Ten Great Reasons to Start Composting

Ten Great Reasons to Start Composting
Ten Great Reasons to Start Composting

Ever wish there was a hungry pet in the house to eat all the food scraps going into your trash bin? Well, consider composting as an environmentally-friendly alternative to overfeeding the family pet!

Composting, which can be done in your yard or on a balcony or deck, is nature’s way of recycling. It turns organic material like food waste and yard trimmings into soil, or “compost.” The environmental benefits of composting can quickly be realized in a number of ways. For example, composting produces extremely nutrient-rich soil (many gardeners call it “black gold”), which can in turn be reused in the garden. In addition to growing healthier, more nutrient-rich plants, this soil absorbs and retains water more efficiently, saving water as well as allowing for erosion reduction. Compost soil also reduces runoff, which can potentially contain environmentally damaging chemicals from agriculture in the area. It acts as a natural pesticide, repelling unwanted pests wherever it’s distributed, which can be especially helpful in areas where there are invasive vegetable-gorging rodents. This means that chemical pesticide consumption can be significantly lessened, if not eliminated, through the use of compost soil.

The reduction benefits are certainly not limited to pesticides. Composting also cuts down on toxic fertilizer usage, since compost is itself a natural fertilizer. By decreasing the amount of yard waste and household garbage that is burned, it decreases air pollution, too. The destructive greenhouse gas methane, a byproduct of decomposing landfills, is also reduced as a result of composting since the total volume of garbage in landfills is decreased. No matter how garbage disposal is purchased, the costs associated with it are decreased. If paid for by the bag and/or weight, a direct cost savings can immediately be appreciated as the total number of bags and trips to the landfill are diminished. If paid as a straight monthly fee, like in many urban municipalities, in addition to money saved on the number of trash bags consumed, time is also saved on the number of trips out to the garbage can with a full bag of trash.

Many of these benefits can be attributed to the fact that composting minimizes the amount of food waste hauled to landfills. Food waste is an ever-growing issue, especially in America (which is among the developed world’s top five waste producers), and the statistics are astounding. According to the the EPA:

“In 2014 alone, more than 38 million tons of food waste was generated, with only 5.1% diverted from landfills and incinerators for composting. EPA estimates that more food reaches landfills and incinerators than any other single material in our everyday trash, constituting 21.6% of discarded municipal solid waste.”

Inspired by these statistics, we should take every action possible to reduce food waste in order to help preserve the environment for generations to come. On that note, the top ten reasons to start composting are…drumroll please!…

10
It improves overall air quality by avoiding burning yard waste.

 

9
It produces superior quality, nutrient-rich soil.

 

8
It cuts down on toxic fertilizer usage, since it’s a natural fertilizer.

 

7
It saves water by increasing the amount of water the soil can absorb and retain.

 

6
It yields nutrient-rich foods when spread on gardens.

 

5
It saves money on trash disposal expenses, including trash bags.

 

4
It reduces erosion as well as runoff, which can contain environmentally damaging chemicals.

 

3
It decreases methane gas production from landfills by decreasing overall landfill volume.

 

2
It acts as a natural pesticide, repelling unwanted pests and reducing the need for chemical pesticides.

 

1
It reduces the most prevalent material in landfills: Food!

 

Composting is simple and a terrific excuse to go enjoy the great outdoors! Why wait? Get started today.

Sources:
World Economic Forum
EPA
From Scratch Magazine
Lifescript.com
Huffington Post

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