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What is Composting, and How Does it Benefit the Environment?

woman composting

Plants need a wide range of nutrients to grow, and compost can help provide them. With the right knowledge, you can grow a healthy, productive garden that will benefit your friends and family for many years.

Organic matter is transformed into compost through the work of microorganisms, soil fauna, enzymes, and fungi. Because of the wide range of products that can be used in the process, there are many different kinds of compost. In its most basic form, compost consists of creating a pile of organic materials and allowing it to decompose. When your pile takes on the appearance of soil, you have created compost.

I have a lot of people ask me what is environmental wellness? The short answer is taking care of the planet, and composting is one of the easiest, most effective ways to make a difference. When you compost and grow food at home, you reduce the amount of garbage in your area and help the environment. Composting is easy enough for anyone to do, so I recommend it as a great introduction to environmentalism.

You can live in a green home even if you’re in an apartment in the city. Urban cities accumulate massive amounts of trash. Composting is an easy solution, and everyone can help. When towns and cities turn to composting, they have the potential to save a lot of time, money, and effort. The end result is a cleaner, healthier, more sustainable way to live. The benefits of composting include more than just making compost. Keep reading to find out more.

Growing Your Own Food

Composting creates a beautiful opportunity to divert organic waste away from garbage collection and make a useful product. Composting also neutralizes harmful waste that otherwise would end up in landfills and garbage dumps. Landfills often block the natural cycle of breakdown and decomposition that creates healthy and fertile soils.

Farmers and other large-scale producers may use windrow composting to quickly and efficiently transform large volumes of organic waste into compost. Windrow composting uses industrial machines to rapidly transform organic waste into compost. There are smaller machines that every individual can use too. You can make a compost pit with just a small corner of your yard, or you can do it indoors.

woman making compost from vegetable leftovers in kitchen
Composting is the natural process that returns everything organic to the earth (Image Source: Shutterstock)

The Vitamix FoodCycler is my favorite indoor composting solution. It allows you to compost indoors without any concern about smells or dirt. It also saves time and effort, so if you’re just getting started, an indoor composter may be the way to go.

In addition to composting, there are other green elements you can add to your lifestyle. I use eco-friendly activewear as another way to help the environment, and I select durable products that look good and don’t wear out fast.

What is Composting and What Can Be Used?

Composting is the natural process that returns everything organic to the earth, and it is a vital part of the soil replenishment process. When a plant or animal dies, it begins to decay immediately. Some things like leather and bone take longer to break down, but eventually, everything that is grown from the earth will return to the earth.

As soon as life processes stop, organic structures begin to break down. Some of this breakdown is automatic, like how a leaf will dry up and crumble away. Some organisms like bacteria and fungi help this process along by eating the decaying materials and breaking them down into their component parts.

What Is Composting ︱ Boulder County

As far as your garden is concerned, most biodegradable materials can be composted. I suggest you keep a composting bin in your house or on the porch. Here is what to put in the compost bin:

Kitchen scraps, including all vegetable matter, meat, dairy, bones, and coffee grounds. You can even compost fireplace ashes and pet fur. You should not compost pet waste from dogs and cats, as these can create toxic byproducts.

When you are just getting started, it’s a good idea to keep things simple. If you use about three times as much “brown” material as “green” material, you’ll be off to a great start. As you get comfortable with the process, you can refine how and why you add materials to your compost pile.

Most plants grow best under specific conditions, and you can tailor your compost pile to best fit the needs of your own garden. Wood ash and coffee grounds, for example, are two excellent ingredients that you can use to adjust the pH of your compost pile.

Benefits of Composting

Composting can add value to your life in many ways. In addition to the environmental impacts mentioned above, composting can help you grow more nutritious food. Compost is a great organic supplement that reduces your dependence on fertilizer.

Your garden, flowerbed, and even potted plants can benefit from additional nutrients and cover. It looks nice too. Compost is aesthetically pleasing and will make your green spaces more attractive.

Adding compost to the soil will improve its texture, water-holding capacity, and fertility. It also helps moderate pH and fertility problems. Your soil will gradually become fluffy and brown—the ideal home for healthy plants.

recycled household garbage as fertilizer and compost
Composting can add value to your life in many ways (Image Source: Shutterstock)

No commercial fertilizer, even one that is totally organic, provides the full spectrum of nutrients that you get with compost. The nutrients in the compost are released gradually over a period of months or years, providing a gentle and consistent feeding. The bacteria in the compost will also help your plants absorb nutrients more efficiently.

The microorganisms, enzymes, vitamins, and natural antibiotics that are present in compost actually help prevent many soil pathogens from harming your plants. Earthworms, millipedes, and other macro-organisms tunnel through your soil, opening up passageways for air and water to reach your plants’ roots.

Compost can be sprinkled around plants during the growing season or used as a mulch in your perennial gardens. You can add compost to your flower boxes and deck planters. You can also use it to enrich the potting soil for your indoor plants.

Many of the people I’ve told are seeing amazing success with composting. I’d like to recommend you give it a try too. Why not start today? Even if you only use a tiny corner, you can make a positive change in your life and the lives of others.