May 6, 2009

Composting: Lessening our Impact on the Environment

I found the blog post shown below on "A Little Bit More", Idealist's blog series highlighting small steps we can take to make the world a better place. It contains a few links to resources that will help you learn more and get started on composting your food.

Also, Matthew Reid, one of our volunteer bloggers wrote a post about composting earlier this year. Check out Matt's post and don't forget to leave your comments. Happy composting!

A Little Bit More: Live Green, Compost!

In my little Washington, DC apartment I had a small kitchen composter that sat in the corner near the garbage. At the end of every day, instead of throwing my food scraps into the trash, I'd toss my leftovers into the composter, sprinkle in a small amount of bokashi, and close the lid.

"But doesn't that smell?"

Not at all, and as the food decomposed, the composted waste made great fertilizer for my house plants. I also noticed that I was taking out my garbage far less frequently than before I bought the composter.

The benefit of composting your food is that the waste decomposes aerobically, as opposed to anaerobic decomposition that takes place in landfills, releasing less methane into the atmosphere. From an MSNBC article: "Landfills are the largest source of methane emissions in the United States, accounting for 34 percent of such releases, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Methane is the second-biggest man-made contributor to global warming behind carbon dioxide."

At our Buenos Aires office, we want to do our part to curb the office's methane output, so the staff is chipping in to buy a larger kitchen unit suitable for a small staff. With the leftover composted waste, maybe we'll grow a small herb garden or a few tomatoes.

From passive composting systems to automated approaches, composting is a great way to help lessen our impact on the environment. To learn more, check out this Wikipedia article on composting.

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