WHAT IS COMPOSTING?
Composting is a natural process similar to how nature breaks down leaves and other dead material on the forest floor. Its natures way of recycling. Green and brown vegetable matter, when kept moist and turned reguarly, turns into an areomatic material filled with benificial bacteria, microbs, and fungi that other plants need to grow.
WHY SHOULD YOU COMPOST?
There are many reasons to compost. Not only does it provide you with rich and nutritious soil for your garden but its also benificial to the enviroment as well. Composting food scraps rather than throwing them in the trash reduces the amount of methane produced by landfills. When food scraps and other compostable materials end up in landfills they are forced to break down with out oxygen wich makes them emmit methane into the atomosphere. However when those same items are composted instead, they release co2 into the atomosphere wich other plants can take in. Although both methane and co2 are greenhouse gasses, methane is 20 times more harmful to the ozone layer than co2. Unfortunatly right now 30-70 tons of methane is produced in landfills each year and 30% of that is from materials that could have been composted.
HOW TO GET STARTED?
Composting is easy and can be very rewarding. Some common misconceptions are that its hard or will stink and be messy. These can all be true if you compost the wrong way. There are a few diffrent ways to compost. If you have a garden or would like to start one then home composting is your best option. All you need is a designated area to start your pile. If you live in the city like me, you may want to buy or make a backyard compost bin to keep out unwanted critters. After setting a designiated area or buying a bin its time to pile on the scraps! Its best to buy or make a smaller kitchen compost bin to collect your food waste in, then you can dump it into the pile when its full. The best way to start building your pile is to alternate between green and brown matter. You can start with leaves and yard waste then add your food scraps. Continue this alternation throughout the pile. Its also important to keep the pile moist so wattering it every so often can help. You want the pile to have a consistancy of a damp sponge. Turning the pile once a week will provide it with oxygen, speeding up the process.
WHAT TO COMPOST?
Many things that most of us throw away can actualy be composted. Here are a few matterials that will start your pile off right:
Grass and plant clippings
Finely chopped wood and bark chips
Sawdust from untreated wood
WHAT NOT TO COMPOST?
Heres a list of things you should avoid at all cost putting into your compost pile, not only will they not decompose properly but they will compromise the entire pile:
Anything containing meat, oil, fat, or grease
Diseased plant materials
Sawdust or chips from pressure-treated wood
Dog or cat feces
Weeds that go to seed
Composting is a great way to reduce your waste and help the world be a little greener. Plus it provides great nutrients for your garden.