Composting is one of the best things you can do for the environment. The process of composting, which turns food waste into nutrient-rich soil, has numerous environmental benefits. From reducing the amount of trash that is sent to a landfill to cultivating the nutrient-rich soil for a community garden, there are many great reasons to begin composting today. Here are just a few:
- Composting Reduces Amount of Trash Sent to Landfills.
Obviously, if you are taking your food waste and turning it into compost then that waste will not trash that sits in a landfill, the alternative which is essentially a large hole in the ground filled with people’s trash. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, material that could be composted currently makes up 20 to 30 percent of landfills and making compost “keeps these materials out of landfills where they take up space and release methane, a potent greenhouse gas.”
Indeed, that is only one reason that landfills are notoriously unfriendly to the environment and how composting can help reduce their impact on the environment. First, landfills clog up land that could otherwise be used for green space. At the bare minimum, this means that landfills displace native species and habitats. The larger the landfill, the more habitats are destroyed, and the more species are displaced. Therefore, by sending less trash to landfills you are doing your part in reducing the impact of these environmentally-unfriendly trash holders.
Unfortunately, the environmental impact of landfills does not end there. Landfills not only affect the portion of land actually used for the landfill, they also produce noise pollution and, frankly, smells that make an entire area more undesirable for both humans and animals. For that reason, landfills are usually on the outskirts of cities – far away from where most people want to live. To cart trash to landfills that far away requires our inefficient garbage trucks to use a lot of fuel, which in turn increases the amount of greenhouse gasses – just another way that landfills are environmentally unfriendly and reducing their usage helps the environment.
- Composting Reduces Chemicals Used for Fertilizer.
Another benefit of composting for the environment includes the reduced amount of chemicals required for fertilizer. While commercial fertilizers are sometimes necessary to ensure food safety, composting is a much more environmentally-friendly alternative that can accomplish the same goal. In fact, fertilizers can actually “bind” to compost, so compost is less likely to contaminate groundwater or streams even when it is used in combination with pesticides. Composting’s benefits have become so well-known that it is now used to decontaminate polluted areas.
When done right, composting creates healthy soil rich with nutrients. The combination of nutrients that breaks down from your food and microorganisms that thrive in compost also happens to be great for growing plants or food. This is a green, healthy alternative to harsh pesticides or conditioners that artificially boost the soil’s ability to grow healthy, sustainable food and tend to have undesirable side effects on the environment.
- Composting Encourages a Green, Conscious Community
The third reason that composting helps the environment stems from its ability to create a green, conscious community. In short, composting begets more composting. The fact that composting has taken off in recent years is largely thanks to people who made the choice to compost and tell others about it.
Most people want to be environmentally friendly and composting is so easy! By composting you can show your friends and family how easy it is to be environmentally friendly. For many people, after setting up their composting bin, it is merely a matter of just throwing their food waste into a different container. A simple habit to change! That landfill on the outskirts of town can become smaller and smaller if everyone decides to do their part and compost (and then get a few friends or family members to do the same!)
Some people may also choose to use composting to build up their community. Using compost for a community garden not only helps build and feed your community it also shows a green, healthy alternative to commercially-produced food which can be filled with pesticides and genetically modified organisms.
These are only a few reasons that you should begin composting your food waste. When considering the minimal effort required to compost and the massive environmental impact it could have, who would not want to start doing their part? So, grab a bin and head to your local hardware store to begin today, or use a professional composter to get the job started.