In last monthʻs piece, Let’s Get Growing! we shared ideas on how you can be an urban gardener. If you have already started your garden, or are currently making plans/designs for your garden, composting supports your efforts, and can be shared shared with your friends and family who have landscaping and gardening needs.

What exactly is composting? Composting is a natural process of decomposing organic matter, such as fruit and vegetables scraps, into a rich soil additive that supports plant growth and health. Compost, sometimes known as Black Gold, is rich in nutrients and promotes soil microbes that aid plant growth.

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Composting also helps you actively reduce your food waste (see our sustainability blog from November 2017). Food that does not go into the incinerator ends up in a land fills where it directly contributes to methane production. The Evironmental Protection Agencyʻs (EPA) publication, America’s Food Waste Problem, estimates that food waste contributes to 18% of the methane emissions in the U.S. come from landfills. Composting helps us decrease the amount of food ending up in our land fills and decreases the amount of methane emissions created. Composting is a far better use of food and green waste.

Below are some publications that will help you start composting. Click on the link to read the piece in its entirety.

Making Compost is an article that debunks several myths about composting. Readers will discover that they do not need to build their compost in layers, it does not have to be put together at one time, the ingredients do not need to be processed before composting, and a pile does not have to be “hot” to qualify as a compost pile.

In addition to providing you with step-by-step guidelines on how to make compost, Backyard Composting will provide you with information on how you can use your compost to feed your outdoor and indoor plants, your lawn and how compost tea can help your ailing plants.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Backyard Composting provids readers with just that: tips on what to do and what not to do. For example, itʻs good to treat your compost like a pet. This will help you remember not to neglect it and feed it a balanced, “healthy” diet. Readers will also learn that compost can be fed green and brown materials, but should not be fed things like meat, fish, eggs or dairy. To learn more read full article via the link above.

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COMPOSTING IN HAWAIʻI

Here are some local publications that will help Hawaiʻi residents in their composting efforts.

The State of Hawaiʻi Department of Health has a  Fact Sheet, Reduce and Recycle Green Waste that has a information on backyard composting.

Hawaii Backyard Conservation: Ideas for Every Homeowner is a publication that provides readers with information and tips on a number of topics including composting.

The Maui Recycling Group has an informational publication that will help you compost organically.

Recycle Hawai’i, a Hawaiʻi Island nonprofit educational organization has two publications that helps local residents with their backyard composting:

After you feed yourself donʻt throw away your left over fruits and vegetables. Use them to create compost so you can feed your plants. Composting does the environment and your garden good!

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