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Have you ever thought about composting but been intimidated by the thought of dealing with smells, flies, and pests? Or maybe you don’t have enough outdoor space? Well, we’ve got great news for you. Composting doesn’t have to be hard anymore.
As someone who has been a non-composter in the past, I can understand your concerns. But with the growing awareness of the impact and value of kitchen scraps, along with the emergence of new composting technology and services, composting is becoming easier than ever. And not only is it good for the environment, but it also gives you the best tomatoes of your life.
Why Composting Matters
Did you know that Americans waste about 400 pounds of food per household? That’s approximately 35 percent of the total U.S. food supply ending up in the trash. And unfortunately, most of this waste ends up in landfills where it rots, generating methane, a greenhouse gas that’s 80 times more potent in the short term than carbon dioxide.
Composting is a way to turn food waste into “black gold,” or nutrient-rich soil that can be used to fertilize your yard or fields. It’s also a way to reduce the emissions from wasted food in the United States, which is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, homes generate most of the emissions from wasted food, which includes not only vegetables and leftovers but also the energy that went into producing, transporting, and preparing food.
Despite the benefits of composting, it has yet to gain mainstream acceptance like recycling has. But that’s slowly changing, with nine states restricting sending food waste to landfills and some cities trying to scale up composting.
Composting Options for Every Living Situation
Now that you know why composting is important, let’s explore some composting options that are available for every living situation.
For those living in apartments or urban areas, curbside composting programs have become more widespread. If your city doesn’t offer compost pickup, there may be drop-off sites available, or you can try MakeSoil, a nonprofit that matches people with food scraps to composting sites. There are also emerging composting appliances, like the Vitamix FoodCycler, Lomi, and Mill, that process food scraps at the click of a button. And if you have a green thumb, you can try a small vertical worm farm that fits under your sink or in a closet.
For those with outdoor space, you can consider a green cone digester, which uses heat from the sun and natural organisms in the soil to rapidly decompose food scraps, or an Aerobin Composter, which combines the benefits of a large plastic bin with an internal air conduit for aeration. And for those who want a more hands-on approach, you can try a flow-through system like the Urban Worm Farm.
Regardless of which option you choose, composting is easier than ever and can make a significant impact on the environment. So why not give it a try?
Are you ready to join the composting movement? Here are some steps you can take:
- Research your local composting options, including curbside pickup programs, drop-off sites, and composting appliances.
- Start collecting your food scraps in a bin, whether it’s a small bin for your apartment or a larger bin for your yard.
- Educate yourself on what can and cannot be composted. Remember, if it was ever alive, it can be composted.
- Try composting for a month and see how it goes. You may be surprised at how easy and rewarding it can be.
Let’s all do our part to reduce food waste and create a more sustainable future.
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- 7 Ways to Make Compost
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