Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Does Composting Cost?

“What?”  You may think, “I am only composting stuff that would otherwise go into the landfill.”  TNSTAAFL, I say…

Since the age of 19, when my Economics 101 professor first uttered the phrase, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch, aka TNSTAAFL” I’ve had a different world view. When I compost, I am giving up the next best alternative and for me that is normally sitting on the couch with a good book.  As noble as it is to read, there are a myriad of reasons why composting is worth the time. My last blog post touched upon the benefits of compost itself. Below I will argue the reasons why the act of composting is also beneficial.

  • Composting saves money. When you separate fruits, vegetables, and grains from your trash, you are acutely aware of the waste generated. Use this visual reminder as a tool to regulate what you buy. Preparing and buying only what you eat not only saves money, but reduces your carbon footprint. American families throw out approximately 25 percent of the food and beverages they buy. The cost estimate for the average family of four is $1,365 to $2,275 annually, according to The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) article: Wasted: How America Is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill.
  • Let me hear your body talk: When you compost, you are getting physical. It takes calories to walk from the kitchen to the pile, not to mention turning the pile helps your metabolism rev-up. Some composters enjoy chopping their fruits and veggies into tiny pieces in the kitchen; I prefer the Lizzie Borden method, hack them with my garden spade.


 
Composting as with any gardening activity is good for the soul. Time spent in my garden or caring for my pile is a welcomed gift away from the stresses of modern life. When my compost is ready, there is double satisfaction in knowing I helped create a valuable resource.

What is your favorite reason to compost? Share your thoughts in the comments below. Meanwhile, I’ll be communing with my compost friends: the worms, sow bugs, and even that which can’t be seen but I know are there anyway. Om…

 
 
 
Guest Blogger: Jenny Lohmann

9 comments:

  1. In addition to all the great reasons you mentioned, composting food waste keeps my garbage from smelling and getting all gooey at the bottom of the cart.

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  2. I compost to keep food scraps out of the landfill and to have finished compost for my garden.

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  3. After I started composting, I called to switch my garbage service from two cans down to one and they had to look up and see if they still offered that plan! They did but the realization that it is just expected to have so much trash these days makes me sad. Between composting and recycling, we barely even take our 1 can down to the curb - maybe twice a month.

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  4. I have a beautiful pumpkin plant growing out of my one compost bin. Yay for not having to buy pumpkins this year! Also, I recycle and compost as much as I can to keep it out of the landfills.

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    1. I always feel accomplished when the only trace of Jack-o-Lantern in my compost is a dehydrated stem and the seeds themselves are chalk full of nutrients!

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  5. I like the control over the pH of my soil!

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    1. wow, you're way ahead of me. You must be a pHd~ Doctor of dirt!

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