You’re not composting? Seriously? Guys, composting is the HOT NEW THING.
(And by new, I mean super old, because it’s a natural process that is as old as time and was chugging along fantastically in a wonderful little circle-of-life scenario, until humans decided that it was a better idea to seal all of our biodegradable material in non-biodegradable plastic garbage bags and store it in great heaps in landfills all over the world for some unknown reason.)
Personally, I think composting is a total no-brainer, but since the majority of households in North America do not yet compost, I tried to think of the top 5 reasons why, and then have imaginary arguments against these reasons. It’s like I’m right there with you, nagging you in person. Lucky!
1. It’s expensive.
The initial cost of purchasing a backyard compost bin is minimal and quickly recouped by the money you’ll save on garbage bags (some sources estimate that you can cut down household waste by between 30-70% just by composting!)
If you’re handy you can build one (a quick google search yields dozens of plans) and many municipalities will subsidize the cost as well as offering free composting workshops (my sister-in-law here in Edmonton got her bin for $35 with a free info session, which she found really helpful)
2. It takes too much time
The way I see it, you are either throwing a banana peel in the garbage, or in the bin beside the garbage. Then you’re either taking the garbage out to the curb, or the compost bucket out to the backyard. I mean, your fruit and vegetable scraps are leaving your house one way or the other – why not make it a way that benefits the earth and saves you money? (Less garbage means less garbage bags being purchased…doesn’t it seem weird we buy the things specifically to throw them out?)
3. It’s gross.
I sort of get this one. Hermetically sealing things away in plastic and putting them on the curb where they magically disappear to locations unknown each week does seem at first glance to be a bit nicer than keeping stuff in a rotting heap in your backyard.
But modern composters are incredible at keeping down odours and preventing pests. A well-adjusted compost with the right balance of brown matter (yard clippings, leaves, etc.) and green matter (fruit/veggie scraps) shouldn’t smell or attract flies and other pests.
Plus, you know what’s really gross? This mess.
This scene can be found in every single city and town in the world. Just because it’s not in your backyard doesn’t mean it isn’t heartbreaking, saddening and completely preventable.
4. It’s complicated.
It’s seriously not, I promise. It takes 4 steps.
- Dump fruit/veggie peelings into a bucket into your kitchen, instead of the garbage.
- When the bucket is full, nag your husband/children/well-trained dog to take it outside and deposit it into your compost bin, then rinse the bucket with a hose and replace in your kitchen.
- When you mow your lawn or rake your leaves, put that in the bin, too.
- Harvest nutrient-rich black gold after a year or so. Best investment you ever made!
5. I don’t need compost- I don’t garden.
That’s ok! If you don’t need the rich black earth that all those kitchen scraps eventually biodegrade into, throw an ad up on a social media site and it will disappear faster than you can say “kombucha”. Seriously, people will pay for this stuff!
Making bank from your carrot peels and eggshells – what are you waiting for??
Here’s the bottom line: Composting allows you to reduce your household garbage by as much 70% with very little additional effort, return nutrients to the earth where they belong, enrich your gardens (or the gardens of other happy hippies in your life) AND do Mother Nature a solid by not adding to the disgusting heaps smoldering in landfills for all eternity.
What are you waiting for?