by, Liz Rutledge
I don’t know about you, but I cannot stand the smell of a stinky garbage bin. All that rotting food gives off such a nasty stench.
One easy way we’ve lowered our family’s carbon footprint is to start composting. And, as an added benefit, we no longer have the smelly trash issue.
I was shocked to learn that 1/3 of what goes to landfills is compostable. Have you thought of reducing the amount of waste your household contributes to the landfill? Landfills emit methane as well as Carbon Dioxide and other gasses*. Methane is a gas that is 20+ times more damaging to the Ozone Layer and traps up to 100 times more heat over a 5-year period than Carbon Dioxide (CO2).
Some cities, like our city of Denver, have composting programs, which is a great option if you are not a gardener or if you rent an apartment or condo where composting is not allowed. You can reduce your trips to the dumpster and reduce your contribution to the landfill.
If you have your own property or rent in a property that has a community garden or landscaping, you can have your own compost! Even if you live in an apartment, you can (usually) still have a worm farm.
Our family has been composting since 2000. I can tell you that I do not miss having to go to the garden center and buy heavy, bagged-in-non-biodegradable-plastic bags. Putting peelings and such in our kitchen collector bucket is a very natural action now and taking it out to the compost bin in the alley is just “something I do” as I head out for the day.
One of SustainableThree.com’s offerings is helping with compost start-up. After a brief interview, I can help you find a composter in your budget and a collection bucket for your kitchen. Then, it’s just a matter of collecting the right materials and giving it a weekly or bi-weekly stir. We set up the composter and get your composter cooking. If you want to learn the setup process, we can work together. Or, I can set it up and give quick instructions on how to maintain it. Once it’s set up, keeping it going is easy – just feed it and stir it regularly.
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*Methane and carbon dioxide make up 90 to 98% of landfill gas. The remaining 2 to 10% includes nitrogen, oxygen, ammonia, sulfides, hydrogen and various other gases. Landfill gases are produced when bacteria break down organic waste. (Source: https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/outdoors/air/landfill_gas.htm)
I like to keep things simple (easy as 1-2-3), but if you want more detailed information on composting, here are some resources: