contribute/donate/give compost to a local community garden

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narumaru

Senior Member
China
Hi all. Could you help me choosing the words?

I donated/contributed/gave my compost to a local community garden and they gave me some fresh vegetables.

As compost is a kind of rubbish, I don't know if I can use words like "donate" or "contribute." Is there any better word to use or all of them are OK?

Thanks for your help.
 
  • Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    As compost is a kind of rubbish,
    No, it isn't. It has a use and is therefore not rubbish. You can of course sometimes use certain rubbish as compost (when it then ceases to be rubbish in my opinion). But I agree that neither "donate" nor "contribute" sound appropriate.

    I gave/took some compost to the local community garden and they gave me fresh vegetables in return.
    Or more simply: I got fresh vegetables from the local community garden in exchange for some compost.
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    I would avoid "donate" here, because a donation is a gift for which nothing is expected in return. But here, something is given in return, so it's more like a kind of trade or barter.
     

    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    because a donation is a gift for which nothing is expected in return
    I agree but I think the word has lost a bit of that connotation nowadays. Take donations to political parties for instance - it's understood that there will be a quid pro quo. Or private schools telling parents of prospective pupils that a donation is "required".
     

    narumaru

    Senior Member
    China
    Thanks Barque and Edinburgher.

    I would avoid "donate" here, because a donation is a gift for which nothing is expected in return. But here, something is given in return, so it's more like a kind of trade or barter.
    So, can I still use contribute here? Compost is not a rubbish, but not money either, so it is hard for me to choose appropriate words.

    No, it isn't. It has a use and is therefore not rubbish. You can of course sometimes use certain rubbish as compost (when it then ceases to be rubbish in my opinion). But I agree that neither "donate" nor "contribute" sound appropriate.

    I gave/took some compost to the local community garden and they gave me fresh vegetables in return.
    Or more simply: I got fresh vegetables from the local community garden in exchange for some compost.
    Thanks for your help.
     

    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    On second thoughts, "contribute" doesn't sound so inappropriate any more. I still prefer "give" here however.
     

    narumaru

    Senior Member
    China
    On second thoughts, "contribute" doesn't sound so inappropriate any more. I still prefer "give" here however.
    Yes. (Note: We don't say a rubbish, we say rubbish.) The point is that it has value. Yes, you can use give, and I don't have a problem with contribute. Take is much more neutral, since it would basically mean transport here.
    Thanks so much Barque and Edinburgher. I understand it clearly now. :)
     
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