ECO Alphabet: Week 3: Compost

Updated: Sep 17, 2020

25% of our trash is food waste and/or compostable materials.

That is a pretty significant chunk. In this post I will be telling ya'll the benefits of composting and how to do it!

Climate Change

When food scraps and paper products degrade in a landfill they degrade anaerobically (without oxygen) which produces methane gas (CH4) (a greenhouse gas). Methane has 23-71 times greater heat trapping capabilities than carbon dioxide (CO2)...

This means that landfills are the largest direct human source of methane.

This methane then pollutes groundwater, and adds to the greenhouse effect.

Going zero waste is the fastest and easiest strategy to alleviate climate change.


Compost is decomposed organic material such as leaves, paper products, grass clippings, and kitchen waste (egg shells, coffee grounds, tea bags, etc).

Compost can often be used as fertilizer because it replaces trace minerals and organic material, reduces soil erosion, helps control weeds, and helps prevent storm water runoff.

How-to Compost @ Home

Composting involves 3 ingredients:

  1. Browns: dead leaves, branches, twigs = Carbon

  2. Greens: grass clippings, fruit/vegetable waste, coffee grounds = Nitrogen

  3. Water = Moisture

What NOT to compost: black walnut tree leaves/twigs, coal/charcoal, dairy products, eggs, diseased/insect-ridden plants, fats/oils, meat/fish bones/scraps (leads to flies and smell), pet waste, chemical pesticides.


  • dry/shady spot near a water source

  • chop/shred large pieces

  • moisten dry materials as added

  • optional: tarp to keep moist


  • special bin from local hardware or garden store

  • keep track of what you throw in

  • well managed (rotate and mix up materials) = no smell

  • ready in 2-5 weeks


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