Give waste a second life through compost!
Our waste management is causing an environmental crisis. As the average American generates 1,600 pounds of waste every year, only 34% of it is recycled. The rest is dumped in landfills where food scraps, vegetation, and other organic waste cannot properly decompose.
A common myth holds that some organic waste, such as food scraps, cannot be composted, which has made matters even worse since landfills currently account for more than a third of all US greenhouse gas emissions.
Composting can be done on anything that has lived or was grown. The process is no longer expensive, time-consuming, or only available at municipal facilities. You can now do it easily from your own apartment, home, or backyard!
Our main goal for the #Root2Renew initiative is to reduce waste and we need to do it responsibly. Composting could help us divert more than 30% of our waste stream from landfills and return it to the soil, thus helping the environment.
At EcoBlvd, we are on a mission to develop new sustainable connections, so we created this simple guide to compostables and how to start composting!
What Is A Compostable
A compostable is an organic product that decomposes into non-toxic, natural elements. Compostable materials require microorganisms, humidity, and heat to decompose. Having decomposed completely, compost can be added back to the soil or reused for various products.
Creating Beautiful Compost With Browns and Greens
A balance of nutrients with high carbon and nitrogen content is required for composting to be successful.
To help find the right balance, compostables have been assigned colors according to whether they release more carbon or nitrogen when decomposed.
Browns are materials that release carbon, including branches, twigs, dead leaves, cardboard, and paper.
Greens are materials that release nitrogen and include vegetable scraps such as carrots, onion skins, corn husks, banana peels, and coffee grounds.
The ratio of materials must also be considered to ensure the right consistency. When the pile looks slimy or smells strong, add more browns. When the pile seems dry and hard to mix, add more greens.
An ideal ratio is 30:1 or 30 parts carbon (browns) to 1 part nitrogen (greens).
Everyday Compostables Include:
- Hay or Straw
- Wool, Cotton, Hemp & Silk
- Grass Clippings
- Ashes (Wood)
- Fruit & Veggie Peels
- Kitchen Food Scraps
- Coffee Grounds
- Nut Shells
- Egg Shells
- Toilet Paper Rolls
- Egg Cartons
- Cereal Boxes
- Pizza Boxes
- Paper Towels & Napkins
Benefits of Composting
Besides the fact that composting can keep more than 30% of waste out of landfills, composting is one of the most beneficial practices you can implement to help the environment!
As a natural fertilizer, compost keeps plants healthy by retaining moisture and keeping diseases and pests at bay.
Microorganisms break down compost into humus, a nutrient-dense material that retains 80-90% of its weight in moisture and can help restore areas of the environment that droughts have damaged.
By laying compost between roads and wetlands, pollutants caused by traffic can be reduced. In addition, compost can be a valuable component of wetland restoration or improvement projects since those ecosystems need organic material.
Source: “What are the Benefits of Compost.” US Composting Council, n.d.
How to Compost Indoors
Build a Worm Composting Bin:
Vermicomposting, or composting with worms, is becoming a common home composting method as it can be done on your balcony or anywhere! Composting worms, also known as red wigglers, can be found at your local bait shop. Worms thrive at room temperature, so they are the ideal indoor pet, as they enjoy eating food scraps.
Composting with worms is not an overnight success since it takes a few weeks for the materials to decompose, but it is much faster than other processes!
Giving Your Scraps A Tumbler:
You can put your scraps in the compartment, give it a tumble in a few weeks, and your compost is ready! This makes it the perfect solution for balconies and small backyards.
Compost In A Flash With An Electric Composter:
Composting with an electric composter is more expensive than other options, but you can get compost overnight instead of waiting for it to decompose. It is a must-have for those with larger households and families who want to reduce their carbon footprint quickly and effectively!
Don't forget to take care of your pile and keep track of what goes in it! Composter bins that are appropriately managed won't attract rodents or pests, and they won't smell!
Composting can provide insight into what materials are in landfills and can't be broken down completely. When it comes to protecting the environment, awareness is half the battle; the next step is making the conscious decision to find alternatives.
With EcoBlvd, you'll find a collection of phone cases that aren't just stylish and protective; they're also 100% compostable!