Organic Composting at Home
You’ve just finished cooking dinner for your family and you’re trying to figure out what to do with the left-over vegetable peels and scraps. Your first instinct is to throw them into your trash can, right?
Though this may seem like the right thing to do, did you know that food scraps and other organic wastes can have detrimental impacts on our environment when they are placed in the trash and sent to a landfill?
As organic wastes break down over time at the landfill, which allows little to no oxygen to assist in breaking it down, it releases methane gas which contributes to our greenhouse gas emissions and can have negative consequences for our atmosphere.
One alternative to throwing your food scraps in the trash would be to compost these materials at home. Composting is a form of waste disposal where organic waste can decompose under optimal conditions. You can do so in an enclosed bin or jar, or even by creating a compost pile in your backyard or garden.
Items that can be put into your compost include grass clippings, vegetable and food scraps such as avocado skins, lettuce, banana peels, coffee grounds (these also help with minimizing odor!), newspaper, and even cardboard.
Healthy compost piles contain a good balance of Carbon-rich brown items (such as dry twigs, branches, sawdust, eggshells and paper) and Nitrogen-rich green items (food and vegetable scraps, and grass clippings). Ideally, having 2-3 times as many brown items than green items and keeping the material properly hydrated makes for a healthy, odor-free compost. For compost piles in your backyard or garden, be sure to have a way to protect them from the rain to make sure that they don’t get more water than necessary.
Over time, the materials will break down and result in a compost that is rich in nutrients and can be used as a soil conditioner and even as a fertilizer for your garden.