Why You Should Be Composting

It would be hard to live in the world today and not be aware that we have some serious environmental issues on the planet. The news is full of stories about pollution, climate change and energy crisis to name a few. Some of these problems lay outside the scope of individual intervention, aside from lobbying politicians with your concerns, but other areas can be affected to some extent when as responsible citizens we all try to do our part to help and protect the environment.

What Is Composting?

One of the simplest and oldest methods of addressing much of the waste material that we generate is through composting. Recent developments in western diets had for some time led to an increase in processed foods but the movement towards more natural, organic produce is taking hold and people are renewing their interest in eating healthier more sustainable diets. For some time, any natural organic waste has been thrown away with the general refuse that a household generates but this is missing an opportunity to reduce the waste in our landfills and also give back to the earth some of the good materials we have extracted.

Composting is generally defined as the decomposition of organic matter to produce what is essentially a soil conditioner rich in desirable nutrients. Many countries organize the collection of organic matter through their waste management programs and the availability of supporting bio degradable products such as special bin liners and garden waste paper bags makes this effortless. So that is composting on a grand scale that you can support by sorting your waste and putting it in the correct receptacle. You can however be more hands on and choose to compost your own organic waste and provide free food for your garden.

How to Compost and Why It’s Good

Starting a compost pile is straight forward and can simply be on the bare earth in a spot in your garden where the worms and other useful organisms can help aerate the pile. Some twigs or like material to asset with drainage can form the base, a few inches in depth, followed by compost material such as food scraps and garden waste alternating dry and wet to aid the process. Adding grass clippings or other nitrogen sources will speed the decomposition as will moisture, which can be as simple as allowing the rain to do its job or giving the pile the occasional watering. Cover the whole thing with scraps of wood or old carpet, anything that will retain the moisture and heat, which is essential, and also prevent over watering from excessive rain. Then turn the compost every few weeks to ensure oxygen can circulate or add a steady supply of coarse straw which can do this job for you.

This is basic composting and you can continue this to feed your garden and potted plants with the very best kind of chemical free fertilizer that will enhance the environment and any produce you grow. Landfills cannot reproduce this process when the organic waste becomes deeply embedded and starved of oxygen. Few people realize this and that the cumulative effect is the production of harmful methane gas which increases climate change and global warming. We all need to get back to basics and improve the quality of what we grow, what we consume and respect the Earth.