The United States produces two hundred million pounds of trash each day. That's a lot of zeros, and a ton of extra waste that could be avoided if we were smarter about decomposing our soiled resources and more conscious about green living. Believe it or not, you can turn the majority of your yard and food waste into fertilizer, just by composting - and you can even create your own compost pile in your backyard.
In order to have a functional compost pile, you will need four simple ingredients: air, water, carbon and nitrogen. The first two are a walk in the park, but don't let the second two scare you. Carbon can be referred to as the "brown" ingredients - this will be your dried leaves, cardboard, sticks and yard clippings. The nitrogen can be referred to as the "green" ingredients - and this will be your grass clippings, vegetable waste, egg shells, coffee grinds and filters. The mixture of these items is the perfect recipe for a compost pile that will give back to the earth, not only by reducing waste, but also by providing you with a gorgeous fertilizer in about 4-6 weeks. (Caution: avoid using meat, grease, salad dressings or citrus in your compost pile, as these ingredients will not break down easily, and always put more brown ingredients than green).
Quick Composting Tips:
-Turn/stir your compost pile every day.
-The more surface are your microorganisms have to work, the faster your compost pile will decompose. The smaller the compost additions, the better.
-Keep your compost pile about as moist as a damp sponge.
-Avoid direct sunlight and strong winds to prevent your compost pile from getting too hot or too cold.
-Disguise your compost pile with tall plants and flowers around it's edge.
-When building your compost pile, make it larger than 3 x 3 x 3 feet, but no larger than 5 x 5 x 5 feet.
-Fall is the best time to begin your compost pile.
Ready to jump into living green and start your own compost pile to reduce your daily waste? When you begin your compost pile, be sure to layer your ingredients thinly, beginning with organic material like grass, veggie waste, twigs, weeds and garden clippings. The second layer should be a fertilizer or manure that will help the decomposition to begin. Your third layer can be top soil or an already-active compost. After about three repeated layers you can add all items to your compost and simply give it a churn each day - 4-6 weeks later you'll have a great fertilizer and know that you are doing your part to help save the planet and reduce waste!