If there was one thing you could do that would:
- Create a carbon sink that would capture carbon from the air and reduce our CO2 levels.
- Reduce your trash level.
- Make your garden grow much better without the use of chemical fertilizers.
- Lessen your water use.
- Improve air quality by reducing the release of nitrous oxide, another greenhouse gas, into the air.
- Put valuable organic matter back to work into the soil, creating habitat for wee wiggly critters.
Wouldn’t you be doing it? Wouldn’t you get everyone to do it?
There is one thing you can do that accomplishes all these purposes– Compost * your organic matter. According to an article on large-scale composting in Science Daily, “One estimate of the potential value of this approach [composting and its application to arable land] — which assumed that 20% of the surface of agricultural land in the EU could be used as a sink for carbon — suggested it could constitute about 8.6% of the total EU emission-reduction objective.”
What exactly is organic matter? Anything from a plant!
- Cucumber, carrot and potato peelings and trimmings, any other peelings and trimmings from fruits or veggies
- Used coffee grounds
- Apple cores, pear cores, lettuce cores, cabbage cores, other cores from fruits or veggies
- Used teabags
- Dead leaves and trimmings from houseplants
- Nut shells
- Avocado seeds and skins
- Orange, lemon and lime rinds and seeds
- Olive pits
- Grass cuttings
- Fallen tree leaves and branches
In fact, anything that comes from a plant that isn’t a weed can be composted, with only a couple exceptions. The only rule with organic matter is not to use anything that came directly or indirectly from an animal. The one exception to the animal rule is eggshells, which can be composted as long as they’ve been washed.
The one exception with vegetable matter is never to compost * plants or fruits and veggies from your garden which have been infected with a plant disease, such as that awful and destructive fungus that Walmart and other big box stores who purchased from large growers inflicted on us during the 2009 growing season.
As an aside, to ensure the safety of your garden, you need to either grow your own plants from organic seed, or buy your plants from a reputable LOCAL organic grower. Never buy starter plants or seed from Walmart or Home Depot or any of the other big box stores! Make sure to READ THIS ARTICLE on how to keep your garden safe. Even if you’re careful, if your neighbors are idiots your garden can get trashed!
I’ll be blogging more on how to compost over the next week or so. Sign up for the newsletter up top, or subscribe to my feed if you want to hear more.