Green ideals & composting

I am taking on my hippy soap box today.  Having served as a camp couselor for a few years, I got be we witness to some pretty creative ideas on how to preserve our environment.  Some were a little extreme for my tastes, but the values that drove these ideas were inspirational.  Our earth is something we should value and teach our youth to value, because we are all aware that there is a limited supply of natural resources and we want them to last as long as possible.  I briefly mentioned our purposes on this earth in a previous post.  It is obvious to me that being conscious of how well we preserve the “natural” world is one of those purposes.  That is what is driving my message to you all today.

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If you were able to make your garden at your home healthier and contribute to your city landfill less, wouldn’t you?  Well, you can!  Composting is one of the easiest things things to do to save money on trash and produce better gardens for yourself.  Below is a list of some of the benefits of composting:

  • Improves the structure, texture, aeration of the soil, enabling your plants to develop stronger, deeper root systems.
  • Contains nutrients and trace elements that are essential to plant growth, and it releases these substances slowly, over time, so that they are available to the plants throughout the growing season.
  • Adds beneficial organisms to the soil.
  • Reduces the need for chemical fertilizers and mulches.  This can save you money and can also reduce fun-off of these chemicals into streams and rivers.
  • Reduce the need for watering your garden.
  • Reduce by 20% or more the quantity of material you send to the landfill.

You may be wondering what composting is exactly.  It is just the decomposition of organic matter and putting that matter into areas that could use the nutritional value, such as a garden.  Things that can be composted include: weeds, leaves, bread, old potting soil, coffee grounds, paper, egg shells, sawdust, evergreen needles, straw, fruit, tea leaves, fruit peel & rinds, vegetables, garden wastes, wood ash, grass clippings, and wood chips.  I am sure so many of you put punds of these items in your trash monthly.  Think of how you could really put those wasted parts of your purchases to further use by composting.  Be sure to look up everything that can be composted and, especially, what cannot.

For further information on composting and how you can do it yourself, follow these links below.

http://www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/deputate/airwaste/wm/recycle/compost/Home3.htm

http://www.treehugger.com/green-food/compost-how-to-make-it-bins-piles-and-more.html

http://gardening.wsu.edu/stewardship/compost/yardcomp/yard1.htm

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