Grow your plants, start composting today!
Do you want to start creating a positive impact on Mother Earth? Composting is the easiest way to begin, and there's very little effort required to start. You just need to take a few simple steps to identify what food scraps and yard trimmings have the potential to be composted before you get begin. This compost can be used to fertilize herb gardens, flowerbeds, or simply add some of this nutrient rich material to your potted plants to give them a flourishing jump start on the growth season.
Why is it important?
Composting has been going through a bit of a resurgence over the past decade. People are beginning to realize how easy it is to reduce the negative impact that their organic food waste can have on landfills, and you can be the next step to helping solve this problem! The Environmental Protection Agency, states that yard trimmings, and food scraps alone make up 26 percent of the waste that fills up our U.S. landfills. This fact isn't terribly surprising, but you may not realize that once the waste hits a landfill, it breaks down much slower than it would if you were to compost it yourself. This is due to the lack of air, which can lead to excess methane production. On top of reducing your contribution to a landfill, you also will be passively doing the following:
- Enriching soil, helping to retain moisture and suppress potential plant diseases and pests.
- Reducing the need for chemical fertilizers.
- Encouraging the production of beneficial bacteria and fungi that break down organic matter to create humus (not to be mistaken with hummus!), a nutrient-filled material that plants love.
- Decreasing methane emissions from landfills and lowering your personal carbon footprint.
How to Start Composting!
Now that you've decided to start composting all of that wasted organic material, how should we go about it? A September 2017 article from the Columbia Basin Herald states that the steps to composting are as follows:
- Find a suitable location. This can be as easy as tossing grass clippings and food scraps into a somewhat uniform pile (known as the 'simple heap' method) in a disused corner of your backyard.
- Build your own Compost bin from free pallets to accelerate the decomposing process and keep that seldom used corner looking nice and aesthetically pleasing from afar.
- Decide what method of composting to use between the most common options ‘simple heap,’ ‘closed bin,’ ‘open bin’ or the ‘turning drum bin.’ You'll need to research these options to find what best suits your household needs. Here's a breakdown from the University of Illinois regarding the options.
- Talk with your family to get everyone on board with the plan. This is truly a team effort!
Learning to cooperate towards a common goal as a family can be a great life lesson, get the whole household involved! You'll find that this may inspire a whole new outlook on taking care of the planet, and how to generally manage our natural resources in a more efficient manner.
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