Earth Gauge Tip of the Week — A Toast to Compost

Reader Contribution by Earth Gauge
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Did you know that in 2010, Americans cut enough grass and other clippings from their yard to equal the weight of 91 Empire State Buildings?  All that waste has to go somewhere and more than 40 percent of it went into landfills.  Some of that waste made its way into our waterways where its nutrients became food for algae blooms that close beaches and recreation areas, produce toxins and create “dead zones” as big as New Jersey in the Gulf of Mexico.  Luckily, almost 60 percent of yard waste was retained in compost piles where its nutrients were conserved and reused.  Compost is a natural, home-made fertilizer that feeds your lawn over the course of its growing season – it also improves the overall health and water dynamics of your soil.  That means you may not have to water your lawn as often and it won’t be east for those nutrients to get into our waterways.

Viewer Tip:  Here are some more reasons why you should compost:

  • It Saves Money – You probably won’t have to pay for fertilizers and townships will have less waste to transport.  Some of them won’t accept yard waste anymore without charging a fee.
  • It Reduces Your Trash – On average, yard waste and food scraps account for nearly one third of your annual trash contributions, so compost them instead!

Find tips on how to compost here:

(Sources: “The Official Site of the Empire State Building.”  Accessed Online May 24, 2012; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency “Municipal Solid Waste Generation, Recycling, and Disposal in the United States: Facts and Figures for 2010.”  Accessed Online May 24, 2012; U.S. Composting Council, 2008.  “USCC Factsheet: Using compost can reduce water pollution.”  Accessed Online May 25, 2012; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2009.  “Backyard Composting: It’s Only Natural.”  Accessed Online May 25, 2012;  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  “Composting: Basic Information.”  Accessed Online May 25, 2012.)