Do you compost? If not, it’s time you get started! Below are 3 reasons why composting is important and beneficial for all. Whether you live in a big city, out in the country or somewhere in between composting is for everyone and best of all, it’s easy!
How did I come to learn about the importance of composting? It started with a desire to reduce my waste, particularly plastic trash bags. I learned, as a plant-based eater, 90% of my overall trash was plant (bio) matter that could be composted to make nutritious soil instead of thrown in the garbage.
Let’s get started!
1. Food scraps are the #1 material sent to landfills.
In New York, this accounts for a third of all residential trash; more food is thrown out than paper or plastic. Your food gets dumped in landfills, where it’s trapped by tons of other garbage, which generates 20 percent of the nations’ emissions of greenhouse gases.
Microorganisms break it down by anaerobic digestion, emitting methane and carbon dioxide. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that produces 22 times more heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. When food sits in landfills, the only work it does is raise the global temperature.
2. Compost Reduces the impact of chemical fertilizers.
Chemical fertilizers runoff into our rivers, lakes and streams which causes algae blooms sometimes big enough to make waterways impassable. When the algae die, they sink to the bottom and decompose in a process that removes oxygen from the water. Fish and other aquatic species can’t survive in these so-called “dead zones” and so they die or move on to greener underwater pastures.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Americans alone go through 75 million pounds of pesticides each year to keep the bugs off their plants. When those chemicals get into waterways, fish eat them and become diseased. Humans who eat diseased fish can become ill, completing the circle wrought by pollution. Buried organics also react with metals in the landfill to produce toxic leachate, a source of groundwater pollution that poisons aquatic life.
3. Composting completes the cycle.
When we compost, we complete the natural cycle by returning what we grow back to the soil which well help us grow! Food scraps are filled with living nutrients ready for harvest. Looking at it that way, the inside of your compost bin isn’t some gross pile of dead plants and soggy food; it’s a simple solution which we all should take pride in endorsing.
Compost returns valuable nutrients to the soil to help maintain soil quality and fertility leading to bigger and better yields. It is a mild, slow release, natural fertilizer that won’t burn plants like chemical fertilizers. It also improves texture of heavier soils and helps to retain moisture in sandier soils so you water less. Finally, the nutrients from compost are not washed away by rainfall. So no waste!
There you have it! If you’d like to get started composting but may not know where to begin, stay-tuned for my my simple how-to guide.
Keep it Busy,