Sustainable Waste At Home

By Collin Murray

Looking for a fun, easy, and cost effective way to do your part in fighting climate change? Look no further than good ol’ fashioned composting! Composting is a method of recycling organic items, such as food and leaves, into an enriching fertilizer for plants and soil. All things that grow must eventually decompose, composting simply accelerates this process of decomposition by providing an ideal environment for decomposing organisms. Composting poses many benefits for the earth, such as reducing waste, cutting landfill emissions, improving soil health, and conserving water. 

Composting can be done in a variety of ways, making it as simple or complicated as the user would like. For outdoor composting, you have two options: cold (passive composting) or hot (active composting). Cold composting breaks down organic matter slowly over the course of time, just as nature has intended. Since all organic material decomposes over time, this option takes the least amount of effort and maintenance. Although this is an easy option, it comes at a price. Since cold composting does not reach a high enough temperature to kill off pathogens, there may be some harmful bacteria lingering in your compost. In addition to this, cold composts may be more pungent and damp and can take up to two years to produce usable compost. On the other hand, hot composting is a much faster and much more controlled composting process. This particular method of composting requires attention, keeping carbon and nitrogen at an optimal ratio to decompose matter, as well as keeping oxygen to water ratios optimal to attract organisms that thrive in oxygen-rich environments. This method of composting, if done correctly, will destroy any harmful bacteria, and could produce usable compost in as little as four weeks.

Now that you have a good basis to start composting yourself, what are you waiting for? It’s time for us all to do our part in preserving this beautiful planet we call home.