One of the greatest challenges that we face is waste management! Even the largest landfills have trouble keeping up with tons of waste.
People get as creative as possible to curb this issue. Waste segregation and recycling are strengthened, and options to help the environment recover from this trash problem become wider and wider each day.
If you love gardening, then I am sure you are aware of home composting! Essentially, this is a process of recycling organic matter, and you can do this at home.
The paradox of home composting is still a hot topic to talk about.
In one sense, people truly advocate for home composting because of its benefits. On the other hand, the wrong practice of composting at home would do more harm than good for the environment!
In this article, let us take a moment to understand the pros and cons of home composting. Hopefully, you will know all you need for you to decide if you want to start on this yourself!
The Pros And Cons of Home Composting
WHAT IS COMPOSTING
To understand the benefits of home composting, let us first define the term!
Composting refers to the natural way of recycling organic matter to get a by-product that enriches the soil and provides enough nutrients for growing plants.
Composting uses all sorts of organic matter, crudely classified between greens and browns. You can compost “greens” such as vegetable and fruit waste or brewed coffee grounds. “Browns” refer to the dead leaves, twigs, and branches.
In nature, everything that grows will naturally decompose. However, home composting speeds the whole process as different decomposing organisms are made to do their work given an ideal decomposing environment.
When you do home composting, your final product is a decomposed mass called compost. This is often called “black gold” because it is infused with very rich nutrients that are best for gardening and agriculture.
A home compost is made by combining suitable organic wastes, placing accelerators like wood chips, and an appropriate amount of water.
But, there are things to avoid putting in compost, like animal waste, diseased plants, oils, and dairy products.
The key to composting is to put the right materials and wait for the appropriate amount of time!
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The VIVOSUN Outdoor Tumbling Composter is an above home composting system with adjustable air vents and deep fins to provide excellent air circulation that will speed up the process and prevent bad smells when composting at home.
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COMPOSTING AND ITS EFFECT ON SOIL STRUCTURE
If you have basic gardening experience, you are surely familiar with soil composition! Not all soils are built the same way. And, not every plant can grow in just any soil.
Soils are made by combining different inorganic elements and organic ones. When they combine, they create loose particles. What keeps these loose particles together are compost materials.
Soil mixed with well-prepared compost makes the ideal crumbly texture of the ground. Drainage and water retention of this soil type are the best for plants.
Furthermore, the clay or sandy soils benefits from compost because it loosens the very tightly bound soil particles. So, roots can easily spread and grow over this type of soil.
Compost is a necessary component of large-scale agriculture systems. This is because good compost can alter soil structure to favor the growth of plants!
Garden vegetables and herbs need nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to grow healthy. And all these nutrients are found in the compost!
A well-made compost also contains calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and other vital nutrients.
Composting provides an organic alternative to synthetic fertilizers, which include toxic chemicals. Compost has been demonstrated in a previous study to improve soil water retention capacity, productivity, and resilience.
PROS OF HOME COMPOSTING
Now that you have an idea about the importance of composting, you are now ready to assess if it is the best practice to carry over to your home!
Like any other decision-making you do, knowing the pros and cons will surely help you know it is worth your time and effort.
So, here are the pros of doing home composting:
COMPOSTING IS ECO-FRIENDLY
When you manage organic wastes to make them useful again, you are doing a lot to help the environment!
Composting is an eco-friendly process that promotes getting rid of common waste materials without emitting harmful by-products like carbon footprint or harmful gas emissions.
An average of 27% of solid waste is dumped in the United States’ landfills. This is a hefty amount of trash that has the potential to be turned into compost!
The issue with the landfills is not merely about the amount of space. When organic wastes are kept in landfills for a long time, they produce harmful greenhouse gases like methane.
These methane gas emissions are controlled when you compost because you deal with the decomposition process more swiftly. Greenhouse gases will not enter and harm the environment!
These little benefits will help reduce greenhouse gases and conserve landfill wastes, will eventually reduce the effect of global warming, and promote environmental protection.
COMPOSTING HELPS IN WATER CONSERVATION
According to the USDA, agriculture alone consumes 80% of the water used in the United States. Aside from being expensive for the farmers, this much water expenditure will damage our supply of this nonrenewable resource.
Water needs to be conserved because the United States has even admitted having difficulty obtaining enough water resources.
Now, how does composting play a role here? According to a previous study, adding organic matter to soil increases its ability to retain water.
Each 1% increase in soil organic matter increases the capacity of the soil to store 20,000 gallons of water per acre!
Farmers that utilize compost to promote healthy soil use less water and still produce larger yields than those who farm with deteriorated soil.
And, you can benefit here too, in your garden! If you use compost over your plants, you would surely cut costs on your water bill as your plants need not be watered as much compared to when they have no compost!
