This is the season of good eating to be sure and unfortunately, it can also lead to a lot of added food waste. How often have you finished a meal and scraped your plate into the trash? This is a daily occurrence for many, and because it’s like second nature; we rarely give it a second thought. Food waste is so common in the US for example, that it has been estimated that 30 to 40% of the food supply is thrown away each year. This organic food waste takes up a large portion of landfills and contributes to pollution.
The Thanksgiving season is ideal for focusing on reducing waste. As we show gratitude for the bounty of the harvest; we can continue the cycle by learning to reduce and reuse. Composting is a great way to turn those leftovers into rich, fertile nutrients for the soil.
Composting doesn’t have to be complicated and a small bin is simple to create. You can get started with something as simple as a large 20 gallon plastic storage container with a lid. Drill small holes around the bottom and sides to aerate your compost. Make sure the lid fits tight to keep animals out.
A compost bin should be 2/3rd brown materials like soil and leaves and 1/3rd food waste. You can compost nearly any kind of food except meat, bones and dairy. Turn your compost with a pitchfork periodically to aerate it and provide oxygen and nutrients for the microorganisms growing there. These microbes are healthy and beneficial for your garden and will help your plants to grow strong.
Over the coming months, continue using your compost bin by adding food scraps and turning the contents after every few additions. When Spring arrives it will be time to turn the compost into the soil. This super nourished soil will allow your garden to grow and flourish without the need for chemical fertilizers and other questionable products.
Composting can become a regular part of your Thanksgiving tradition. Show gratitude for the Earth use composting as an offering. It reduces pollution, nourishes the soil that feeds you throughout the year and it is an activity the whole family can participate in together.