5 Environmental Benefits of Composting

I love compost for many reasons, a big one being the health of the plants grown in it. Not only is compost beneficial for our health, but it is also good for the environment. 

I didn’t discover the wonder of compost until I had been gardening for several years. I cannot remember where I first read about it, but I was immediately intrigued. 

Instead of throwing our waste into the landfill, we could help turn our waste into rich, fertile organic matter that is beneficial to the environment and to our health.

Compost bin with organic waste in the garden next to the stone wall. Organic farming and healthy lifestyle concept

Composting is good for the environment because it reduces waste in landfills, reduces your carbon footprint, prevents erosion, and restores life to depleted soils.

Carbon in the air is a controversial subject for many, and I don’t claim to be a scientist.

I know little when it comes to the health of our air and soil, but I do realize that feeding our soils chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and killing off massive amounts of beneficial insects through mass pesticide use is not good for anyone. 

It’s not good for our health, because we eat plants that have been exposed to these chemicals, and it’s not good for the environment either.

Composting reduces waste, while also building up the health of the soil and the environment. Why would we choose not to add composting to our gardening routine?

So Why Is Composting Good For The Environment?

Compost Feeds Your Landscape, Not the Landfill.

30 percent of the garbage that is going to landfills in the US could be composted. This does not even include the cardboard and newspapers that get recycled.

By composting, you greatly reduce the amount of waste that goes into the landfills. While landfills seem like a good way of getting rid of waste, it is not all good.

The benefits of compost far outweigh the benefits of landfills. 

Compost Reduces Your Carbon Footprint

Composting is good for the environment because it reduces the number of greenhouse gasses that go into the air.

When plants decompose, they naturally release CO2. This is normal and is what they should be doing. When things that you could compost get buried in a landfill with no air, they decompose anaerobically (with no air), which releases methane instead.

Methane has an impact that is 25X greater than CO2.

Carbon that decaying plants release is nothing compared to the methane that decomposing foods release in a landfill.

Throwing your waste products from food into the landfill is the worst for the environment.

Restores Life To Depleted Soils

I could go on and on about how compost helps depleted soils. Compost helps to create fertile soil in which plants thrive.

In this fertile ground, you can plant thriving plants that will, in turn, pull carbon out of the air through photosynthesis. 

Compost Cleans Polluted Soils

Another amazing environmental benefit of compost is its ability to clean polluted soils.

Similar to charcoal, Compost binds heavy metals and other ugly toxins and prevents them from running into our rivers and streams.

Compost is being used by commercial companies to bioremediate soils that have been contaminated with petroleum.  

Compost Prevents Erosion

Compost has the ability to soak up a lot of water, and when soils are rich in this material, erosion is less likely to happen.

While you do still need a living root in the soil, compost also helps things to grow to prevent bare soil. Plants grown in composted organic matter prevent erosion when heavy rains come. 

Convinced to try composting yet?

While it often feels hopeless that one person could change the health of the environment, composting is a simple and easy way to start.

Start small, or you won’t start at all.

Start by dumping your coffee grounds, eggshells, and veggies scraps into a bucket, and continue reading and learning about how to start composting.

Read here to know when to add compost to your garden.

Composting is beneficial to your mental health, as well as your physical health. As a bonus, it’s also beneficial for the environment.

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