Compost your Scraps!

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            When eating a banana, you probably don't save the peel after you're finished. Chances are the peel gets thrown right in the garbage along with all of the other food scraps, old papers, and other miscellaneous junk that we stuff into our garbage cans each and every day. What many people don't realize is that a large chunk of what we throw out each and every day can be composted and reused in a new form - as highly nutrient, organic soil.

            Composting is a natural process that takes organic material and breaks it down, turning it into a dark, nutrient rich substance, also known as humus, to be used for gardening and soil.

In 2010, Americans alone produced over 250 million tons of trash. Of that, almost half of the items are compostable. Products able to be composted include fruits and vegetables, coffee grounds and filters, egg shells, grass clippings, dead leaves, shredded paper and cardboard, and old wood chips, bark, mulch, and top soil, among many other things. Items that aren't compostable include meats and bones, dairy products, pet waste, fats and oils, and anything treated with pesticides.

            Although you won't completely rid yourself of trash, you will greatly reduce the amount of trash you accumulate and therefore contribute to land fills by repurposing the usable products and putting them back into the Earth where they belong. Compost is used as a soil conditioner, helping to keep hold of all the nutrients and water, so it in turn will help plants grow bigger and better as well as reducing the risk of pollution.

            As stated earlier, lawn clippings and leaves can also be composted. Yard and garden waste account for almost 20% of the total amount of trash thrown away each year. That's 20% of material being thrown into landfills that don't need to be there, but instead can be put back into the environmental cycle and actually benefit us. Composting reduces the need to burn or bury this perfectly good organic material and in turn increases the quality of topsoil. It is something that can be done with little effort, and, once you know what can and can't be composted, little thought. It can be a start to leading a greener lifestyle, and may even push you towards using the compost to your advantage and begin growing some of your own food.

 

References:

 

http://organiclifestyles.tamu.edu/compost/home_composting_faq.pdf

 

http://www.composting101.com/

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1 Comment

After I read that list of things that can be composted, I was thinking about all of the stuff that can be composted that I have personally thrown in a trash instead of in a compost pile. And that is just what I have thrown away, not even the rest of my large family of eight people. I know that we compost our leaves and lawn clippings because I do that work myself. However, I have seen people who will just fill up plastic bags full of leaves and lawn clippings and set it out for trash. That is a complete environmental nightmare. I'm not sure if they don't know it can decompose or if they just don't care, but they are wasting plastic bags and putting those bags out in the environment. I think it is a great idea to have a composting pile. You would definitely save on the amount of plastic bags you use which also helps the environment and helps you save money. Also, the additional benefit of having great soil is awesome. It will help you grass grow more healthier. Composting is an easy and efficient way to do your part in lessening the burden on the environment.

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