COMPOSTING BOOSTS SOIL STRUCTURE
We have tackled the benefit of composting to the soil structure in the earlier part of the article.
The prominent effect of composting the soil is its capacity to influence the soil’s water-retaining ability. It fills the ground with nutrients that plants need and enhances soil texture, which is best for most plants.
Healthy soil means that you will have healthy plants! With home composting, you benefit from having this wonderful matter constantly at hand.
Gardening is surely a tedious task, and you would surely not want to have your herbs and shrubs dying on you! Taking care of them means that you give them the best nourishment.
With healthy plants, you get to have delicious and nutritious fruits, healthy leaves for brewing tea or garnishing, or flavorful flowers that you can put in your salads!
COMPOSTING PRODUCES A NATURAL, INEXPENSIVE, AND ORGANIC FERTILIZER
If you want your plants to thrive well, you need to give them nourishment.
With home composting, you will get an excellent organic plant fertilizer! Compost is organic; therefore, they will decompose in the soil over time.
Plants love disintegrating compost because this provides the nourishment they need to grow healthy and flourish.
You might think that you can always go to your local stores to buy fertilizer. However, home composting will give you lots of benefits!
First, you will surely be safe from the chemical-infused fertilizers that do more harm than good. Chemicals often lead to pollution, harm the ecosystem, and emit harmful gases to the environment.
Also, composting is sustainable in the long run! You would not need to constantly shell out money for buying fertilizers as you can just make it yourself.
COMPOSTING WILL HELP YOU SAVE COSTS
Home composting works well if you love nurturing herbs and gardening. When you use your home compost to fertilize your plants, you will use less synthetic fertilizer and chemicals.
As a result, you will cut down costs for plant maintenance. Also, your money will be invested in more productive things instead of hiring professionals to till your soils or use chemicals over your plants.
Furthermore, if you can produce your own veggies and fruits using this compost, you will save money on vegetables each month! You would have the luxury of having different veggies and herbs in your own home.
COMPOSTING IS VERY EASY
Other people get discouraged from starting something new because they fear that it might be tedious or challenging to get the hang of it.
Fortunately, composting is very easy! Anyone can do home composting.
Nowadays, both rural and urban areas are great places to start indoor or outdoor composts. Starting composting is very easy because we now have all sorts of indoor composting bins that you can purchase!
CONS OF COMPOSTING
There is another side to the coin – composting also has some cons. Knowing the downsides of having a home compost can help you decide if the pros are truly worth it.
Read on to see some noteworthy cons of composting:
HAZARDOUSNESS AND ODOR
Composting is all about decomposition. The decomposing process inevitably emits a foul odor.
Because of the awful smell of the compost, it opens risks to unwanted infestations. If you fail to attend to your compost pile fully, it may get infested with rodents, bugs, and pests.
Infestation can lead to health hazards, including diseases, and even feast and destroy your plants.
The odor itself is unavoidable. However, you can minimize its hazardousness by keeping an eye on your compost and never leaving it unattended for extended periods!
Gardening and landscaping are truly artistic. There is a unique sense of fulfillment after seeing your plants all well-trimmed, flourishing, and blooming!
An outdoor compost might not be the best partner for a beautiful garden landscape. A home compost pile can give the illusion of disarray in the place.
The issue of unattractiveness can be very easy to deal with. Now, you can use a compost bin or a Subpod that keeps your home compost tidy.
Not all home composts are successful. You might encounter a time when you feel it is not working for you anymore, or you find yourself too busy to tend to your compost’s needs.
If compost waste products are disposed of in landfills, they emit many gases that harm the environment. The methane released into the atmosphere by anaerobic composting has the effect of trapping heat, which might lead to global warming.
The time and energy consumed by composting at home might be the largest downside to doing it at home. Of course, you need to constantly check on the compost, put new waste materials, and feed it to your garden soil.
It is perfectly fine if you find yourself unable to commit to all these tasks, depending on how busy you are at work, school, or family.
WHAT YOU NEED TO START COMPOSTING
Now is the best time to go green. Let us reinvent our waste management skills and make them eco-friendly!
To help kickstart your own home compost, check out the Subpod. This simple compost bin can help you achieve your goal of recycling organic waste.
With the Subpod’s design, you get good airflow to avoid the foul odor, it is very easy to assemble, and it would not bother your pets or neighbors!
As much as we want the best for our garden, there are many factors to consider when trying home composting!
In a nutshell, composting is a beneficial way of reducing landfill space, maximizing organic wastes, and helpful in bringing a greener lifestyle.
Unsurprisingly, the possible risks of composting, like the foul smell, untidy appearance, and other hazards, are reasonable sources of doubt.
Now that you have seen the pros and cons, would you choose to start your home compost?