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Composting At-Home


Whether you live at home and have a garden or live in an apartment, composting is one of the most environmentally friendly things you can do to help reduce your impact on our planet.

Whether you live at home and have a garden or live in an apartment, composting is one of the most environmentally friendly things you can do to help reduce your impact on our planet.

What Is Composting?

Compost is simply a mix of decayed organic matter. Organic matter includes food scraps such as banana peels or leftover vegetables as well as other organic material, like leaves, twigs and grass shavings. A mix of food scraps, brown organic matter such as soil or twigs along with water and warmth will make for a healthy compost pile (plus some worms). Once this organic matter is sufficiently decayed, it will make for a nutrient-rich fertilizer that can help any garden flourish.

What You Can And Cannot Compost At-Home

If you’re thinking about composting or have already started, it’s important to know what you can and cannot compost. Almost anything organic can be composted, such as apple cores, avocado pits and cucumber ends. Stale bread and pasta can also be composted because the base of these foods comes from grains. Coffee grounds, filters, spices, and plant trimmings can also be composted.

However, there are also things that cannot be composted or just cannot be composted at home, and therefore need to be sent to an industrial composting site. The main things you cannot compost are animal-based products, such as meat and dairy, however, eggshells can be. Since animal products are mostly not compostable and their agriculture is also terrible for the environment, eating a predominantly plant-based diet while composting would definitely allow anyone to create an incredibly positive impact environmentally.

Pet waste should generally not be composted as it may introduce disease to the compost. One thing to look out for, though, is that some companies use bio-plastics that technically are ‘compostable’, but you need to read the label carefully to see if this type of packaging is ‘at home’ compostable or ‘industrially’ compostable. Another thing to look out for is packaging that says ‘biodegradable’. Many companies unfortunately greenwash their customers by saying some plastic packaging is biodegradable, but this just means it breaks down in some form, so the term is technically useless and this marketing loophole is often abused. Something more eco-friendly would be industrial or at-home compostable, which actually has value to the term.

Benefits Of Composting

Composting enriches the soil, fights plant pests and also creates less of a need for fertilizers as composting is a natural fertilizer.

One of the best benefits, though, is that composting is very environmentally friendly. Organic matter that is wasted and goes to landfills emits a harmful greenhouse gas called methane as food cannot decay properly in landfills. By composting, individuals can lower their methane and carbon emissions. If a country like the US has millions of people wasting organic material and not composting, a lot of methane is being released into the atmosphere, which will essentially make climate change, or the heating of the atmosphere, worse. Methane is also a more potent greenhouse gas than C02, so there’s not much need for extensive statistics to portray why this is a huge problem.

One of the best ways to lower your impact on the earth is composting and it’s something anyone can do. If you live in an apartment you can either collect compost in a compost bin and have it collected or use it for plants or even sell it. If you’re a homeowner or live somewhere with a garden, composting is easier as you can set up a designated space outside for the compost pile and utilize it for great fertilizer. For composting equipment simply search around on google for appropriate composting materials such as a bin and worms.

Posted on August 5, 2020

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