The next time you clean up after dinner, clean out your refrigerator, or throw away that half-eaten sandwich, think about where it ends up: in the garbage, along with the rest of the household trash. After the food and food waste has made its journey to the garbage can, it soon sits out at the curb, where the garbage truck takes it to the dump. Out it goes, into a landfill, along with all of the other trash we make.
In that brief moment it took you to throw away that food or food waste, you could have done something very good for the environment by putting it into a compost pile!
Compost piles are easy and free to set up, right in your own backyard. When you set up a compost pile in your yard, think about the many ways that the Earth is thanking you.
1. Organic waste, such as rotten fruit, wilted vegetables, coffee grounds or dead house plants, just to name a few, are vital parts of a great compost pile. Throwing them away simply throws away the opportunity to create rich, organic compost which will add vital nutrients to your soil, plants and flowers.
2. Using the organic waste in your household reduces the amount of garbage heading to the dump every week. And that’s a really good thing, considering that the average household throws away more than 200 pounds of kitchen waste each year. Now, if we all composted and eliminated those 200 pounds of annual trash from our household, the reduction in fuel consumption for the garbage trucks would be substantial. So save some gas and compost your kitchen waste!
3. While we’re on the subject of landfills, if we eliminated the kitchen waste from the landfills, that would equal significantly less garbage going into our landfills - which would alleviate the problem of our crammed landfills.
4. Throwing away your kitchen waste is actually robbing your soil of vital nutrients that provides necessary carbon, nitrogen and other nutrients. So instead of tossing that rotten tomato, place it in a composting pile and imagine its life in your garden in just a few, short months. Your soil – and the trees, plants and flowers planted there – will thank you!
5. Composting your kitchen waste will reduce your dependence on chemical fertilizers. Natural compost is the best thing you can feed your soil with, while synthetic fertilizers are suspected to cause a host of problems, including leaching into our waterways and contaminating our drinking water and soil.
6. Compost is actually capable of diluting other, toxic substances often found in our soil, including lead and mercury. Caused primarily by air and water pollution, polluted soil can likely cause a slew of problems for our health and our environment. Compost does a great job at naturally breaking down these toxins. It also helps our soils better deal with future pollution and to remain fertile.