The Benefits of Composting for a Sustainable Lifestyle

Reduce the waste of food, improve soils health, and reduce green house gas emissions.

Sarah Walker

3/12/20233 min read

brown and white plastic egg toy
brown and white plastic egg toy

Composting is an easy and effective way to reduce waste and improve the health of our planet. It's a simple process of breaking down organic waste, such as food scraps and yard waste, into nutrient-rich soil. The result is a valuable fertilizer that can be used to grow healthy plants and reduce the need for chemical fertilizers. Here are some benefits of composting for a sustainable lifestyle.

  1. Reduces waste: Composting diverts organic waste from landfills, where it can produce harmful greenhouse gases like methane. According to the EPA, food waste alone accounts for 22% of the waste in landfills. Composting is an effective way to reduce this waste and create a valuable resource instead.

  2. Improves soil health: Compost is a natural fertilizer that enriches soil with essential nutrients. It improves soil structure, water retention, and promotes healthy plant growth. It also reduces the need for chemical fertilizers, which can harm the environment.

  3. Saves money: Composting can save money on fertilizer and waste disposal costs. By creating your compost, you can eliminate the need to purchase expensive chemical fertilizers, and it can reduce your waste disposal fees.

  4. Encourages sustainable practices: Composting is an easy and accessible way to encourage sustainable practices. It can be done at home or in a community garden, and it's an excellent way to teach kids about sustainability and the importance of taking care of the environment.

  5. Reduces carbon footprint: Composting is a low-carbon activity that reduces the carbon footprint associated with waste disposal. By composting, you are helping to mitigate climate change by reducing the amount of waste in landfills and the amount of carbon emissions associated with waste disposal.

So I'm sure you are asking yourself, how do I start? What are some steps that I can take to make a change? Well let's go over that now.

Composting has become an increasingly popular practice in recent years, with many people recognizing its benefits for the environment and their own gardens. There are many ways to compost, from simple backyard piles to high-tech, aerated systems. Here are some tips for getting started with composting.

  1. Choose the right container: There are many options for composting containers, from simple wire mesh bins to elaborate rotating drums. Choose a container that is appropriate for the amount of waste you generate and the space you have available.

  2. Use the right materials: Composting requires a mix of "green" and "brown" materials. Green materials are nitrogen-rich, such as food scraps and grass clippings. Brown materials are carbon-rich, such as leaves and twigs. Aim for a ratio of about 2:1 brown to green materials.

  3. Keep it moist: Composting requires moisture to break down the materials properly. Aim for a moisture level similar to that of a wrung-out sponge. If the pile is too dry, add water. If it's too wet, add more brown materials.

  4. Turn the pile: Turning the compost pile regularly will help aerate it and speed up the decomposition process. Use a pitchfork or shovel to turn the pile every few weeks.

  5. Be patient: Composting takes time, and it's not an exact science. Depending on the materials used, it can take anywhere from a few months to a year for the compost to be ready to use. Be patient and keep adding materials to the pile.

In addition to the benefits mentioned earlier, composting also helps to reduce water usage in gardening and reduces the need for harmful pesticides and herbicides, which can have negative effects on the environment and human health. It is an excellent way to turn waste into a valuable resource and support sustainable living. Overall, composting is a simple and effective way to reduce waste and promote sustainable living. By following these tips and making composting a part of your routine, you can enjoy the many benefits of this practice and do your part to care for the environment.