It takes plastic bottles hundreds of years to decompose, which is one reason the case for recycling them is so strong. In comparison, food waste decomposes relatively quickly whether it is used for compost or not. So why not just throw it away?
One of the biggest problems with throwing your food away is the plastic that you’re putting it in – not just the bags that you roll out to the curb, but the plastic that lines the landfill, depriving food waste of the oxygen and moisture necessary for proper decomposition. Burying food waste and mixing it with other toxic chemicals makes it harder for nature to “find a solution” and do its job of decomposing food naturally.
TOP 10 REASONS TO COMPOST INSTEAD
1) Free up space in the landfill. It’s estimated that more than 50 percent of your trash is organic waste – 12.45 percent food scraps, 12.8 percent yard trimmings, and 32.66 percent paper products (by weight). That’s 57.96 percent organic waste that composting could help divert from landfills.
2) Cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. Compostable items in landfills emit methane, a gas that according to the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report is 72 times more powerful than carbon dioxide!
3) Reduce the risk of air and groundwater pollution. Though we line our landfills with plastic (or clay) and top them with soil, the risk of polluting our environment with toxins from our trash is a real possibility that composting can help minimize.
4) Break down your food waste. When it comes to kitchen composting, you need not wait long for your food scraps to decompose. In fact, a grub composting bin can break down your organic food matter in less than two days time!
5) Nourish your plants naturally. Not only do chemical fertilizers contribute to the pollution of our soil and groundwater, but they also do not contain all of the nutrients your flowers, fruits, vegetables and other plants need to grow. Compost nourishes naturally while also providing the necessary nutrients to ensure your plants’ optimal health and growth.
6) Save money on fertilizers and pesticides. Instead of buying fertilizer for your plants, you can make it in the form of compost right there at home. Plus, plants nourished with composted organic matter are stronger and more fibrous than those treated with chemical fertilizers. In turn, they’re less prone to insect attack so you can save on pesticides too.
7) Contribute to your ecosystem at home. When you take your trash or recyclables out to the curb, your role ends there. With composting though, you’re responsible for the entire life cycle of your food. You can grow it, eat it, then compost the scraps to nourish your next meal.
8) Composting is simple and clean. Contrary to what you may have heard about composting in the past, it’s not complicated or smelly. Done right it’s one of the simplest, cleanest ways to run your household right.
9) You can do it just about anywhere. You don’t need a big yard for composting. With safe, streamlined worm and grub bins, you can compost on a deck or patio.
10) Teach your kids that their waste is a resource. Instead of discarding it thoughtlessly, stripping waste of its value, empower your children with the education and tools they need to take responsibility for their trash and take the steps necessary to turn it into treasure.
Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/shadowpainter/2460246474/