As a nation, we are starting to become more aware of how much food we waste. The New York Times reports that 60 million metric tons of food scraps are wasted every year on average, and this multi-billion dollar waste is projected to increase. Slowly but surely, our nation must turn its focus to how we use and discard our resources. But, becoming sustainable and less wasteful is not left up to businesses and the government, everyday people have an important role to play, too.
One method of reducing waste that’s becoming more popular is composting. In general, The Environmental Protection Agency defines composting as the process of microorganisms breaking down organic matter into a variety of compounds, including humus, the sought-after soil. Composting is growing in use because it’s fairly easy to do, and anyone can do it.
Why you should compost
The EPA reports that using humus improves plant growth because it retains water, contains a surplus of nutrients, and controls plant diseases and pests, making the plants in your garden/lawn happier and healthy. Likewise, composting results in throwing away fewer organic scraps. These scraps sit in landfills and release massive amounts of methane, contributing to global warming. So, by composting them, you assist in reducing our carbon footprint. In addition, using compost diminishes the need for chemical fertilizers, which cause “dead zones;” oxygen deprived parts of the seafloor where there is no life.
Methods of Composting
As you can see, composting offers a surplus of benefits to our environment and own agricultural needs. Broadly-speaking, there are three main types of composting: industrial/commercial, outdoor/backyard, and indoor.
If you clicked on this article, you probably have a curiosity in compost yourself. But maybe you’re a little confused on about what type of composting will best suit you. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
To start, use the following flowchart to determine what kind of composting is right for you. Once you have determined your preferred type, you can click on the links below to articles and websites with more specific details on that method of composting.
Hope this guide will help you through your composting endeavor!