Updated: Sep 2
One of the reasons that I love Seattle so much is the environmental pride that this city has. Grocery stores don’t offer plastic bags, and instead encourage you to bring your own reusable ones. City parks aren’t just patches of grass with benches, but natural oasis of giant sequoias and redwoods. It’s an environmentalist paradise.
Another thing Seattleites love to do is compost. Composting is BIG in Seattle. Aside from trash pickup and recycling, we also have a compost pickup. This means that even though I now am embracing urban life, I can keep on being green. Hooray!
Even if you aren’t a hippie-dippy, tree-hugging, dirt-wrestling, nature lover like myself, composting has many benefits that can improve your life. Here are my top five reasons why you should start composting!
A recent estimate by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) predicts that a forth of all waste in landfills could be compostable. That is a quarter of our waste that we could be giving back to the earth.
Composting means not only less waste in landfills, but less waste in your own trash bins. I’ve noticed that my boyfriend and I rarely take out the trash. No, it’s not because we are lazy, but we simply don’t produce that much waste. Taking out the compost on the other hand is a two-day process. Remember though, composting is not waste since it is getting reused for agricultural purposes and is biodegradable.
Less Fruit Flies
Aside from mosquitos, the next worst insect is the fruit fly. They appear out of no where, and once they appear, they spread like wildfire. They are annoying, difficult to get rid of, and an all around nuisance.
From my own personal experience, I’ve noticed that we have less fruit flies in our kitchen since we started composting. I’m no scientist, but my deductive reasoning skills led me to the conclusion that since our food waste is now contained in a compost bin, which is air-tight, fruit flies have no way of getting in and breeding, like they would with a trash can. It has saved my boyfriend and I a lot of frustration and make-shift fruit fly traps.
No Funky Odors
Trash bags claiming they contain ‘anti-odor guards’ and ‘triple-layer leak protection’ can only do so much when you have week old broccoli or moldy onions at the bottom of your bin just sitting and festering. Since our waste is now in an air-tight canister, those funky kitchen smells have decreased. A lot of kitchen compost bins also have charcoal filters to insert, which helps contain the smell of decomposing food even more.
Have an Amazing Garden
Back in Illinois, my family had a massive compost bin outside. Actually, we had three. In the summer, we would use the decomposed food waste to fertilize our garden. Last year, I was amazed at the end product of our compost. It was soft to touch and had a deep black color. That is because our compost had turned into soil that was rich with nutrients. Adding it to our garden helped to grow all of our vegetables, from rows and rows of tomato plants, to an army of cucumbers.
The end result of using compost as fertilizer is that you get organic, nutrient dense vegetables that are healthier and cheaper than what you would get at a grocery store. Another benefit of using compost as fertilizer is that you don’t have to spend money on store bought chemicals or expensive natural fertilizer for your garden.
It Helps You be More Environmentally Aware
Composting is an act that demonstrates the cycle of nature: our food waste degrades and gets turned into soil, which then is used to help grow new food, which we then harvest, eat, and start the cycle all over. It is a perfect example that everything in this world has a place and purpose. In nature, there is no waste. Everything is interconnected and composting is a small method to bring this conscious way of thinking into your life.