5 Little Known Benefits of Composting

10/28/2019 8:36 AM

Are you looking for a way to reduce your personal carbon footprint? Either way, composting can be an easy way to naturally recycle. 

Composting is when you take your food waste (things like eggshells, fruit and vegetable peelings, coffee grounds and filters, used tea bags, bread, and basically any non-animal based food product) combine it with yard waste (think leaves, grass and flower trimmings) and let it turn into a natural, nutrient-rich fertilizer that’s great for your plants.

You can create a compost pile in either a sunny or shady spot in your yard (be sure to properly moisten it) or you can buy a special compost bin that’s covered and properly vented. The most important factor in locating your compost bin is that it is convenient and near a water source. While not necessary, buying a bin that’s meant for compost is handy because it helps keep your compost at the appropriate moisture level and it keeps critters out. Alternatively, you may just choose to cover your loose compost pile with a tarp that will keep the moisture in, although this will also keep water out, and may prove a tempting smell for any nearby raccoons.

It’s so easy and the benefits only begin with the elimination of your family’s food waste. It also can increase the capacity for holding water, as well as loosening the soil for better growth. Here are 5 more benefits of composting, if you needed any more persuading!

Eliminates the need for pesticides, herbicides and fungicides 

If you maintain the proper green: brown ration and proper moisture, a compost pile can take as little as two months to turn your food waste into compost. 

Your compost can reduce or prevent some of the common molds and mildew that attack your plants, slow plant disease, discourage pests and boosting the production of helpful fungi and bacteria without needing to spray any harsh chemicals in your yard.

Saves Energy and Fuel

This is the perfect example of the phrase “every little bit helps” in action. An average family’s yard and food waste make up between 25% and 50% of their weekly trash. Now, if instead of going out in the trash, that 25%-50% of your trash is being recycled, you’re reducing the amount of garbage that needs to be taken away from your house. 

Just by cutting your trash output by a quarter, you are helping to reduce emissions because less weight on the garbage truck means less fuel is used. Furthermore, the less food waste in landfills, the less methane is released from the landfill! 

Imagine how much we could reduce our carbon footprint if we all composted instead of throwing away our food and yard waste!

You also reduce the odors (methane) coming from your trash container in the warmer months of the year!

Conserves Water

Using compost (or just having your compost heap in your garden) means you won’t have to water your plants as often, so you are saving another precious resource as well (not to mention the money you will save on your water bill!).

This is because compost soaks up water when it rains and then releases it slowly. Similar to a layer of mulch, the compost layer also prevents rainwater that has soaked into the ground from evaporating.

Controls Erosion

Did you know that the United States loses over 2 billion tons of topsoil every year due to erosion? When an area is eroded, natural plant growth is reduced. Furthermore, the same nutrients in the topsoil that nourish the plant life can actually cause harm to the aquatic life it encounters when it’s washed away by increasing algae blooms in lakes and wetlands.

Compost to the rescue! The FDA discovered that when compost is used in embankments, it protects the turf from erosion caused by construction and roadwork, thus saving the surrounding plant and water life!

Saves Money!

We saved the best reasons for last! There are countless ways that establishing a compost pile can save you money. We’ll list just some of the reasons here.

Instead of buying bags of topsoil to rejuvenate your garden every year, you’ll be using your all-natural soil that you’ll have created yourself with recycled food and yard waste. You’ll save around $100 per cubic yard of space you need to soil every year.

You’ll also save money on expensive fertilizers and lawn treatments that become necessary when pests have taken over your unhealthy soil or the bacteria levels of your soil have become imbalanced. There’s really no limit to what you can spend on professional landscaping services. The naturally occurring nutrients in compost will keep your yard healthy year-round, including in fall when it’s covered with leaves but your garden can still be breathtaking with beautiful annuals and pumpkins. Not to mention, you won’t have to worry about kids or animals being exposed to the harsh chemicals that are used by landscaping companies.

We mentioned earlier that you’ll be reducing your trash output by 25-50%. If you are producing less trash, that means you won’t go through as many trash bags. It may seem like small savings, but remember, it also means fewer trips out to the curb on trash day!

Your water bill will also lower since you won’t have to run your sprinkler as often.

If you grow your own produce, the natural fertilizer is sure to boost your crop production. With plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs growing right in your own backyard, you’ll save money on expensive products from the store. Plus the fresh food tastes much better than store-bought produce!

Start Composting Today

There are so many benefits to composting. Many of them are beneficial in the long run as reducing our emissions and carbon footprints is such an important thing to do in the wake of climate change. While others are just really convenient as a savvy homeowner. 

Composting is a great way to get outdoors. Whether it’s for some alone time or a way to connect with your kids or grandkids, get outside and maintain your compost pile

We recommend enlisting your friends and neighbors, the more people you can get to participate in making compost piles, the greater the benefits for everyone and the sooner you’ll start to actually see those benefits on a larger scale. 

Thanks for doing your part to help our planet!

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Compost Research and Education Foundation (CREF)
Physical Address:
1053 E Whitaker Mill Rd
Suite 115
Raleigh, NC 27604

Mailing Address:
PO Box 19246
Raleigh, NC 27619
tel: (833) 812-2733