Why Composting is So Important (and Easier Than You Realized)

Oct 17, 2020

While we all know what composting is (in theory), most of us don’t actually take the time to do it, partly because we don’t actually understand why it’s so important and partly because we’re under the impression that it will be a whole lot of work. Thankfully, not only are composting benefits easy to understand, but actually starting to compost in your own home is a lot easier than you probably realized.

To get started, here are four major benefits of composting according to the United States EPA:

  • Enriches soil, helping retain moisture and suppress plant diseases and pests. (This is obviously great if you garden at home and are looking for healthy plants!)
  • Reduces the need for chemical fertilizers. (Another environmental win!)
  • Encourages the production of beneficial bacteria and fungi that break down organic matter to create humus, a rich nutrient-filled material.
  • Reduces methane emissions from landfills and lowers your carbon footprint.

Not to mention, composting is a great way to put to use items that would often just get tossed in the trash. According to the EPA, our landfills are running critically low on room — and almost 1/4 of the space being used is from food scraps and yard trimmings that could actually be composted right at your own home.

ways to do composting at your home

If you’re new to composting at your home, don’t worry. It’s actually a whole lot easier than you’ve been lead to believe. You can even choose if you’d like to compost indoors or outdoors, which means apartment-dwellers can get in on the action, too! Really, all you need to get started composting is a designated bin or compost pail.

And, if you’re worried about the “compost smell” or pests attracted to your compost, remember that neither of those things will be an issue if you compost correctly.

That means that your compost should NOT include the following:
  • Meat, fish, egg or poultry scraps
  • Dairy products
  • Fats, grease, lard or oils
  • Coal or charcoal ash
  • Diseased or insect-ridden plants
  • Pet wastes (dog or cat feces, cat litter)
  • Yard trimmings IF treated with pesticides

Wondering what should go in your compost?

Here’s a list of just some of things you can start putting to use, rather than just throwing in the trash:
  • Cardboard rolls, cereal boxes, brown paper bags
  • Clean paper
  • Paper towels
  • Coffee grounds and filters
  • Dryer and vacuum cleaner lint
  • Crushed eggshells (not entire eggs)
  • Fireplace ashes
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Grass clippings
  • Hair and fur
  • Houseplants
  • Leaves
  • Nut shells
  • Shredded newspaper
  • Tea and tea bags
  • Wood chips, sawdust, toothpicks, burnt matches

Once you get in the habit of composting, you’ll realize that it really doesn’t take much time — and the results, especially if you have a garden, are amazing. Plus, the fact that you’re keeping unnecessary waste out of the landfill is a major reason why all of us should seriously consider starting a compost pile (or bin) at home ASAP.

About Sandia Green Clean

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