Go green-compost wasted food and kitchen scraps! You would be amazed by how many food scraps you throw away. In an article in the NY Times: From Farm to Fridge to Garbage Can Tara Parker-Pope talks about how much wasted food there is in the US. From rotting food in the fields to food scraps getting lost in the refrigerator. Several studies were done estimating that we waste about 25% of the food that we buy.
The wasted food from our homes ends up in the landfill unless we do something ourselves to process it and keep it out of the garbage. We are running out of space for landfills in some areas of our country. Kitchen scraps make up approximately 20% of what is in our landfills. When this food rots in an anaerobic environment it produces methane gas which is a greenhouse gas and contributes to global warming.
Another issue about food rotting in landfills is that it could really be rotting in compost piles or vermicomposters, using aerobic processes which could give the goodness of the food back to our land. In a local government website that encourages composting they state that their only landfill is already half full. They recommend vermicomposting or soil incorporation. Because of a rodent problem in that area, composting food scraps in compost bins is not permitted. Soil incorporation involves burying your food scraps underground. I have often buried my food scraps and it works out well. You get exercise digging the holes and the scraps enrich your garden soil. They decompose quickly. I have gone back after a few weeks to see their status and mostly they have disappeared. Once you have the food scraps in the hole you need to chop them into smaller particles with the shovel and mix them into the dirt. This speeds the decomposition process.
So, go green this New Year and consider recycling your food scraps with vermicomposting, composting or soil incorporation. In my experience worm composting will not take care of all your food scraps so consider a secondary composting method also.
What better way to start a new, greener year than to make a commitment to some type of composting. It works out well for all of us and the Earth, the soil, the environment, all the organisms that live in the soil and for the landfills!
Happy Holidays to all!