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  • Writer's pictureSheRonda Berry

Keep Calm and Compost: Let’s Talk Composting and Its Benefits

Photo: Tima Miroshnichenko’s underrated! Many people shrug off the idea of composting, but it’s actually one of the least complicated and most affordable ways to do your bit for the planet. All you need is food waste and a bucket; what could be easier?

Trust us, you don’t need to be a green-fingered goddess to become a composting queen. It’s a fairly simple process that just requires a bit of patience.

So, Composting...What Is It?

Composting is simply the process of collecting organic waste and allowing it to decompose in a controlled way. When natural matter (such as food waste) begins to break down, it releases valuable nutrients that can be spread across flower beds, scattered across tree roots, and used as mulch to protect the soil during the winter. It’s like gold dust for your garden.

By organic matter, we simply mean the vegetable peelings, fruit scraps, coffee beans, tea bags, and lawn clippings that may well be piling up in the trash as we speak! These green materials release nitrogen as they decompose, which is one of the key nutrients needed for a healthy compost heap.

Compost also needs carbon, which you can produce by adding brown materials, such as dry leaves, shredded newspaper, and toilet roll inner tubes. These, mixed with green materials and enough water to keep the heap moist, will create a nutrient-rich compost pile in a matter of months.

Once your compost has the crumbly consistency of the soil and an almost sweet smell, it’s good to go!

The Benefits of Composting at Home

Compost is effectively a free garden fertilizer! The nutrients released by the decaying organic matter are the ultimate plant food, especially during periods of cold weather when your soil may begin to lose its moisture.

Photo: Ron Lach

But, giving your garden a glow-up isn’t the only reason to get stuck into composting. It’s also one of the most effective ways to manage food waste, which we all generate on a daily basis. In fact, the US produces more than 40 million tons of food waste every year.

We know we need to recycle metal, glass, and plastic (and use less plastic altogether), but there’s a misconception that biodegradable goods don’t harm the planet. Yet, when fruit and vegetable scraps decay without oxygen (i.e. when they’re left to rot in a big pile of landfill waste) they actually produce methane, which is one of the most potent greenhouse gasses.

On the other hand, composting produces CO2. Eliminating food waste completely may be the best possible scenario, but generating carbon dioxide is much less harmful to the planet than producing methane. So, in the battle of composting and landfill, composting wins every time!

Have you composted before? What are your composting top tips?

At The Cultivated Vegan, we’re all about growth. We know there’s beauty in nurturing ourselves, our families, and our finances - with health being the layer of compost we all need in life. To find out how you can cultivate your happiest self following our Six Seeds of Holistic Health, connect with us today!

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