Reduce Waste by Composting - Seven Benefits of a Compost Bin

  Composting is one of the best things you can do for your garden. As a balanced mulch and fertilizer, compost is rich in nutrients. Mixed with the dirt in your yard, compost enhances and enriches the soil, helping almost any plant grow and develop more healthily.

Composting is also a very green activity. Every household that composts food scraps and yard clippings will keep approximately 700 pounds of waste out of the municipal collection. My home town distributes compost bins free of charge to residents who attend a workshop to learn the basics. To date, about 5300 of these bins have been handed out to residents, keeping an estimated 1800 tons of yard clippings out of the curb-side pick up annually.

What are the green benefits of composting? Here are seven of them.

1) Fuel savings: Fewer stops and stars on collection routes and fewer miles hauling yard waste save on transportation fuel. The need for you to make trips to the garden center to buy mulch or other soil amendments also saves gasoline.

2) Reduction in carbon emissions: reducing the truck miles requires to move thousands of toms of yard waste cuts down on greenhouse gas emissions.

3) Reduction of methane emissions: Home-composted food scraps produce less methane when composted than when left to decompose in a landfill. Since methane is 21 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, this effect is important.

4) Improvement of the soil: Nutrients from compost give your soil better growth characteristics and structure. Often, plant diseases and pests are also reduced by the addition of compost to your soil.

5) Allows production of safer fruit and vegetables in your garden: As mentioned earlier, compost is an ideal mulch and fertilizer for your garden, reducing the need for chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides.

6) Reduce the need for watering: Compost helps retain moisture, reducing the need for watering your garden.

7) Save money: As a natural fertilizer for your garden, you can virtually eliminate the need to purchase soil amendments and fertilizers. Reducing watering times also saves money by saving on water consumption.

Composting is a great way to reduce waste and reuse kitchen scraps and yard clippings in a way that enhances your soil and garden. And by improving your garden to be organic and chemical-free, you can produce more of your seasonal vegetables at home and eat more healthily as well-an added benefit.

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Learn How to Make Compost - Start Recycling and Reduce Waste

Learning how to make compost is a very rewarding process that is simple and easy to learn and very forgiving. Any recycling that we undertake through a composting process even if it is a small operation or up to commercial quantities, helps to reduce waste and improve our water quality, for there is less waste water treatment required of the precious resource that carries our wastes to the treatment plant. Let's help ourselves and each other by learning some basics.

We all find there are many unwanted items that we have to dispose of at the end of the day and we routinely throw them out in the trash or feed them into the eagerly awaiting garbage gobbler that is such a convenient way to clean up the mess.

It's a great way to do things but is it creating another mess?

Unfortunately it contributes to the pollution of this wonderful planet that we live in. This can so easily be changed if we all learned how to make compost even on a small scale. It is actually really easy and yes it can even be FUN!

What do we need? For a start any organic product, that is, anything that was once growing can be added to a composting process for recycling into the process that Mother Nature has provided us for millions of years. So we have to agree that the process works and concede that it actually works very well indeed. So let us look at all that we throw away and see what we can turn into compost. There will be some things that should be avoided for a start until a little knowledge and confidence is gained but it really is a simple process. So we need the raw materials and a container or site to start the process.

How much material we want to compost is the next consideration. Let's start with what comes out of the kitchen as there is always an unwanted amount of food scraps that arise. If this is all that is envisaged to begin with then the best way to have fun with kitchen compost is to start a worm farm! Kids just love them, especially boys of course and just watch they don't eat them. This is a great way to get the whole family involved as it is a great talking point and it is interesting to watch as things disappear. A well managed worm farm will not emit odors and can be managed in a cool place indoors.

For larger amounts we need to look at recycling outdoors where we can build a compost pile or use compost bins to break down the leaves and branches into a great mulch and soil conditioner. Understanding something about carbon to nitrogen ratios of plants really helps but the basis is that the micro-organisms in the pile need some nitrogen to break down the woody parts which are high in carbon. It is ratio range that is very forgiving but getting it in the desired range results in better quality compost in a much quicker time frame.

There are four main criteria to be considered when making compost:

The carbon to nitrogen ratio

The size of the pile or container

The amount of water included

The amount of air available

The size of the pile will determine whether the composting process is hot or cold. A cubic yard will often allow the pile to build up heat producing better quality compost and this should be the minimum size ideally for a hot composting method. Materials will break down quicker and diseases and weed seeds will not survive if the desired temperatures are reached. Water is needed to keep the pile damp but not soggy.

Air is not something we usually think about in a compost pile but the organisms that are doing all the work are alive and need OXYGEN just like us or the bad critters take over and this is where the bad smells usually come from.

An enclosed container helps hold in heat and keep the pile tidy and animals away. A good compost tumbler will help with turning and allowing more air in as needed.

Cold composting is a longer process but is a great way to recycle if we choose. Building a larger scale worm farm is a way of speeding up the process and getting a wonderful worm compost tea that is a great tonic for plants.

It is possible to make bad, smelly compost but gaining a little knowledge on how to make compost and planning the process will ensure a great start to recycling and to reducing waste.

Reducing Waste During a Move

Moving can be a difficult and challenging process, but there are ways you can ease the process. One way to help your transition go smoothly and also reduce pressure on the environment is to minimize your waste during a move. By planning ahead, it is possible to arrange for an environmentally friendly and organized moving method.

Tips for Cutting Down on Waste

Moving traditionally involves a large amount of boxes, crates, and storage units that are thrown out after the transition to the new home. By organizing and planning your move, you may be able to prevent the unnecessary waste of these products. Some tips for reducing waste include:

Purge yourself of belongings, furniture, or clothing that will not have a place in the new home. This can cut back on the amount of things that must be moved as well as help you stay organized when unpacking.

Save boxes ahead of time. When you have decided to move or know your move out date is approaching, take the time to save storage items when you make purchases or collect them from others who may have some handy.

Check into the availability of large, reusable storage crates that are often available through moving companies. These can typically be used for up to 10 years and hold large amounts of items.

Pack items into your luggage and any storage bins you may already own.

Donate any boxes or other items that can be used by others after your move.

If you are considering a move, there are professional moving companies that can help you to protect the environment while transitioning to your new home.

It's important to be sure your new home is a safe place where you can live without fearing porch collapses or toxic substances such as lead and mercury. If you suspect your new home contains such dangers, a premises liability lawyer can help you hold the responsible party accountable.


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