The fact is that even if you don’t have much space, there are still valuable reasons to compost your kitchen scraps. What’s more, it’s simple for renters to compost, even without a sizeable yard or garden! Compost is great for all kinds of uses and can help you live a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle.
This guide delivers the basics of composting, together with what it is, why people do it, and the steps you’ll take to get started.
What is composting?
In the most straightforward terms, composting is the process of breaking down organic materials into a rich soil amendment. This “amendment” can then be used to improve the condition of your garden soil, help your plants grow, and even act as a natural fertilizer.
When you compost, you’re essentially replicating nature’s process of breaking down organic matter. By doing this, you’re producing a product that is good for the environment and exceptionally helpful for lots of green, growing things!
There are many reasons to compost, but one of the most important is that it helps diminish the amount of waste that goes into landfills. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, food waste and yard trimmings make up more than 20 percent of what is sent to landfills each year, and these materials can take years to break down.
Another big reason to compost is that it helps improve the quality of your garden soil. Compost enriches the soil with nutrients that plants need to grow, and it helps improve the soil’s structure, making it better able to retain water and resist pests and diseases.
What can be composted?
Almost any type of organic matter can be composted, including food scraps, coffee grounds, eggshells, yard trimmings, and even paper towels and cardboard. You can even compost pet hair and used kitty litter. (For a complete list of what can and cannot be composted, take a look at this helpful guide from the EPA.)
How do I start composting?
Many Portland renters don’t realize they can compost their food waste at home. By composting, you can reduce your garbage output and help the environment. Here are a few tips to get started:
- If necessary, talk to your landlord or Portland property manager about getting permission to compost on the premises.
- If you live in an apartment or condo, there may already be a community compost bin that you can use. Check with your building management to find out.
- If you have a small yard or patio, think about having a small compost bin to keep your food waste in until you’re ready to dispose of it properly. You can find these bins at most hardware stores or online.
- Start accumulating your food waste in a container. You can use a kitchen garbage can, a plastic storage bin, or even a grocery bag.
- When your container is full, take it to your compost bin and add it to the pile. Be sure to mix it in well so that it breaks down
- Once your food waste has broken down, you can use it as fertilizer for your plants or donate it to a local community garden.
Composting is a great way to reduce your environmental impact, save stress on your garbage disposal, and save money on fertilizer and potting soil. By following these tips, you can get started composting today!
Are you looking for a new rental home – perhaps one with a larger yard or garden? If so, view our listings online to find your next home.
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