Indian earthworms constitute?

Out of the maze: 20%. 500 divided by 2500, and quotient multiplied by 100 gives the answer.