Get free shipping. Add $50 to cart
In the mid 1940’s a character was introduced as part of an initiative to bring awareness to a growing problem here in the United States.
This shovel carrying character, a shirtless, hairy mammal donning a ranger’s cap and blue jeans, implored the help of every US citizen.
If you know who I’m referring to, can you remember his plea?
Smokey Bear taught us that “only YOU can prevent forest fires.”
He made the problem of forest fires personal. Smokey taught us that each and every person could help the environment as we worked together to prevent forest fires.Speaking for the US alone, we are trashy people, generating nearly 210 million tons of trash annually.
And, with nearly 40 million tons of landfill trash consisting of organic materials, just as was the case with forest fires: YOU can help!
And, we’re going to one-up Smokey’s plea when it comes to our trashy problem, because when you help reduce the amount of trash that ends up in overflowing landfills across the nation by composting, you can also personally reap the rewards of your efforts!
My grandparents always kept a plastic ice cream pail sitting on their kitchen countertop.
Throughout the day, especially after meals, my grandpa would scrape the scraps from plates, or from my grandmother’s efforts in meal prepping, into this container. When the bucket was nearly full, he would take it out to the nearby cornfield and dump the organic matter near the edge of the field, always in the same spot.
At the time, my grandparents simply explained the practice as a way to keep foods out of the kitchen trash can to avoid any odors. What they were essentially doing though, was composting (minus the need for a few tweaks, that is).
You see, all living, growing things, sooner or later, will decompose.
Composting is what happens when we recycle organic materials (often kitchen and garden waste) by collecting these items, storing them together thus allowing them to break down or decay.
The bacteria present in these materials combine with oxygen and moisture to create compost, an incredibly nutrient-dense, humus-like material that can be used as fertilizer, mulch, and essentially a healthy plant food to boost your floral and garden crop yield.
Where you live, the amount and type of organic waste you produce, and how quickly you wish to produce and use your compost can determine the method you choose for composting.
Some folks choose to play the long game, incorporating a process often referred to as cold or passive composting.
This method involves little to no effort or maintenance, breaking down the matter slowly over time.
Since organic matter decomposes naturally, those individuals with very little matter to compost often choose to leave their piles untended, allowing mother nature to take her course, yielding usable compost in 1-2 years.
Some potential problems with this method include the possibility for lingering pathogens to remain in the compost as the pile may not get hot enough to kill off bacteria, fungi, and parasites, etc.
Another, more popular, method of composting is known as the hot method.
Hot composting, while it does involve some work on your part, is a much faster process that can yield mature compost in anywhere from one month to one year.
As this is the most preferred method, the next section (how to compost) will deal with the details of this process/method.
First, be sure to get hands-on in this process. Check to see if your compost is ready to use by scooping up a handful to observe the following:
When your compost is mature and ready to use, you can…
And, sure, compost can benefit your garden, your lawn, and your soil, but what about the rest of the world? Does composting benefit the whole world, or just your world?
Actually, using compost and adding it to your soil can help to filter your local water sources.
Since compost can hold up to 20 times its own weight in water, adding it to your soil increases water penetration. As the water then seeps down through layers of rock it replenishes the local sources in your area (springs, lakes, and ponds).
And, as we learned in Finding Nemo “all drains lead to the ocean,” essentially stating that all water eventually finds its way to the ocean. Therefore, cleaning up your local water sources can go a long way to helping clean up the water in our oceans.
As most soil erosion is caused by excess water, compost’s ability to retain water also prevents topsoil erosion.
When organic, compostable matter is sent to landfills, it lacks the proper environment to properly compost. Instead, in landfills these materials will rot and cause excessive methane emissions. So, your compost pile can decrease the methane and carbon emissions from your community. (I think I can envision a new mission for Smokey Bear here!)
Composting can also reduce food waste, waste disposal costs, and farming costs (by using compost as fertilizer) benefiting your community.
Have you finished that cup of coffee yet? And, you remembered to save the grounds, right?
We briefly mentioned above that you can add coffee grounds and even your paper coffee filter or napkin to your compost pile, but coffee is far more fabulous than just a one-liner. You already knew that, didn’t you. ;)
After preparing your coffee, you can use the nitrogen-rich grounds to add a thin layer to then be mixed throughout your soil as a slow-release fertilizer (you want to mix with the soil to avoid a dry layer forming on top).
And, according to the EPA, you can even add used coffee grounds to keep away pests (from ants, mosquitoes, snails, slugs, rabbits, deer, and other mammals).
In the past there have been concerns regarding the acid level of coffee grounds in compost piles. And, while those concerns have largely been debunked, acidity levels in Lifeboost coffee are almost as alkaline as water, making acidity of no concern here anyways.
While caffeine is still present in coffee grounds, those levels are very low, and when mixed with other materials in your compost pile or bin, those levels are diluted even further.
At Lifeboost, I’m sure you already know that we’re continually striving to bring you the healthiest cup of coffee on the planet.
But, did you know that as we do this, we’re also seeking to improve the state of the planet as well?
Our coffee is grown in the mountain shade, negating any need for acts of deforestation and the need for pesticides and fertilizers that harm both the coffee and the environment.
Using sustainable farming methods, the biodiversity of the areas where our coffee is grown is both protected and improved. We also support the Rainforest Trust to help protect the areas where our coffee is grown.
MEDICAL DISCLAIMER This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Charles Livingston nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.