You probably already recycle, and it’s absolutely an easy way to reduce your carbon footprint, but are there any more things you could be doing around the house to be a little bit more green?
Composting is a great place to start.
Composting is when you let your leftover food scraps decompose over time, which will eventually turn into compost.
Compost can then be used for gardening because it is rich in nutrients.
The idea is that instead of throwing out banana peels, potato skins or the ends of your asparagus, you save them together and let them decompose until the material is turned into compost.
Not only are you cutting back on your personal food waste, but you’re also helping reduce methane emissions from landfills that will help combat climate change. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.
Indoor composting can be a lot of work, and there are a few different methods you can follow:
Honestly, if you don’t have the space at your home for an outdoor compost, you may be better off saving your food scraps in a plastic bag in your freezer and finding someone local in your community who does composting.
That isn’t to say that indoor composting in your apartment is impossible.
You can check out an article like this one, which will explain everything you need to do.
The most common indoor composts involve having live worms in your compost bin, so that’s another reason why you may want to find a community compost.
If you decide to start collecting food scraps for composting, there are some foods that you’ll want to avoid: Meat and bones, for example, you’ll want to stay away from.
They take a long time to decompose and they will more easily attract bad smells and even rodents.
Dairy, sugars, oils, breads and cooked food should also be avoided.
Instead, keep scraps from fruits and veggies, egg shells, rice, grains, coffee grounds and even tea bags. These will be your “green” materials that are needed for a good compost.
The other kind of material you’ll need for at-home composting is your “brown” items.
Layered with the green items, they break down together (with some help from the worms). The brown items are newspaper, used paper towel cardboard, dead leaves and even small twigs and sticks.
If you have an outdoor garden and room for a compost, then you can easily set up something in your backyard.
There are bins that you can buy on Amazon that are perfect for outdoor composts, or you can build a set-up yourself. The process is the same as composting indoors, just on a larger scale.
If you want some step-by-step instructions, check out YouTube. There are so many videos of people explaining the process of creating a compost, and they’ll tell you how you can do it indoors or outdoors.
If you enjoy composting, you could even turn yours into a community compost for your neighborhood.
Composting is obviously a lot more work than doing something as easy as recycling, but it really is a great way you can help the planet in the long run.
Happy Earth Day and happy composting!
This story was first published in 2021. It has since been updated.