By Grant Stokoe
For many years, people have composted as a way to dispose of their food or garden waste while deriving some benefit. Composting is a great way for us to dispose of food waste to benefit gardens, enrich soil, or provide nutrients to decomposers in the soil.
With composting, there are certain practices that must be followed to ensure your compost is working properly. In a bin, food waste and other garden scraps are mixed together. Under the right conditions, microbes and other organisms will break down this material to create nutrient-rich compost (“Composting – Fact Sheet”).
According to the Compost Fact Sheet, a general guideline to follow is with the name ADAM:
A: Aliveness – composting is a ‘living’ process and requires active microbes and organisms.
D: Diversity – the more different types of organic ingredients that go into your compost, the more beneficial the finished compost will be for your plants.
A: Aeration – you must keep your compost bin aerated at all times. A good spiral-mixing tool can ensure good aeration of the pile.
M: Moisture – you must keep your compost heap moist at all times to keep it working efficiently.
These four recommendations will ensure your compost’s success! Composting is fairly easy as many homes, schools, and businesses have their own areas to compost various kinds of organic matter.
Composting also deters food waste from going to landfills, where this waste creates “liquid ‘leachate’ which can pollute our streams, oceans and underground water, and reduce the production of methane gas which is a powerful greenhouse gas” (“Composting – Fact Sheet”).
Further benefits show that composting and recycling “21.5 million of food waste is similar to taking 2 million cars off the road” based on the amount of emissions (“11 Facts about Recycling”). Fortunately, composting is also a great way to educate children about the importance of food waste regulation and how the human impact on the environment is substantial.
Composting is a great way for people to begin helping the environment. Small-scale efforts truly add up in the long run. Further, composting and recycling are similar because they require us to use our waste for something with purpose rather than discarding it to a landfill. The collective values that people who both recycle and compost share will hopefully spread to other societies where excessive waste is a problem.
- “11 Facts about Recycling” https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-recycling.
- “Composting – Fact Sheet” https://www.belairmd.org/DocumentCenter/View/3254/Composting-Fact-Sheet#:~:text=Composting%20facts&text=Composting%20recycles%20food%20scraps%2C%20garden,commonly%20referred%20to%20as%20compost.&text=Humus%20is%20the%20richest%20and%20most%20important%20part%20of%20all%20soils.&text=Composting%20reduces%20organic%20waste%20in,leachate%20and%20greenhouse%20gas%20emissions.