Innovative Patio and Outdoors: Use Compost, Save Soil
If you live in a city where the local government provides a compost bin, then kudos to you. You have an advantage on green outdoor living and healing the planet from environmental destruction. For those of us in most cities and suburbs, we don’t get a tiny plastic bin to store on our countertop to encourage green outdoor living endeavors. Instead, we must go beyond simply filling a bin to take the steps of composting ourselves. In the end, the results are worth it because composting is one of the biggest ways individuals can help save the planet from climate change.
In nature, everything is recycled. When a leaf falls from a tree and onto the forest floor, worms and insects, along with microorganisms like bacteria and fungi, digest it until it eventually becomes part of the soil. Compost is basically the same natural process, but faster. Using the right conditions such as heat and moisture, organic materials are digested by decomposer organisms.
How Compost Helps Green Outdoor Living
For many households, the patio and outdoor area of the home is the largest water consumer. Around 30% of the water an individual uses is for outdoor purposes, including landscaping and gardening. Compost is super rich soil which supports water retention. Less water evaporation equates to around 30% less water being needed to water an area. The other benefit of compost is that it is nutrient rich. Using compost on your plants and vegetables helps to suppress diseases, aerate plant roots and provides nutrients and minerals that help plants grow healthy and strong.
Another benefit of compost for your green outdoor living area is that by reusing your food waste, it doesn’t end up in landfills. Between yard trimmings and food leftovers, almost 25% of municipal solid waste can be composted and become a benefit instead of a hindrance to climate change.
How to Compost
Although many people love the idea of green outdoor living in theory, investing in solar lights and recycled furniture for the patio, they balk at the thought of composting because it’s too smelly or they don’t have much of a yard. In truth, composting takes very little effort and shouldn’t smell at all. Actually, if your compost begins to smell, it’s a sign that you need to alter the formula because something is wrong. Whether you have a large yard that needs lots of compost to thrive, have a balcony or no yard at all, you can compost and reduce food waste, soil loss and water evaporation. All you need is a container that works for you to mix in with your plant-based food scraps (eggshells are okay) and you are set to go. In time, you’ll find you can recycle your compost by boosting it with a variety of nutrients.
Composting is one of the best ways you can reduce your personal environmental impact and engage in productive green outdoor living. For more tips on green outdoor living, visit our Patio & Outdoor Living section, or read other articles about sustainable lifestyles.