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Go Green With Composting

Composting 101

Did you know you can benefit the environment, and your wallet, right in your kitchen? Instead of throwing away your fruit and veggie scraps, start a compost bin instead. You can reduce food waste and greenhouse gas emissions in one fell swoop.

Compost, often called Gardener’s Gold, is when garden debris and kitchen scraps break down into a rich dark substance. This material is loaded with nutrients and adds incredible value to the soil. Composting is nature’s way of breaking down dead plant material and returning it back into the soil.

Other factors such as heat, oxygen, and moisture are the main contenders in composting. Heat helps break down the matter while the oxygen and moisture will help aid in the bacteria that will “eat” the matter.

Creating a Compost

Two of the most popular ways to compost is through compost bins and compost piles. Both methods are similar, with the bin optimizing timeliness while the pile allows for more space.

You can purchase compost bins or tumblers of any size at any hardware or gardening store. There will be a compartment to put your kitchen scraps and organic material. Every so often, turn the lever to jostle the organic matter around to distribute oxygen, moisture, and heat evenly.

Pile composting is also straightforward, as you just throw all of your waste in a pile in your backyard and toss it with a pitchfork to aerate. This process works for those with larger yard space.

All composting methods require the three basic ingredients--browns, greens, and water. Browns include materials such as dead leaves, branches, and twigs. Greens include materials such as grass clippings, vegetable and food scraps, and coffee grounds. Rain, or adding the right amount of water, will aid in moisture retention.

Compost vs. Garbage Can

Most fruit, vegetables, or products derived from a plant can be composted. Meats, fats and oil, dairy products, bones, and animal waste can not be composted.

Combat Climate Change

Food scraps and yard debris currently make up more than 28% of landfill waste. This organic earth material is being trapped in plastic bags with nowhere to break down. Composting helps keep these materials out of landfills, where they take up space and release methane, which is a potent greenhouse gas that is currently affecting the environment. Your compost will enrich the soil, retain moisture, and suppress plant disease and pests, which reduces the need for chemical fertilizers. If you’re looking for an easy and convenient way to save money and protect our planet, give composting a shot!