In the US alone, 25 million tons of food were turned into compost. At least 30% of trash sent in landfills and incinerators in the country could be composted. The 25% of the garbage we produce is composed of organic materials that could be used as fertilizer. Now imagine if you started composting your kitchen wastes, you could end up with sacks of organic fertilizer for the garden.
Composting - something that we know and heard about but not something a lot of people have tried. And the thing with composting is that it's so easy to do and so good for the environment.
Regardless if you're a gardener who wants to use organic fertilizer to raise crops, someone who wants to sell organic fertilizer, or an individual who simply wants to lead a more sustainable lifestyle, you will benefit from composting. And contrary to popular notions, you don't even need ample space to try composting. You can do composting even in small spaces.
So how good is composting to the environment, you ask? We’re giving you 5 reasons to give composting a try:
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5 Reasons Composting is Good for the Environment
Composting has many benefits for your garden and the environment but a lot of people are not aware of how this process becomes important for our home, business and community. Here are five among the top reasons why we need to start composting.
Adds Nutrients to the Soil
One of the most important environmental benefits of composting is that it brings nutrients back to the soil. The nutrients found in the soil are finite, it is depleted every growing season. You have to amend the soil with fertilizers to support another round of the growing season.
Compost is made up of humus, a type of nutrient-rich soil. It adds carbon and nitrogen to the existing soil. Carbon and nitrogen support plant growth and photosynthesis. Compost also improves the texture of the soil while introducing beneficial microorganisms to the garden. The microorganisms help aerate the soil, enrich the soil with its wastes, and convert nitrogen into a usable form to prevent plant diseases. This is a cycle that benefits the plants and their surroundings.
Maximize Household Wastes
Organic wastes that you throw every day only end up taking space in landfills. One might think that it’s fine to let organic wastes pile up; they’ll decompose anyway - well, not all the time.Particular conditions have to be met to trigger decomposition. If the conditions are not ideal, organic wastes will take much, much longer to decompose. And during the time that organic scraps decompose, certain chemicals could leach into the soil, leading to pollution.
Yard and food scraps make up 25-50% of the trash we throw away. Composting lets you maximize organic wastes, so you don’t have to use trash bags, the kitchen wastes don’t take up space in landfills, they do not have to be transported from point A to point B, and they don’t end up polluting the soil and waterways.
You can simply sort your household wastes (some cannot be composted), build a compost pile and add the organic wastes in layers. Within a couple of months or so, you have rich, organic compost that you can use to feed the garden.
Conserve Energy and Fuel
When you throw something away - a piece of fruit, a crumpled tissue, dried leaves, etc. - its life does not end at being thrown in a garbage bin. And no one really wonders where trash ends up after being collected by the neighborhood waste management company.
After throwing trash, you’ll still need trash bags to organize your trash bins for the garbage man. If you run out, you have to drive to the supermarket to buy trash bags. Making these trash bags consumes a lot of energy.
Now think about garbage collection: your garbage collectors have to drive to your neighborhood to collect trash and then back to the landfill for processing. Again, this burns enormous energy, especially when done several times per week.
By composting, you’re saving on trash bags and saving the garbage man a trip to your house. It keeps the organic wastes from being transported. One thing that not a lot of people know is that organic wastes are some of the heaviest wastes to transport. Transporting bulky waste demands a lot of energy.
Reduces Greenhouse Gases
Trash ends up being collected by the local waste management company and is often “processed” to eliminate it. How is trash processed in landfills? Wastes are burned in an incinerator, a machine that demands a lot of fuel to burn trash.
Apart from requiring more energy to process wastes, incinerators are also notorious for producing high volumes of toxic gases like carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide. Incinerators produce more greenhouse gases than an actual power plant. And once the trash has been processed, the pollution it brings to its surroundings isn’t over. The material produces methane, another harmful greenhouse gas.
By composting, you are minimizing the trash that ends up being incinerated in landfills. This helps reduce the fuel needed to burn mountains of rubbish, leading to reduced greenhouse gasses.
Prevents Soil Pollution
You have to amend the soil with fertilizers to boost its nutrient content. Most growers use chemical fertilizers and soil conditioners to keep plants healthy, but the chemicals from these products could end up on your plate.
If you want to grow crops organically, build a compost pile in your garden. You can also buy an outdoor compost bin to make it easier for you. You can start with a composter which can give you plenty of organic fertilizer for several growing seasons. You’re not only reducing the use of chemical fertilizers, but you are also preventing chemicals from leaching into the soil and polluting nearby waterways and groundwater.
Composting at home is so easy; anyone can do it. Of course, you need the right tools for the job. A trusty compost bin is all you need to get started. Get your compost bin here and start turning organic wastes into garden gold!