Four Tips to Start Your Composting Journey
Take a big step toward sustainable living by composting. Composting reduces greenhouse gas emissions. According to the EPA, yard debris and food waste make up about 30% of waste sent to landfills. Composting your food and yard waste helps reduce emissions by diverting these items from landfills, which produce methane. Composting promotes healthy soil and reduces the need for artificial fertilizers. According to the U.S. Composting Council, compost increases the nutrients available to plants in the soil, while also helping to prevent soil erosion. It is time to start composting in your home and learn how you can create and leverage compost to reduce food waste and be a better friend to the environment.
- Before you start. Get to know which items and materials should be composted and how best to keep your compost balanced. Generally, you can compost items like coffee grounds, fruits and vegetables, eggshells, tea bags, nutshells, yard waste, leaves, and more. Typically, you can’t compost fats, meats, or dairy products. You’ll want to make sure you have a good ratio of greens (like vegetable or fruit scraps and yard waste) and browns (like dead leaves and twigs). Water is essential - compost needs moisture. Find more composting tips online at the Association of Compost Producers (ACP).
- Assess your space. Look around your space and evaluate what you may need to start composting. You’ll want to store food scraps in a place that makes it convenient to compost while you’re cooking or cleaning your kitchen. You don’t need a fancy scrap bucket, but make sure it has a tight seal to reduce odor.
- Get the right tools. After you’ve assessed your indoor space, you’ll want to get the tools that will set you up for success. You’ll need a compost bin, which you can purchase or build on your own. Remember, you’ll need to find an outdoor space that is dry and shaded to store your compost bin.
- What to watch for. Once you’ve started your compost, you’ll want to monitor for warning signs that it is out of balance. Your compost shouldn’t attract bugs or have an odor. If it does, then you’ll know that it’s time to adjust the mix of greens and browns you’re adding to your bin. Ideally, your compost should include an equal mix of green and brown material. For more information on producing and using compost, please visit the U.S. Composting Council’s website.