Top 4 Reasons To Compost At Home
Composting is probably the most effective method to dispose of waste while ensuring the planet benefits from it. Composting occurs when organic waste can decompose naturally in the soil under oxygen-rich conditions. A simple example of this in nature would be a fallen tree. As time passes, a fallen tree decomposes and begins to encourage the growth of a variety of organisms and life forms. The decaying material of the tree becomes a hotbed of growth for life.
All waste material decomposes eventually, but some waste is considered more favorable in case of composting- like fruit waste, eggshells, dry leaves, and more organic forms of waste. Composting is fun and easy to do, but before learning how to compost at home, let’s look at 4 reasons why you should compost at home.
Less Dependence on Synthetic Fertilizers
Plants that grow in compost-rich soil are more likely to outlast pests, fungi, and other diseases as compared to plants grown using synthetic fertilizers. The healthy bacteria and microorganisms in compost help to keep diseases and pests at bay. This helps to lower the dependence on pesticides.
A critical difference between compost and synthetic fertilizers is the pace at which nutrients are supplied to the plant. Compost provides nutrients slowly for the plant, releasing it gradually over a period. This happens because compost consists of a variety of different materials and they all break down at different speeds.
Fertilizers, however, release the nutrients immediately and overwhelm the plant. Since compost is made up of different materials, it also tends to be more nutrition rich as compared to synthetic fertilizers.
Synthetic fertilizers also move from the soil into the rivers, lakes, and other water bodies. This can pollute the freshwater we have. Moving to compost can prevent this from happening.
In the long run, composting provides the soil with plenty of nutrients and enhances the soil structure to absorb nutrients efficiently. The richer the soil is, the lesser the need to rely on synthetic fertilizers.
Less Use of Fossil Fuels
To skip through the effort of composting and waiting for the soil to become nutrient-rich, a lot of people resort to buying compost. But John Cossham, an ecology educator, believes that home compost is always a better option. Commercial forms of composting often use machines that require oil and employ a technique of oxidizing organic matter using high heat to break down the matter quickly.
But when this happens, a vital process is skipped- fungal decomposition. When composting at home, the process is much slower, and this ensures that the organic material is broken down well by the bacteria and fungi.
Strengthens the Soil
Compost is crucial for maintaining excellent soil health. The organic matter put into the soil has essential minerals and vitamins that assist with the growth of plants. Putting back valuable nutrients into the soil helps to improve the texture and structure of the soil, and this makes the soil conducive for plant growth.
Soil becomes better at holding water and other nutrients when there is a higher concentration of organic matter present in the soil. It also prevents erosion, thereby creating an excellent environment for the nurturing of plant life. The EPA has stated that a one percent increase in organic matter can enhance the soil’s water retention capacity by three times.
When you compost at home, the soil becomes super nutritious and encourages bacteria, worms, and fungi to flourish and further enhance the soil health. When a compost heap is managed effectively at home, it emits zero methane. Composting also doesn’t burn plants like synthetic fertilizers; it releases the nutrients very gently.
The agricultural methods used today, and the widespread use of synthetic fertilizers has depleted the nutrition levels of the soil. It is due to this that the fruits and vegetables that are grown today are of a much lower quality than what was available just a few decades ago. This makes it even more compelling for people to switch to composting and other organic forms of growing food.
To observe clearly how vital soil health is for plant growth, you could try growing two plants at the same time- one using regular soil and the other using the same soil but mixed with compost. The plant grown using compost is bound to be larger than the other.
Annually, each American generates around 1,600 pounds of waste. More than half of this waste, or close to 136 million tons, is transported to landfills every year. The EPA estimates that roughly one-fourth of the garbage in America comprises of food scraps and yard trimmings.
This is a matter of concern because the organic matter in landfills decomposes without the presence of oxygen. This process is varies from the aerobic decomposition, natural decomposition of organic matter. When food breaks down in the absence of oxygen, it releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and heats up the planet even more. In the U.S., landfills are the third-largest releasers of human-related methane.
Composting relies on oxygen for breaking down organic material in a natural way. This helps to reduce the waste that is sent to landfills and reduces the production of greenhouse gases. When lesser waste is sent out from homes, fewer vehicles are required to transport waste, and this minimizes the carbon dioxide emissions.
Through composting, the strain on landfills can be reduced. It’s healthier for the planet, and it’s also less expensive to maintain.
Composting is extremely simple to do and doing a little bit every day adds up to provide terrific benefits for the soil and the food that is grown. Even if you don’t have a yard, you could compost using a window planter box. Consuming food grown through composting will keep you healthy because they are packed with a lot more nutrients than foods grown through the current agricultural methods.
Importantly, the habit of composting keeps you in touch with nature and heightens your sensitivity to the life and environment around you. Start composting today to reap its incredible benefits!