Why Should We Compost?

Serious problems in the environment are continuously arising. Issues such as waste disposal, loss of biodiversity and increased pollution are some of the threats to the Earth. As one of its inhabitants, humans must continually develop ways to save and maintain the earth’s natural resources. Environmentally-friendly solutions to the problem, especially easy ones, could create a big difference to the ecosystem.

One of the most inexpensive and highly sustainable methods of helping the environment is composting. Composting is the manipulation of organic materials to speed up the natural process of decomposition, transforming the materials it into a new nutrient-rich material.

The science of composting is that organisms (bacteria, fungi, earthworms, ants, bugs, etc.)  feed on the decaying detritus and break it down into a healthier byproduct. The success of composting depends on the creation of an ideal environment where detritus-eating organisms can thrive. That is, a place that has a warm temperature, enough moisture, sufficient nutrients and plenty of oxygen.

Compost Pile

Composting methods vary with the kinds of organic materials used and the decomposers present during the process. There are four common composting techniques.

  1. Worm composting, or vermicomposting utilizes worms to create compost.
  2. Backyard or onsite composting done by homeowners or small gardening businesses that produce compost via assembling a location, usually a bin, where yard trimmings and kitchen scraps are piled up for decomposition.
  3. Arated (turned) Windrow composting is a method done by large industries to improve the soil quality for farming.
  4. In-vessel composting requires machines and electrical systems to yield fertilizers from all kinds of organic and industrial waste.

Composting was practiced thousands of years ago when our ancestors relied on farming as their primary source of food. Composting is an effective process without the risk of damaging the environment, whether applying it to small gardening activities or large-scale crop cultivation

Hands holding compost

The results of composting are not just helpful for plant cultivators but also have environmental benefits as well. It reduces waste thrown into landfills. It enriches soil health by retaining its natural condition and treats contaminated soil by eradicating harmful compounds, from pesticides and preservatives. Compost piles increase of the useful microorganisms that create nourishment for plant growth. It also lessens the use of expensive chemical fertilizers that are hazardous to nature.

Moreover, composted soil lowers methane emission and decreases the carbon footprint which is a leading cause of global warming.

Reduce, reuse, recycle are the three basic steps that work toward a solution to the problems in our environment. Composting accomplishes all three.

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