Importance of Composting
A big part of the current climate crisis comes from our soil's lack of care/protection. Changes need to start happening in all aspects of our everyday lives to stop the spread of damages that make us lose our planet. This includes all industries, transportation, and agriculture sectors.
Notably, the agriculture sector is one of the biggest emitters of CO2, the greenhouse gas (GHG) most responsible for the changes we are seeing in our climate today. We can start contributing to the solutions by educating ourselves on the importance of composting and incorporating it into our lives.
First, it is essential to understand what is compost:
Compost is described as a soil-like blend of natural organic matter used to fertilize and improve soil quality. This is created with a combination of recycled food and other organic wastes, which, when combined, turns into a valuable fertilizer that provides several environmental benefits, including improving soil health, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and mitigating the impact of droughts.
Importance of Composting:
- Helps aerate the soil, break down organic materials for plant use, and ward off plant disease.
- Offers a natural alternative to chemical fertilizers when applied to lawns and garden beds.
- Composting can divert as much as 30% of household waste away from the garbage, reducing landfill waste which ultimately decreases the number of harmful methane gasses that increase the rates of global warming.
How to compost at home: Given its significant positive impact, you might think that the process of composting is complex, but that is not the case; in fact, there are local companies that can also assist you in facilitating this process.
For a starting price of $32 a month, the company Compost Crew will provide an airtight bin to collect all your household's food scraps, which will be picked up weekly. After picking up all the organic wastes from businesses and residential properties registered with this service, Compost Crew takes care of turning all the scraps into healthy soil. This finished compost is then provided to farmers in the area. Note: Additionally, each year, this company will give you two bags of finished compost back to apply to your garden, potted plants, or lawn. Your plant friends will thank you!
However, please refer to the instructions below if you would like to do it yourself and save this added cost:
- Purchase a compost-friendly bin that is completely airtight. See examples in the following link - https://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Home-Kitchen-Indoor-Compost-Bins/zgbs/home-garden/3744051
- You can deposit all food waste generated in this bin, including fruits, vegetables, dairy products, grains, bread, unbleached paper napkins, coffee filters, eggshells, and meats. Please refer to the following link for a list of items that can NOT be composed - https://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/10-things-you-should-not-put-in-compost-pile
- Depending on the size of your bin, the composted items should be turned in at least once a week to reduce odors and the risk of pets. Please refer to the following links to locate the most convenient compost drop-off locations.
- Washington DC - Food Waster Drop Off - https://dpw.dc.gov/foodwastedropoff
- Fairfax County, VA - Food Scraps Composting Drop Off - https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/publicworks/recycling-trash/food-scraps-composting-drop
- Montgomery, Gaithersburg - Compost Drop Off Sit - https://www.gaithersburgmd.gov/services/recycling-bulk-pick-up/compost-drop-off-site
I hope you found this information helpful and that you are able to find the time to incorporate this new activity into your life. Keep in mind all the benefits that this simple task will have in the overall contribution to the care of the planet.
If you would like to continue learning more about composting, ensure to check out all the informative Brochures and Handbooks provided by the Montgomery County at the following link - https://www2.montgomerycountymd.gov/depwebstore/items.aspx?subcatalog_id=93