Composting is one of the easiest green-living activities for a gardener. By simply tossing your yard waste and fresh vegetable scraps into a compost bin instead of the trash bag, you'll be not only saving landfill space but also creating a healthier garden. Composting can be accomplished with commercial-made composting equipment, simple homemade bins, or just dumping compost materials into a pile. No matter how you do it, the are many benefits of home composting.
A Healthier Earth
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that every American generates about 4 lbs. of trash per day, and much of that can be recycled or composted. Biodegradable trash such as yard waste, vegetable and fruit scraps, sawdust, newsprint, coffee grounds and other vegetable-based organic matter will break down in the compost pile and can provide much-needed nutrients and soil conditioners for gardens.
A Healthier Garden
Many garden-supply companies want consumers to think of plant nutrients in the form of bagged fertilizers. Many homeowners are conditioned to bag up grass clippings and fallen leaves and place them at the curb for removal, and then to turn around and buy chemical fertilizers to feed lawns, gardens and trees. Compost provides many of the nutrients plants need to grow---nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and other trace minerals. Compost also improves the quality of garden soil, helping it to retain moisture. Compost also attracts worms, which enhance soil quality as well.
A Healthier You
A healthy garden means healthier food and a healthier you. Organically grown vegetables and fruit are safer to eat and are better for the environment overall. Harsh chemical fertilizers can contaminate water supplies as well as vegetables, and they can also make the soil inhospitable to worms, butterflies and other beneficial garden creatures. By using compost in place of chemical fertilizers, you can get the same results without the detrimental effects. Because you are converting waste into compost, you're saving money, too, making for a healthier pocketbook as well.