Try Composting to Reduce Household Waste

Categories: Community Voices, Redefining Trash, Social Action
 

When considering all the things people can do to decrease waste, I’d be remiss if I didn’t discuss composting. It is an age-old method of greatly reducing waste that can all be done from your own home.

The potential impact is enormous, as the EPA estimates that food scraps and yard waste together make up 30% of what typical households send to landfills as trash.

I learned about composting as an adult and was interested even though I had concerns. You may be thinking about these concerns too!

  • Won’t it smell? I have several different types of compost piles and have never experienced foul smells or odors.
  • What about animals – won’t they be attracted to the food waste, especially rodents? I have never had an issue with animals being attracted to a composter and we have lots of animal residents in our neighborhood: rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, deer, turkeys, and even the occasional woodchuck. In 15 years, we’ve not had any issues with any type of rodents due to composting.
  • Won’t there be bugs? If your composter is one that sits on the ground, your compost should attract worms (a very good sign). Depending on the time of year and if I have the proportion of “ingredients” wrong, I have seen bugs, but they never last long and are not harmful to the process.
  • Isn’t it incredibly time consuming? It does take some time to get the process set up (e.g. where are you going to collect the food in your house, buying and setting up the composter, turning the compost, etc.), but I spend no more than five minutes a day tending to the process and many days do nothing at all.

I overcame my fears by knowing that composting redirects waste away from a landfill and turns it into a valuable commodity.

Even those who don’t have a “green thumb” or understand much about science can create decent compost. It can become the single, greatest means of reducing waste in your home.

You don’t have to have a huge yard or vegetable garden in order to start composting—anyone can compost in almost any type of location. In fact, when I first started composting, I gave it all to a grateful neighbor for her garden because my goal at the time was solely to reduce waste. Once we started a vegetable garden of our own, I started keeping and using the compost we produce.

While it is not incredibly complicated to start composting, there is information that will help you begin the process. I invite you to visit my blog, Redefining Trash, to get more details and information about all things composting, including what can be composted, different types of composters, etc.

If you have any questions, email me. Happy composting!

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