Ordinarily, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, around 20% of what goes into our municipal landfills is food.
For the past several weeks many of us have been staying in our homes in order to protect our communities and reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus. With extra people in the home we may notice our household creating more waste than it usually would.
What can we do with that extra waste?
The good news is that much of the organic waste we produce in our homes can actually be composted instead! Composting not only reduces the amount of waste going to landfills, but it produces a product that is good for the soil.
While most other outdoor activities are off limits due to social distancing rules, it might be a good time to start composting! It’s also a great science activity for kids!
A Quick Guide to Home Composting
The basic steps for composting are:
Add your brown and green materials in alternate layers. You want to aim for a ratio of 3 parts browns to 1 part greens!
Keep your compost moist, but not too wet.
Regularly turn your compost to keep it aerated.
Your finished compost will be ready somewhere between two months to a year, depending upon your climate, what goes into your compost, and how often you turn it. When it is ready it will be a dark brown color and there will be no remnants of waste.
“But I don’t have a backyard!”
If you don’t have an outdoor space to use for composting there are other options!
- Compost Collection: Waste collection is considered an essential business. Many compost collection services are taking extra safety precautions in order to continue servicing their customers. Sign up for one in your area! Compost Now have a great map on their website so you can search for composters by state.
- Check with Neighbors: Some of your neighbors might like to use your kitchen scraps for their own compost! Or you could find out if a local community garden has a compost bin that you could use.
- Indoor Composting: Did you know that you can also compost indoors? Check out our indoor composting tips!
Composting is a great way to reduce your household waste. It can also affect your purchasing and eating choices even before you produce any waste! Once you begin asking: can I put this in my compost? you’ll most likely find yourself making better choices for the environment.
We love compost! The more people have access to composting, the more we can all work together to end landfills!