How What and Why Do We Compost

Spring, summer, winter or fall, composting does not take a lot of time, energy, or space yet it makes an amazing difference to the environment. The average household in the United States creates around 200 pounds of vegetable waste per year. This waste can be transformed into nutrient rich soil if it is composted but when tossed into the trash it instead combines with other waste to become a hazardous toxic mix. 

It is estimated that about twenty-three percent of all landfill waste in the USA is made up of yard and household vegetable waste. The majority of that landfill trash doesn't have to be there. Much of your yard and household trash can be recycled, up-cycled, or composted. If you are not already reducing your carbon footprint then it is definitely time to get onboard. Composting is actually quite easy. Anyone can participate even those who live in an apartment. It really does not take a lot of time or space to turn your vegetable waste from the kitchen or yard back into nutrient rich soil. It's so easy anyone can do it. When you know what compost is and how to do it the process is such a simple task that even the kids can will have fun helping out.

When you throw your vegetable waste into the garbage it mixes with toxic substances and it becomes just as much of a pollutant as the waste that it combines with. The massive amount of land that our garbage dumps destroy are truly wasted space and could have been purposed as healthy farm or park land. By simply taking a few minutes to compost your kitchen waste you can save a little piece of the environment for future generations to enjoy. Your compostable yard and kitchen waste will turn back into nutrient rich soil quite quickly if you give it the opportunity to. It really is easy to compost your kitchen waste.

List of Items That You Can Compost:
Most yard trimmings and kitchen vegetable waste can be composted. This includes potato and carrot peelings, apple cores, watermelon rinds, banana peels, orange peels, celery trimmings or other unused vegetable matter. Additional items you can include in your compost site are nut shells, egg shells, coffee grounds and filters, tea bags, small pieces of cardboard or paper, straw or hay, cotton or wool rags and even wood chips. 

Virtually all yard trimmings and grass clippings can be composted. If it is vegetable matter and you have a large enough area to add them in then do. Keep in mind that the smaller the material is that the quicker it will compost. So feel free to chop, rip and shred your compostable waste into a more biodegradable size.

List of Items That You Cannot Compost:
Items you should not compost are: lard, oil, grease, meat or fish products, dairy or cheese products, pet waste, or any other pollutants or toxic contaminants of any form. Keep your compost people friendly.

So how do you do it? If you are going to add your compostables directly into your yard then begin by selecting an appropriate place to create your compost site. Try to select an area that will not be so close as to offend your or your neighbour's nose, depending on the amount of waste your home generates there may be some odor generated as the waste breaks down.

Begin by digging a shallow hole in your dirt. This is where you will deposit your vegetable matter. Depending on the size of your compost area a small shovel or gardening spade will generally be sufficient to bury the daily deposits. Water should be added on a regular basis and if you want a very active batch simply stir or turn over your compost pile every few days. The water and the natural heat of the sun will bake your discarded vegetable matter into a mineral rich fertilizer.

The entire transformation of matter can take anywhere from 3 weeks to 2 years depending on the amount of material and how actively you care for it. The more you tend to your site then the faster that it will compost. When your compost pile looks and feels like rich clean soil then it is ready for reuse. You will likely be pleasantly surprised to see how quickly the decomposition process is.

Composting indoors in a small space? No problem. If you live in an apartment or other small location without access to a yard you can still participate. Your compostable material can be placed in a pail or other such container until you have the opportunity to return it to the great outdoors. Once you return the compostables to the soil they came from time and nature will take care of the job of composting this material for you. Spring, summer, fall or winter, the season that you drop off your vegetable waste really doesn't make too much of a difference. Mother Nature will take care of any vegetation that you return to her regardless of the season that you return it in, although in the winter months a few hungry woodland creatures or birds may also make use of your offerings.

Mother Nature takes care of most of the work. The simple act of returning degradable vegetation to the earth will start the process. Just take the time to return your vegetable waste and yard trimmings to the ground that they came from and mother nature will help take care of the process. How you compost your material will make a difference in the speed at which it returns into usable soil but pretty much any manner of returning vegetation to the ground will allow it to decompose and return to a natural state. By adding water and turning your compost on a regular basis you can speed up the process but if you want to take a lazier route that is fine too.


Once your vegetable or yard waste has formed into compost you can use this material to add nutrients back into your garden or flower beds, use it as mulch around trees, donate it to someone else with a garden, or just return the now nutrient rich soil back to nature. Recycling is such a simple way of contributing toward a cleaner environment. Get your kids involved. It really is a wonderful legacy to pass on to future generations. Please do your part. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

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