Positive Solutions For Your Scraps
With many of us spending an increased amount of time at home over this past year, it has allowed us to form a deeper understanding of our immediate impact on the world around us. Sustainability has not only become top of mind, but a driving force behind relooking at our day-to-day habits.
A simple way to make a positive impact where you live is through composting. Yes, those little scraps typically tossed into your garbage can lead to substantial environmental changes. We have all seen multi-tiered composting units for sale, however, is there a way to still make a difference if you do not have the space to store a unit or do not have the time to manage the composting process on your own?
To gain some further insight on the benefits of composting and how one can begin the practice within their own home, we reached out to Claire and Katie of Friendly Composting in Kamloops, B.C. These "friendly" business partners are passionate about the outdoors and creating a positive, sustainable impact on the environment that surrounds them. They began their curbside composting pick-up service in March 2020 and have continued to evolve and grow. Today, members of their composting program have access to weekly composting pick-ups and the ability to purchase other local ECOpreneur products through their website to be delivered alongside their cleaned and sanitized composting buckets.
When asked what the benefits of composting are, Claire and Katie had these points to offer:
- Chemical Use Reduction – the composting process introduces healthy bacteria, protozoa, and fungi to naturally decompose organic material and eliminate the need to utilize chemicals to perform a similar task.
- Food System Cycle Completion – when we create nutrient-rich soil through composting of past food scraps and organic waste, it creates carbon and nitrogen-rich byproduct similar to soil called "hummus". This "hummus" can be added on top of existing soil to assist in restoring its original composition and water retainment abilities, while promoting photosynthesis and new plant growth.
- Reduction in Methane Gas Emissions – the delayed decomposition of organic waste amongst tightly piled inorganic materials commonly found within landfills causes an increase in the production of trapped methane gas. Through aeration and watering processes, composting reduces these toxic gas build-ups. Methane-producing microbes cannot survive or flourish in the oxygen-rich habitats created through composting.
- Reduction of Household and Landfill Waste – composting reduces the amount of waste going into your trash can and eventually the landfill. It reduces the amount of trash bags you need to purchase, and the amount of time you spend taking out the trash. It also ensures the organic matter discarded goes to good use in producing nutrient-rich soil for local agriculture needs (rather than wasting away over time unused within an ever-growing landfill). Organic waste can include items such as fruit and vegetable scraps, paper products, nuts/shells/pits, dryer lint, coffee grounds, coffee filters, and much more. When you think of all of the items that hit your trash can regularly, more than 30% of them can most likely be turned into compost!
So, how does one living within an apartment or condominium complex take part in composting? Contact your building manager to purchase a commercial composting bin for the building or have them contact a local composting company, such as Friendly Composting to assist! Residents can then purchase (or be given if on a program) a small bucket with a lid to keep under their sink, on their kitchen countertop, or out on their deck/patio to begin filling with organic waste. Be sure to empty and clean the bucket weekly to reduce any unwanted odors.
The overall benefits of composting are definitely worth the elbow grease it takes to separate your organics from inorganics daily. Your efforts will help to positively impact your local community through the production of fertile, nutrient-rich soils that will, in turn, promote higher yields within local agricultural crops. It will also assist in reforestation, wetlands restoration, habitat revitalization efforts, and improvement of compacted and contaminated soils. Studies have shown that composting helps in sequestering carbon from the atmosphere and in turn, significantly assists in the reduction of greenhouse gasses if applied on a large scale. Good things come from good soil, plain and simple. Your small contribution when combined with others can make a large, sustainable impact.
"It is important to us to be supporting farmers that are actively practicing regenerative agriculture with a focus on soil health and environmental impact," says Katie. "The terms 'Local & Organic' can be deceiving and we hope to further promote education on both of these important terms well into the future".