10 Reasons That Composting Matters

1. It saves landfill space.

Composting is the most efficient way to recycle food and yard waste. As much as 60% of all garbage is non-recyclable paper, food and yard waste, which can all be composted. Landfills are costly and terrible for the environment. Anything that we can do to reduce the amount of garbage in landfills saves money, conserves natural resources, and improves public health.

2. It reduces greenhouse gas emissions

When food and yard waste rots, it stinks. That smell is methane, which is a greenhouse gas 24 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Put simply: composting reduces smog, improves public health, and improves air quality.

3. It supports sustainable agriculture

Compost provides an alternative to chemical fertilizers, which can be used by local farmers. So now you are what you eat and what you don’t eat. It’s a beautiful cycle.

4. It supports local businesses

When you compost, you are likely supporting a locally-owned small business who processes the waste. You also support local farmers who can use the compost for cheaper because it doesn’t have to be shipped from afar. This, in turn, supports locally sourced restaurants who can get better prices. Another great circle of benefits!

5. It reduces soil erosion and runoff

Compost improves soil structure and promotes aeration. Healthy soil doesn’t get blown away by the heat and the sun. This helps maintain levies, river banks, and farmland. Erosion can cause floods to be much worse and can cause farmland to stop producing as many crops.

6. It reduces our natural gas usage

When we make chemical fertilizers, we use resources such as natural gas, which cause pollution both to the air and the ground. Compost is completely natural. It promotes healthy soil and reduces our dependence on foreign petroleum resources.

7. It protects the environment

Compost can suppress plant disease, reduce pests, and eliminate the need for chemical fertilizers. If you can reduce the need for pesticides and herbicides, you create healthier plants, healthier wildlife, and keep poisonous chemicals out of our rivers, streams, and drinking water.

8. It conserves water

Compost helps soil retain water. If you have ever had a terribly dry lawn, then you know how important water retention is. It can greatly reduce your water bill each month and helps defend against draughts. 100 pounds of humus holds 195 pounds of water!

9. It improves soil quality

Compost helps natural maintain a healthy pH (the amount of acidity in the soil). It also supports tiny microbes and other organisms that promote healthy roots and pump important nutrients into the soil. Every pound of compost contains millions of living things!

10. It helps plants grow and produce

Flowers, trees, fruits, and vegetables as well as your lawn all benefit from compost’s nutrient rich materials. The best part is that year over year your plants will keep getting healthier whereas with chemical fertilizers, you will have to keep adding more and more to make up for dying soil.

Facts come from:

Environmental Protection Agency: http://www.epa.gov/compost/

Penn State University: http://extension.psu.edu/plants/gardening/news/2013/some-composting-facts