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The Beginner’s Guide To Composting

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Composting can help provide the food and plants you grow with healthy nutrients and it’s easy to get started just read our Beginner’s Guide To Composting.

Prioritizing your health and wellness and being eco-conscious are often things that go hand in hand. More specifically, being environmentally friendly can improve your overall health.

From the food that you grow, to the way that you cook it, to the way you dispose of it — your health is impacted by your level of eco-consciousness in the kitchen. One big part of maintaining an intentional and sustainable food print is by composting.

three compost bins

Composting and The Plant-Based Diet

Making intentional choices by following a whole-foods plant-based diet is a great way to maintain and minimize your ecological footprint. But that’s not the only thing you can do to live an eco-conscious lifestyle. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, composting is the best option for reducing our impact on the planet. The overall ecological benefits that composting offers can affect everything from your soil’s nutrients to your neighborhood’s eco-footprint, as well as helping to reduce global waste emissions.

If you’re already living the plant-based lifestyle, you’re familiar with the benefits it provides for your health. But, for those who aren’t, have you considered the benefits you’re missing out on? Composting is the most eco-friendly way to fertilize soil by restoring vital minerals and nutrients to the ground,nurturing plants, and maintaining the surrounding biodiversity. Using compost in your gardens also helps the food you grow taste amazing. Plus, you’re saving money on your yearly gardening expenses, while also getting some fresh air and exercise. 

The best part about composting is that you can compost anywhere, no matter where you live or how much space you have. Even the smallest homes can be a good fit for a compost. The benefit of having more land, other than just more space to grow your gardens, is that additional square footage can also boost your home’s overall value. This will help you earn money back later on when you go to sell, making your property more desirable to others while continuing to support your composting efforts. 

Composting Basics

Compost itself is made up of decayed organic matter, such as lawn clippings, food scraps, or paper products. As the compost decomposes, it turns into nutrients that support healthy soil and plant life. Other items you can include in your compost are

egg shells, coffee grounds, and old newspapers. However, there are some things that should never be composted. Dairy products like milk or cheese can attract animals to your compost and also create a bad odor. Additionally, plants like poison ivy or diseased plants should be avoided to ensure one’s health. For a complete list of what you can and cannot compost, check out the EPA’s website and find more information on composting best practices. 

Regardless of whether you’re planning to compost inside or outside your home, you’ll need someplace to put the compost. If you’re planning on composting outside and you have a big area of land, you can just gather your compost into a piled heap. Helpful tools you might consider using are a pitchfork, shovel, or water hose.  Alternatively, you can use a regular bucket with a lid, a barrel, or a specifically designed compost container.

Composting For Better Health

If you’re looking to take your lifestyle up a notch, composting is one of the most effective and easy ways to make a direct change on the impact you have on the environment. Plus, it’s easy to incorporate into your routine.

The next time you’re in the kitchen, preparing your favorite meal, like this plant-based power bowl recipe, throw the scraps of your Romaine lettuce into your designated compost bucket. You’ll not only be saving money and lowering the emissions from food waste in landfills, but you’ll also be contributing toward your own health and the foods that you eat. 

Author

Phoebe Chongchua is a multimedia brand journalist who consults and writes on wellness, all things plant-based, fitness, lifestyle, and travel. She is yoga certified and earned her certificate in Whole Food Plant-Based Eating in 2010 through eCornell and the T. Colin Campbell Foundation. She's also a top podcaster for her marketing/storytelling podcast, The Brand Journalism Advantage at ThinkLikeAJournalist.com

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