Last time we discussed the downsides to recycling. This week, we’re taking a quick dive into composting – what is it, how to participate, and where you can learn more and get started!
What Exactly Is Composting?
Composting is a valuable practice that offers numerous benefits to individuals and the environment. By combining organic matter, such as food scraps, leaves, and grass clippings, with water and oxygen, composting produces a nutrient-rich soil amendment that can enrich soil and promote healthy plant growth.
The largest benefit of composting is that it reduces the amount of organic waste sent to landfills. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, food waste and other organic materials make up over 30% of waste sent to landfills, where they produce methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. By composting organic waste, we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help mitigate climate change.
Additionally, composting can improve soil health and save money. Compost helps to enhance soil structure, retain moisture, and reduce erosion, making it a valuable resource for gardeners and farmers. Furthermore, for individuals composting can save money on garbage disposal fees and expensive commercial fertilizers, serving as a cost-effective alternative for improving soil quality.
How To Get Involved?
Getting started with composting is straightforward and can be done in your backyard or with a community/municipal based program (like the program offered by Boise). In Boise, you can place compostable items in the bin to be picked up and delivered to the community compost with your normal garbage and recycling! And, as an added benefit, participating homes can pick up some no-cost compost once it’s done! If you’re not covered by Boise’s composting program or are looking for a more “home-grown” route you can start backyard composting – but vermicomposting, which employs worms to break down organic matter – is also a faster option. though more complex. The EPA offers a comprehensive guide to backyard composting and a list of composting bins and supplies, making the process accessible to anyone.
I’d Like To Know More – What Other Resources Are Available?
There is a multitude of online resources that provide wealth of knowledge and opportunities for connecting with like-minded individuals. For example, The Composting Council is a fantastic source for both education and resources on composting, including a directory of composting facilities and events and workshops.
Composting is an easy, cost-effective, and environmentally beneficial practice that offers numerous benefits to soil health, plant growth, and waste reduction. With a variety of resources and methods available, anyone can start composting and enjoy the benefits it provides. This week we talked about the benefits of composting, but check back soon to see what concerns or issues there can be to get the full picture! In the meantime, please email us at AllenWilson472@boisestate.edu or RuthJebe@boisestate.edu to share your composting stories and questions!