5 Reasons to Start Composting Today

5 reasons to start composting today

Composting is an effective way to reduce waste and reuse organic materials – and it helps us connect with nature. 

Find out:

  • what it is 
  • how it works
  • how it benefits our communities and planet
  • how to make it happen at home 

What is composting?

Composting is the process of reusing organic materials like old food and plant waste to create a nutrient-rich mixture of ingredients. That mixture (compost) can then be used for different purposes – like serving as your new favorite eco-friendly fertilizer.

And humans aren’t the only ones involved in the process. Bacteria, fungi, protozoa and insects – including earthworms – each have a role to play in breaking down batches of organic waste. 


1. It’s great for the planet

Composting supports the environment by helping local organisms and plants thrive while simultaneously enriching their habitats. 


2. It fertilizes the soil

Since compost is filled with plant-nurturing ingredients (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium), you can use it to fertilize your soil. Talk about going full circle! 


3. It’s recycling for organic waste

Composting is basically recycling for organic waste like food crumbs, rotting fruits and vegetables, newspapers and wilted flowers. 


4. It lightens the load on landfills

Landfills are notoriously overcrowded thanks to single-use plastics and materials that aren’t biodegradable or that take years to degrade. Compost to help your local landfills save space. 

These materials can’t compost on their own because emissions-heavy landfills don’t have the oxygen they need.


5. It can decrease erosion 

Water runs slower over compost and compost can help soil hold together better, which helps prevent the undermining or scattering of soil. Composting also adds volume to soil, it prevents runoff (which reduces the spread of chemicals) and it makes it easier for water to penetrate the soil to properly nurture plants. 


Easy ways to compost at home

DIY 

Save wet scraps of items like old flowers, fruits, vegetables, coffee grounds, tea bags and eggshells. Avoid composting oil-covered food, dairy products and meat because they can attract serious pests. 

Save dry paper waste in a separate container (think: newspapers, shredded paper, leaves and cardboard). 

When you have a decent supply of both wet and dry waste, you’re ready to get started. 

Put the dry items in the bottom of a container. Then put the wet items on top of the dry pile. Repeat. Keep each layer to about 1-2” thick and try to make the top layer a dry layer to discourage unwanted scents (unless you have a container that solves smells). 

The dry layer will support water flow and air flow to aerate the mixture and encourage decomposition. After a few months, what started off as discarded waste transforms into a fluffy, nutrient-rich and sometimes fragrant (really!) mixture.

Or get composting help

If you’re not thrilled about composting on your own, do some digital digging to find a compost center in your community. Drop off eligible waste and they’ll take it from there. 


Safety first: wear a dust mask, shoes and gloves whenever you’re composting or handling compost.