Composting has recently become one of the hottest topics in the world of recycling and conservation. For many years, only people who have large gardens with plenty of extra space have composted; but even if you only have a tiny garden or balcony, you too can compost!
In this month’s article, I would like to cover some of the composting basics and reasons why starting your own composting operation can be a good idea for you. Next month I will cover step-by-step instructions for building your own home composting plan.
The Community Composting Network, who I have obtained much of my information from, provided many reasons for starting your own home composting program. Here is a list that I found most interesting:
1. A third, to two thirds, of an average garbage container’s contents can be composted. This can make a big difference in the amount of garbage sent to the landfill. In turn, you could possibly request a smaller trash container and lower your monthly trash pick-up fees.
2. Your weekly trash service will not have its usual putrid odor. By composting food waste and like items, you will be removing the smelly items from your trash container (and those of us that have the responsibility of taking the trash cans out each week know what a plus that can be).
3. By composting and sending less waste to the landfill, less noxious liquids and greenhouse gasses (especially methane) will be emitted. Your compost pile will not only help reduce landfill waste, but will also help improve air quality in the Valley.
4. You will no longer need to buy fertilizer for your gardens, planters, flowerpots, and window boxes.
5. Compost can be used on all types of soil and can actually improve their plant growing ability. For example, using compost opens up clay based soil to help improve the moisture and nutrients retention of the soil, and in areas where sandy soil is prevalent, the use of compost can help the soil retain moisture, and reduce the amount of water needed for plants.
6. Since compost helps us create a healthier soil, this leads to the growth of healthier plants; including not only flowerbeds but also vegetable gardens. Healthy plants are less prone to the need for disease and pest control chemicals, which in turn can help us grow pesticide free vegetables.
Composting can be a project that can involve the whole family. You will literally be able to see the fruits of your labor!
I hope this small introduction to the world of composting inspires you to give it a try! In next month’s issue, I will provide a simple users guide to building your own at home compost system.
As always, please remember to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Re-think. It can change our environment and our world.