How I Reduced Garbage at Home

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It wasn't that long ago that I had to haul three to four trash bags - all stuffed to the gills - to the curb on trash day. But I've been a (one trash) bag lady ever since I started composting.

So what exactly is composting?

Think of it as nature’s way of recycling organic materials like vegetable food scraps, shredded newspaper, leaves, and lawn clippings and returning them to the earth.

B.C. (before composting), I was throwing every table scrap in the trash. Instead, I let this natural process do its thing. Now all that organic matter rots down, and leaves me with something like dark brown, nutrient rich soil. Think of it as gold for your garden. With compost, there are no pesticides or other chemicals to worry about.

You can start a compost without a composter. Look around your yard and designate a spot where your organic matter will go. The only problem with this is that the exposed matter can get too wet, which prevents wit from rotting down correctly, so some type of covering or lid is recommended. You could also make your own composter using chicken wire to enclose the organic matter and something to cover it. You will need to turn the matter over occasionally to aerate it.

There are many types of commercial composters. I like the spinning barrel type ones that make it easy to turn the compost in order to aerate it and speed up the decompositon process.

And now that it is garden season, there is even more reason for you to think about composting. So here is what will happen once you start composting:

  1. Plants will have a healthy medium in which to grow, producing quality veggies and fruits.
  2. Plants will retain moisture because of better soil, reducing the frequency of waterings.
  3. You will significantly lessen your need to purchase organic matter to work into the soil, like manure.
  4. You will be doing your part to help the environment by decreasing the use of chemicals.
  5. Adding compost to the soil will aerate and break up chalky clay soil.
  6. You will save money on all those trash bag purchases and save landfills from multiplying and emitting harmful methane gases.

User Comments

robert's avatar

robert said on May 27, 2012

My mum used to compost before composting was cool.
I would dig a garbage hole, she would fill it up, I would fill it in, and dig another.

I never buy in cans, I bury all that will decompose in the yard like mom did, and the rest of the trash goes into the dumpster behind the grocery store.

I figure in 10 years, I have saved enough in garbage can bills to pay one year of my property taxes.