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March: Composting today for a greener tomorrow!

March: Composting today for a greener tomorrow!

St. Patrick’s Day is March 17th this year – a fun day to wear green clothes. In addition to dressing in green, how green can you go this month?

We have all heard the saying Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. We might not realize they’re in the order of importance! Reducing waste, energy, and carbon is so important to helping the environment.

Here is a huge way to reduce waste: composting!

Why compost?

  • It is easy!
  • Organic waste can be 30-50% (or more) of household garbage. 
  • Compost keeps nutrients in the soil and out of the landfill.
  • Your plants will be healthier if you grow them in soil rich with composted nutrients.
  • Compost rich soils hold water better, meaning less time watering and less water used.
  • Compost can allow you to make new gardens in sites with poor soil.
  • Keeping compost out of landfills will extend the landfill’s life and reduce greenhouse gases which contribute to climate change.

How to set up a backyard compost in five easy steps:

  1. Choose a location: A place that will receive some sun throughout the day. It should be at least two-feet away from any structures and in a well-drained spot.
  2. Decide on a pile or bin: Composting doesn’t require special equipment. You can start a simple pile in your backyard or purchase a bin for it. A bin may discourage animals from investigating. But either will work!
  3. Load it up with materials: Fill your compost with 60% brown leaves and 40% grass clippings and food scraps. As you continue to compost, add brown leaves to help maintain a balance of carbon and nitrogen.
  4. Add water: You might need to water the compost from time to time. The microbes need moisture to survive – but not too much. It should be as damp as a wrung-out sponge.
  5. Turn your pile: Once a week, use a shovel or pitchfork to turn your compost, breaking up clumps and infusing oxygen into the material so your microorganisms thrive. You’ll keep your compost healthier and it will work faster.

It is that simple! Over time, you’ll create a rich soil that smells like a forest…

Ready to go even further? Help your school become one of the dozens of composting schools in Ontario! Read more about starting a school composting program.

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