Ever looked longingly at your napkins in the trash bin, wondering if there's a better way to dispose of them? 

You’re not alone – millions of Americans get confused that items banned from recycling bins still don't have to go in the trash! It is the oh-so magical concept of composting – the process of returning organic materials back into Mother Earth’s soil.

It is shown that composting is actually better than recycling in some ways. Despite this, AgRecycle reports that every year, each American throws out about 1,200 pounds of compostable, organic garbage.

Many are either unaware of how salvageable their trash is or are certain how “impossible” composting can be in their environment. Here are some steps to overcome those barriers and to give back to Mother Earth.

Photo by Lenka Dzurendova on Unsplash

Create or Discover Your Compost Bin

It’s the million-dollar question – how do I compost without attracting odors and pests? Composting bins are one of the biggest hurdles when learning how to live a sustainable lifestyle. Two options can occur: either buy or create your own composting bin.

If you’re living in a small-sized apartment, a kitchen-sized, compost bin with a charcoal filter (to prevent odor) would work well in holding your organic waste. 

If you’re ready to make your own composting bin, we recommend an outdoor bin that’s elevated or sealed tight away from critters. The cheapest way to do it is to use a plastic bucket with a tight lid. You can reduce using plastic by visiting certain bakeries and stores that may offer these 5-gallon buckets for free. Drill holes into the bucket for airflow in the compost, then attach a wire mesh behind the holes to prevent critters from sneaking in. Shake it around every so often to encourage mixing. You can also find other, multiple DIY options here.

A final option can be as simple as it sounds – dig-and-drop composting! Simply dig a hole in your garden, drop in the compostable materials, then bury it once more.

Identify What Can or Cannot Compost

To compost or not compost? It’s not uncommon to question what can be placed back in the soil. Me Mother Earth has summed it to two different types that can be properly composted — greens and browns. When properly mixed, you can even control your compost’s odor!

Green materials, such as fruit and vegetable remains, coffee grounds, grasses, and grains, are nitrogen-rich materials. These materials are what supply most of the nutrients for garden soils.

Browns, such as newspaper, yard waste, and cardboard, paper towels, napkins are carbon-rich materials. Such materials increase airflow in the mixture, while also increasing bulk.

When composting at home, it’s important to incorporate a specific ratio of the two materials to ensure proper breakdown. It’s recommended to have about 4x as many brown materials as green. Remember – if your compost pile starts to smell bad, increase the number of browns. If your compost pile isn’t heated enough, increase the number of greens.

Yep – all the items above are compostable! MeMotherEarth

Feed Your Soil!

Congrats! Now you have your very own compost pet. What are you gonna name him? How are you gonna feed him? And most of all, don’t forget about him!

Just like a pet, it’s encouraged to adapt your lifestyle around your soil. Don’t get discouraged that there’s too much or too little to compost. There are always creative ways to optimize your dirt. Consider everything – can what I buy be fed to my compost pile? Will my indoor plants appreciate that broken, bamboo toothbrush I composted? Can I really make that tiny garden I’ve always dreamed of creating, just by composting my dish sponges?

Shopping at sustainable, vegan companies like ours, Me Mother Earth can further help you to reduce your waste. All of our products are either endlessly reusable or biodegradable, helping you to transition into a zero waste or low waste lifestyle. Just think – environmental concerns for everyday products you already buy will be no more! Managing your own carbon footprint through composting will offer a little more ease to you, your family, and to Mother Earth. Small steps matter. 

Mother Earth will thank you.

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