Google+

Green Tip: Household Waste Makes Great Oranic Fertilizer

Think about the last time you went on a hike to some picturesque lake or mountain. No matter where it was, you probably saw at least one piece of trash lying around. The trash certainly didn’t add to your experience; it was probably gross and out of place. The problem is that it’s hard to keep places clean when there is so much waste generated everyday.

A lot of this waste are products that were created by humans such as plastic. When plastic was first created, it was hailed as a wonder material that could be used for anything. It was only after hundreds of plastic products were created that people realized they didn’t know how to get rid of it. Luckily, with a new commitment to recycling people are starting to re-use many materials that are very hard to naturally degrade.

Often people forget that there is another type of waste we generate. Organic waste. This type of waste includes things like food, paper, and even some bio-plastics. Since they are organic, they all have the capability to decompose on their own. However, since they are often not disposed of correctly, they are currently taking up a lot of extra space on our earth.

The issue is more pressing than you might imagine. Our nation’s landfills are sorely overburdened and many are in desperate need of retrofitting. However, as a country we continue to produce more waste per capita (by far) than anyone else.

What you need to know

 

Turns out that there is a very easy way to reduce organic waste – composting! Disposing of your organic waste in a compost bin in your backyard is a great way to reduce how much trash you are throwing out each week. Microbes break down everything for you, and suddenly your waste becomes excellent fertilizer for your garden.

Here are a few considerations to keep in mind when establishing a compost bin:

First you must choose a location. Look for an area with good drainage and a good balance of sun and shade, so that the pile stays moist and doesn’t dry out. Choose a convenient spot so that you’ll be more likely to actually put in waste. If your neighbors don’t like it, plant some flowers or bushes around it.

Next, you have to get something to keep the compost in. Rotating compost bins are easy to find at stores such as Home Depot, or can be ordered online. If you don’t want to spend much money, make your own!

Finally, start filling your compost. Large organic waste should be broken up so that more surface area is exposed to the microbes. This waste should be layered with soil and fertilizer like a giant garden lasagna (with maybe some worms as a garnish).

If you have a rotating bin, it is easy to aerate the pile. If not, a pitchfork or other garden tool can be used to mix things up occasionally.

Composting is pretty incredible if you think about it. A pile of waste becomes valuable fertilizer for plants in your garden or around your house. Bins are easy to establish, and can turn into a fun project for the whole family.

Looking Deeper

 

When trees die, their biomass is considered ‘waste.’ Microbes degrade this waste into nutrients that can be used by plants for growth. It’s all part of a natural cycle where everything is re-used. When we don’t dispose of organic waste we are altering this cycle and causing problems for the environment.

With just a little bit of investment, we can do a better job of fitting ourselves into this cycle. However much we feel removed from nature, whether we like to admit it or not we are part of the world’s ecosystem. Limiting some of our negative impact on it will only result in positive feedback.

Think about it

 

34 million tons of food waste is generated in the US each year. That’s an astounding amount of uneaten broccoli. There is absolutely no reason this waste should sit in a landfill, when you could have it in your backyard turning into fertilizer.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to eat the brussels sprouts, but at least throw them in the compost after dinner.

 

by Tamara Perreault and Keith Heyde

 

Tamara and Keith are of Bowdoin College and Columbia University respectively. The two started a biotech and environmental consulting start up Abstract Algae over the summer of 2011. For more information,  www.thegreenregister.com

Entertainment

Surreal Fantasy Features Liam Neeson as Voice of Anthropomorphic Tree

  A Monster Calls DVD Review by Kam Williams Surreal Fantasy Features Liam Neeson as Voice of Anthropomorphic Tree Conor O'Malley (Lewis MacDougall) is understandably miserable. First of all, the 12 year-old divorced mom (Felicity Jones) is terminally ill. Second, they're both estranged from his father (Toby Kebbell) who has long since started another family over in America. Third, Conor is tired of being mistreated by his cold-hearted … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

The President’s Kitchen Cabinet

  The President's Kitchen Cabinet The Story of the African-Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, from the Washingtons to the Obamas by Adrian Miller University of North Carolina Press Hardcover, $30.00 292 pages, Illustrated ISBN: 978-1-4696-3253-7 Book Review by Kam Williams “[This opus] vividly tells the stories of the African-Americans who worked in the presidential food service as chefs, personal cooks, butlers, stewards … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the days of pain, the days of sorrow. We are in mourning. The sky looks down and sheds its tears for … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

History Being Sold to the Highest Bidder

  History Being Sold to the Highest Bidder by Amy Lignor   For the longest time, scientists and archaeologists have been confused and bemused by various discoveries they’ve unearthed that offer little or no explanation as to the who, what, and why of the people who created these things or left them behind. Even now, in 2017, there are discoveries being studied; stories that were once legends now have actual bits of proof being found that … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

Architecture in America That Would Make Frank Lloyd Wright Proud

  Architecture in America That Would Make Frank Lloyd Wright Proud by Amy Lignor There is a brand new headline when it comes to an innovative new building; a building that the creator hopes to construct in America. It is a design that looks stunning on paper, however, it is also a design that is ‘far right’ of, well…even Wright’s own ideas. Manhattan, as everyone knows by now, is the King of the skyscraper business. They are also … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Yamaha Marine Receives 2017 Silver Star of Excellence

  Yamaha Marine Receives 2017 Silver Star of Excellence From American Technical Education Association and the National Technical Honor Society® for Contributions to Technical Education RECOGNIZED FOR CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE MOTORCYCLE AND MARINE SERVICE PROGRAM AT THE TENNESSEE COLLEGE OF APPLIED TECHNOLOGY (TCAT) CHATTANOOGA Yamaha Marine Group announced today that it was awarded the 2017 Silver Star of Excellence from the American … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

Gonzaga Celebrates the Final Four

  Gonzaga Celebrates the Final Four by Amy Lignor   “Beauty & the Beast” may be raking in the dough at movie theatres everywhere, but it is the Princess Cinderella that appears at the core of the NCAA headlines. We all have our “Cinderella Teams.” Heck, they even made a movie after the Hoosiers who once set the world on fire. But as this weekend winds down, it is the Gonzaga Bulldogs that find themselves ready to put on the glass … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Made in the U.S.A. Should be the #1 Path for Businesses

  Made in the U.S.A. Should be the #1 Path for Businesses by Amy Lignor   The popular show called “Shark Tank” offers investors that back up small businesses – businesses that then turn around and make millions and are able to hire more and more American workers each year, still mentions something that breaks the heart in almost every episode. The fact that overseas manufacturers could save the entrepreneur who’s speaking a great … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Where to Vacation? Go Big or Stay Home!

  Where to Vacation? Go Big or Stay Home! by Amy Lignor   We speak about luxury vacations, budget vacations, vacations that are fun for the kids, and many more areas of travel at this time of year. But there is also a category that many do not touch upon because they “assume” it is far too difficult for those on a budget to be able to enjoy these jaw-dropping wonders. However, whether you are a backpacker looking to “become a … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden

  Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden by Amy Lignor   Many are still dealing with that wintery mix Mother Nature just loves to toss down from the sky this time of year. Yet, that gardener living inside the soul – the one just dreaming of the sunny skies and lazy rainy days that are must-haves in order to grow the best vegetables possible – is already jotting down the facts, tricks and tips they need to know in order to make that … [Read More its Good for You...]