For a long time the idea of composting was both appealing and disgusting to me. On one hand, composting is a great way to reduce waste. On the other hand I live in a small open plan apartment with no available outdoor space. The idea of garbage festering in my house for days on end isn’t appealing. To me garbage was that stinky pile lying on the corner with crows and rats pecking on it. Not the prettiest of pictures.
Looks like there was no reason to be scared. Composting turned out to be easier than I could have imagined.
Here’s the thing about composting that no one tells you. It’s super easy. It’s as easy as going online, ordering a bin and getting started. Before I got started I was super afraid. All my experience with garbage has probably been the same as yours. Gross and smelly. Composting on the other hand, believe it or not doesn’t smell and sometimes even smells nice, kind of like the smell of soil after it rains
On my quest to live a more sustainable life, I thought I’d give composting a try, but before I go into my experience with composting – Let’s talk a little more about what it is, how it works and why it’s the more sustainable thing to do 🙂
When we throw any organic matter away, it’s usually tied up in a garbage bag and ends up in a landfill, where the next day it will be buried under a whole new set of garbage bags – this means that it doesn’t get any air – which is sort of the key ingredient in getting things to break down “aerobically”. Anyways, all this trapped waste ends up producing a gas called methane – and as it turns out, In the first two decades after its release, methane is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide – basically it absorbs way more heat than the dreaded CO2 and heats up our planet much faster.
When you compost the waste releases mostly water vapor, CO2, and what’s left behind is nutrition for soil made up of carbon, nitrogen and other nutrients. It’s pretty cool actually, because it looks like soil and smells like the earth right after the first rain. Plus it’s a great way to sequester carbon into the soil
Which is reason Number Two. Compost is a natural fertiliser and is great for gardening, landscaping or reforestation efforts. Adding a little bit to your houseplants can also help them grow. Plus compost helps soil retain water. So the benefits are plenty
Compost is an amazing nutrient and can help replace artificial fertiliser in many cases – which is also pretty amazing for the planet because as it turns out Fertilizer plants emit 100 times more methane than reported (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/06/190606183254.htm)
And finally, before I started composting, I used at minimum one garbage bag per day. That’s 365 garbage bags a year, now, I may use one about once a month. So that’s a huge reduction