Monday, July 18, 2011

Why Compost is Wonderful

Composting will save the world. The more I learn about product production, packaging waste, and waste management practices, the more I come to believe this. At no time in human history have we ever completely eliminated trash, but in the past when things were dearer they were re-used and re-purposed until they were worn to nothing. Additionally, most products and their packaging were compostable, which is why people could live for thousands of years before running into the waste problems we have today.

I truly believe that if everyone composted, even if it was only through a city composting system, we could become a zero-waste society within the decade, and without the cost of extra time or expense. By changing a few of our habits and becoming involved from cradle to grave in production and waste management loops, we could eliminate overloaded landfills, cropland depletion, and even contamination of our water resources.

When I made my first clumsy attempts at composting at age eleven, I ended up with a huge, stinking mess that my parents had to load into the trash can because of complaining neighbors. Composting was summarily banned from our household, and I did not try again until I moved out on my own. Since then, I have composted enthusiastically, and have spent a lot of time trying out and researching various composting methods. I know nothing I do is really new, but I still view it as discovering a lost art that has enriched my garden, significantly reduced my household waste, and turned out to be one of the most fun science experiments I've ever carried out.

I decided to write this blog when I realized that a lot of people want to do something to reduce their negative impact on the earth, but were usually overlooking composting as the primary means to eliminate waste. Composting is the original and ultimate form of recycling, as every little bit of matter is consumed by an organism which turns it into the richest, healthiest fertilizer your garden or yard could ever hope for. Perhaps more importantly, composting shows us how much waste we make, and how easily it can be broken down into something useful without harmful toxins, by-products, or down-cycling.

My goal is to spread the good news of composting, provide simple, dependable instructions on how to compost materials in a variety of ways, and provide a forum for the composting community to interact with and support each other. Additionally, I'd like to use this blog to encourage people to work with their city and municipal councils to create city-wide composting systems, as well as contact product manufacturers and encourage the use of indefinitely recyclable or compostable materials.

I look forward to sharing my love of composting, as well as to hearing from readers who are true-blue-noobs, or decades-long-veterans. Everyone can make a valuable difference by composting; I only hope to help more people learn how to do it efficiently, un-invasively, and joyfully.

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