Composting

The Recycling of Nature



Many of us conduct the practice of recycling every day. We know that by separating out metals, glass and cardboard that these materials can turn into new products. This minimizes the consumption of our natural resources and allows us to lower our environmental impact. But what about moldy bread, rotten fruit and spoiled fish? There is a better process to handle these to protect nature as well, and it’s by practicing composting.

In essence, composting is recycling of nature for organic materials (things that were once alive). With composting, materials undergo a process of transformation where they change from something perceived as garbage into a nutrient-rich, biologically abundant soil that can transform even sand into fertile soil for growing the freshest food.

The benefits of composting are numerous. When we make the conscious decision to put something back towards the soil we do more than enable future food. Composting takes material out of the waste stream where one of three destinations is reached. If it goes to landfill, greenhouse gas emissions occur at a rate of half a pound of CO2 per pound of organic material. If it goes to an incinerator, everything is inefficiently burned because organic material is mostly water. If it goes down a sink disposal, water consumption is increased at home and at the waste water processing facilities. None of these option helps new food grow.

When it comes to growing food, compost provides the full suite of minerals required for growth beyond your standard nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. Unlike chemical alternatives, compost provides a slow release of nutrients over time to continuously feed a plant. It is also alive, teeming with millions of beneficial soil microbes and fungi. These micro-organisms symbiotically interact with plants to increase nutrient uptake. Overall, compost will grow plants that are more resistant to drought, disease and pests, plus more nutritious for us.

What is compostable?

Many sources will make different claims, however in simple terms every bit of material that comes from a living organism, plant or animal, can return to the soil. The leaves that dance to the ground can compost; plant trimmings from the garden, yard and house can compost; branches, twigs and tree products like paper can return to the soil; even everything from one’s plate can go into the compost as well. This includes meat, dairy, fish and shells, though some sources will express otherwise. Certain items just have special considerations to keep in mind like odors, bugs and animals.

It is also becoming easier to compost everywhere. There are options for composting some things at home (the best bins are self-built), locations where individuals can drop organic material off, and even services that provide collection right at the door. No matter what method is chosen, by composting as much as we possibly can, we create a future that will be greener, fuller and brighter for everyone.

Adam Jankauskas is the founder of City Compost. His mission is to eliminate hunger and liberate the food system for all to partake in the vast abundance that nature can provide (if we change our ways). For more information, visit CityCompost.com.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Wireless Warning

The explosion of wireless technology within one generation has been dramatic and created many benefits such as convenience and connectivity, but at what price?

Wellness Professional Networking Event Focuses on the Power of Facebook Groups

Soul Being and Natural Awakenings will cohost a wellness professionals networking event from 6:45 to 8 p.m., December 13, at Newton Chiropractic & Wellness, in Newton Upper Falls.

Special Packages and Memberships Available at Cloud-9 Float & Wellness

Cloud-9 Float & Wellness is now offering unlimited packages and monthly memberships for all services.

SCENAR Therapy: Untapped Potential of Human Healing

Thousands of doctors, various health practitioners, Olympic athletes and everyday people are using and enjoying SCENAR, a miraculous modality of energy medicine to stay healthy and young.

Pampamesayok Shaman School Begins in Medfield

Join Julie Hannon for 12 Days to an Awakened Life – A Shamanic Journey to Your Center, to be held from January 4 to 6, plus three additional weekends on February 1 to 3, March 22 to 24, and May 18 to 20.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »This Month

Zen Shiatsu Training

Business Spotlight
Shiatsu School of Vermont, one of two schools certified in the U.S. to offer Zen-style shiatsu certification, is offering a one-year Certified Practitioner Program starting this September.

Transformation Through the Art of Breema

An upcoming weekend retreat at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Movement from April 20 to 22 will provide a fulfilling entry into Breema’s philosophy, self-care exercises and bodywork.

Tour Green Homes at Green House Festival in Brookline

Mothers Out Front has organized a green home tour from noon to 3 p.m. on April 8, in Brookline.

Sleeping Better Naturally

Business Spotlight
At The Organic Mattress, a family-owned specialty sleep store, people will find mattresses made from natural and organic ingredients, including organic cotton, wool and natural latex made from the sap of rubber trees.

Rising Seas Threaten Boston

The Climate Action Business Association (CABA) is standing up to protect Commonwealth small business communities against imminent danger.

Peace on Earth

My latest favorite author is 20th-century new thought leader and philosopher Emmet Fox. His piece below feels like a perfect fit in light of the world’s celebration of our planet on Earth Day this month.