I am changing gears a little bit from the smoothies and recipes to talk about something that directly impacts our health, our planet, and our future...
Did you know:
An average American produces 4.4 pounds of waste EVERY DAY, and in 2014 the EPA noted that we generated about 258 million tons of MSW (municpal solid waste) in the US.
Waste has a lot of names: trash, garbage, junk. The EPA defines MSW as: "everyday items we use and then throw away, such as product packaging, grass clippings, furniture, clothing, bottles, food scraps, newspapers, appliances, paint, and batteries." The excess waste is contributing to major effects on the environment and our health. The waste is gathered and while some of it will eventually break down, in the process it can produce methane gas--contributing to the greenhouse effect.
Another modality used to try and control trash is that of incineration. Incinerating waste also brings its' fair share of problems; namely because plastics tend to produce toxic substances, such as dioxins when burnt. Incineration also contributes to air pollution, acid rain, and the ash from incinerators may contain heavy metals and other toxins.
If you are starting to get concerned, that is good- you should be! BUT amongst all of the scary statistics- there are large strides and positive campaigns to try and figure out what to do with our overwhelming amount of trash with a focus on three major areas: waste prevention, recycling, and composting.
We have been taught to "REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE" in primary school- but do we actually put this into action in our daily life?
Recycling and composting MSW results in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction. Waste reduction also means means less resources and energy used --- IE MONEY saving. Composting is an incredible way to turn our food and yard waste (which takes up about 25-50% of what we throw away) into something that will benefit YOU and your environment.
Still not convinced? Here are some benefits of composting you may not be aware of:
- helps soil retain water, so you won't have to water as much
- helps to balance pH of soil.
- provides extra nutrients for your plants
- makes an AMAZING fertilizer for your soil
- captures and destroys volatile organic chemicals (VOCs)
- promotes higher yields of agricultural crops.
- provides carbon sequestration
So feeling inspired to start composting but not sure where to begin?
Stay tuned for the blog post this week on an easy DIY: home composter that costs less than $20.
Anyone composting? Share your techniques or experiences below!