Let’s be honest. We’ve all had that moment when we’re throwing away pineapple tops, eggshells, banana peels, and other organic kitchen waste and think to ourselves, albeit fleetingly, that it’s a shame it has to go to waste. After only a few hours, an entire watermelon skin, the peels of a dozen now-naked bananas, and a tubful of eggshells from the new baking experiment will start to pile up in the trash can, and you’ll be forced to add another bag full of trash to the dumpster. If you do the math, you will see that was an entire bag of perfectly good organic matter just tossed away. But what are our options? I, Mark Roemer, will share these options with you.
Well, it turns out that improving the way we dispose of our food waste can have a significant effect on the environment, and composting our leftovers is one way to do so.
I hear you ask, “Do you need a yard and a bathtub full of worms to compost?” Definitely not! Composting is as easy and convenient as you want it to be, and it’s a fantastic project that has a positive environmental effect.
Composting is a natural phenomenon that has existed on this planet since the dawn of time.
Microorganisms feed on the decay of dead organic matter in order to break down the chemicals and nutrients into more straightforward organic matter. The matter then returns to the soil, where it can support new plant growth, which then decays, decomposes, and grows again, repeating the cycle.
Decomposition is an essential phase in the nutrient cycle that sustains all living things on the earth, whether it’s bacteria breaking down a rotting apple or fungi feeding off a fallen tree. Decomposition produces fertile soil and promotes new growth, which is beneficial to both animals and humans, and which we have learned to use as a method for growing our own food.
Composting plays a role in this. Compost is the nutritious soil that comes from the decomposition process. When we transform our food waste into healthy soil, we actively participate in the decomposition cycle to produce compost!
Composting is an integral part of our quest to reduce waste and minimize our adverse effects on the atmosphere and be one of the key reasons there is still life on this planet.
Organic matter, such as yard waste, food, Christmas trees, and Halloween pumpkins, turns out to account for 25-50 percent of all our waste. Every day, the average American throws away about a pound of food, primarily fruits and vegetables. Overall, that equates to about 150,000 tons of food per day and about 40 million tons per year.
When food waste is disposed of in a landfill, it does not decompose naturally. The organic waste emits methane gas and decomposes into sewage sludge, all of which are harmful to the environment and soil. Decomposable matter, including the most common of food wastes, cannot decompose in landfills.
By composting your organic waste rather than throwing it away, you allow the organic matter to fully decompose and return all of its nutrients to the soil.
It’s suitable for green thumbs
Compost soil is one of the most nutrient-dense soils available, making it ideal for indoor plants. You, your plants, and the earth would all be happier if you compost your own soil or help local businesses that do so.
Composting saves other natural resources
Plants prefer better soil because it contains more nutrients, is more consistent, and has more chemically balanced compounds than normal earth. You’ll probably notice that you don’t need to water your plants as much in the winter or that you don’t need to use artificial lighting to get them to grow. Even if it just saves a small amount of energy on your monthly utility bill, it makes a difference!
How to compost
Now that you’re about to get your hands dirty with some DIY dirt, there are a few things to keep in mind before you start composting.
Composting can be divided into two types: aerobic composting and vermicomposting (using worms). If you want to set up your compost rig indoors, go for worm compost or a food waste collection bin. You can do the aerobic if you have an outdoor setup, which isn’t always feasible for apartment dwellers.
Microorganisms use oxygen to break down organic material into smaller parts, resulting in compost in aerobic composting. This composting system produces strong odors, attracts pests, and leaks compost, making it unsuitable for indoor use.
Worms decompose the natural material in the worm composting process. The worms consume the nutrients and transform the matter into compost by digestion. It is, in reality, worm poop. No, it’s not disgusting. This is what worms have been doing for centuries, so honor their work ethic, okay?
This system requires little effort and produces no unpleasant odors, making it an excellent choice for indoor composting.
Collect your food scraps and take them to your nearest compost drop-off, which is a third and less time-consuming choice. Simply hold a small container on your counter and throw in your compostable things, which you can find a list of by visiting your local city hall website.
Composting is an excellent way to dispose of food waste in an environmentally friendly manner. It’s easy, it’s long-term, and if you go with the worms, you’ll have a miniature worm army operating in your apartment! What a fantastic idea!
I, Mark Romer, hope that I have shared enough details with you about composting that you are willing to give it a try. Before you attempt to set one up at your apartment, make sure to talk to your landlord. They may not want the smell to permeate throughout the complex. You can opt for the vermicomposting method, but you will still want to make sure it is okay. In short, don’t try to compost from a small apartment without checking with the powers that be.