Have you heard about composting? Composting your organic waste helps the environment in two big ways. First, compost enriches soil so that it can give precious nutrients to plants that are still growing. Composting also keeps food scraps out of landfills. Though landfills and compost piles look similar at face value, food decomposes more quickly—and in a more earth-friendly way—when composted.
Not only is composting better for the environment than traditional waste management systems, but the activity of composting can also turn into an enjoyable pastime for its devotees. If you’d like to try your hand at composting, here are a few things to know.
You might think you can only compost outside, but that is incorrect. Indoor composting is becoming more popular amongst apartment residents. Keep a small, kitchen-friendly compost bin on your countertop or next to your trash can. Contain your scraps there until you can drop them off at a local farmers market. (Don’t forget to verify whether local markets accept composting waste before you drop anything off!)
Just about anything made from totally organic material – like vegetables and fruit – can be composted. Grass clippings and tree leaves, vegetable and fruit scraps, eggshells, plain rice or plain pasta (no oil or butter), coffee grounds, and tea bags and tea leaves can all be composted. You can also throw in your black and white newspaper or plain white printer paper, unprinted cardboard, and sawdust or wood shavings.
There are also a few things that shouldn’t be added to your compost pile. Any waste that seems unhealthy or dangerous in your house is also dangerous in your compost pile. For instance, if you have a houseplant that dies of insect infestation or plant disease, don't compost the leaves. You also shouldn’t compost anything dairy, any food scraps that include dairy, oil, or meat (since these foods attract rodents and bugs), whole eggs, charcoal or coal ashes, meat, or waste from your dog or cat.
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