By: Isabel Wesoloski
Composting, as a method of managing organic waste, has recently gained a larger audience due to its promising potential to address the ongoing issue of food waste. As statistics reveal that global food waste accounts for almost 1.3 billion tons per year, composting has been seen as a viable solution that not only reduces food waste but also greenhouse emissions. In addition to understanding composting as a practice, it is crucial to acknowledge its impact on climate change as it advocates for environmental sustainability.
Through the process of composting, organic wastes (fruit or vegetable scraps, leaves, and garden clippings) are broken down by microorganisms into nutrient-rich compost through an aerobic and controlled environment. To put this in even simpler terms, anything that grows inevitably decomposes. Composting essentially speeds this process by allowing microorganisms into an environment where they can break down waste.
Composting offers a variety of benefits to our environment and plays a crucial role in reducing climate change. The leading benefit of composting is the redirection of organic waste from landfills, overall reducing its quantity and methane emissions.
Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, is a big contributor to climate change as it traps heat and pollutes the air. Around 11% of methane is produced in U.S. landfills. A study done by the World Bank predicts that by 2050 that number will increase to 70%. By composting, we can benefit from our organic waste and reduce the production of greenhouse emissions.
The other leading benefit of composting is the creation of fertile land and soil. Composting transforms waste into nutrient-rich compost which can act as a natural fertilizer, enhancing land and soil fertility. This reduces the need for synthetic fertilizers and harmful pesticides, furthermore minimizing the negative impacts on ecosystems.
Through the promotion of environmental and climate sustainability, both crucial benefits highlight the importance of embracing composting as a valuable practice. A practice that can positively influence the reduction of climate change.
According to Indiana University, if everyone in the U.S. switched to composting, it would have the same impact of taking 7.8 million cars off the roads. Despite this crazy statistic, the number of individuals who take concrete action in committing to composting is lacking.
Thousands of people say they would like to compost but never get around to doing it. Composting may sound confusing and even inconvenient at first, but it is simple and easy! You can compost from the comfort of your backyard or even through facilities or organizations.
Around the U.S. there are hundreds of organizations that will happily take you compostable waste and complete the process on their own. Some organizations are CompostNow and TerraCycle, but you can research and find composting organizations in your own city or state.
By redirecting organic waste from landfills, composting offers numerous benefits and paves the way to a greener and more sustainable future. It is the key pathway towards approaching food management and reducing climate change.