Sep 23, 2010 2
We’ve seen a lot about how much our culture uses one-time use products. It’s every day. It’s unconscious. It’s all-pervading.
We’re creating all of this ‘waste’. What is ‘waste’, anyhow? Why would anyone every produce something that is not going to be useful, completely? As we have seen, nature does not create a single thing that isn’t completely useful, down to the last molecule. All of the acorns, every leaf, and even each animal is recycled and their respective nutrients are cycled back into new life.
It turns out there is a way that you, too, can help play an active role in this process of recycling, and it’s free. Nature does all the work for you, and you don’t even have to pay anyone to take away this stuff that you once thought of as ‘waste’. We can stop calling anything organic, or simply anything from the earth in its natural form, ‘waste’. That’s because we can compost that food, and also all of your garden scraps, into new life, instead of paying someone to come, pick it up, and use more energy to put it into a sealed landfill, never to be used again.
So what is ‘compost’ anyhow? Composting is the “process whereby organic matter, including food waste, paper and yard waste, decompose naturally, resulting in a product rich in minerals and ideal for gardening and farming as a soil conditioner, mulch, resurfacing material or landfill cover.” [Source] Basically, many things we presently throw away in landfills are valuable and nutrient-rich, and by simply putting them in a pile, we could take their nutrients and recycle them into new food growth for the future. A very large percentage of the garbage produced in the US each year is organic matter.
Each time organic matter is thrown into the “garbage”, we are littering. We are wasting. The waste is taking place on so many levels. If you’ve got an apple core, an orange peel, a banana peel, or what have you, please, compost it. You can of course include leaves from your yard, grass clippings, branches and all other plant matter, in your compost.
There is no excuse to not compost organic matter. Let’s also dispel the use of the word “waste” in context to organic materials. By putting organic matter in the garbage to be taken to a landfill, we surely would be creating waste. It is waste, because we are wasting this valuable resource, by discontinuing the cycle that it is a part of, and not allowing it to return to the soil, to decompose, and reconstitute all of the microorganisms and energy within it, to the earth. We are wasting because we are creating more “waste” for the municipality to have to pick up, transport, process, and then put into a landfill – these all take precious, finite energy to do. Composting, on the other hand, is free, requires minimal human input, and can be done nearly anywhere. Composting creates free, organic fertilizer, a valuable resource, which can be used to grow food, plants, trees, and more.
Municipalities and even nations are catching on to this. Toronto and San Francisco are just two successful examples of cities that have instituted city-wide composting. In Toronto, for example, a total of 388,188 metric tonnes of residential waste was diverted from landfill during 2008.
If you can’t find any help online, just get in touch with me and I can try to help you learn how to start composting.
Please, stop littering – don’t waste your organic materials – compost.