Sustainable living- save the environment, your money, your health

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by Jess Wolfe, Sophie Kaminski, Morgan Corey, Lindsey Kamppinen, Emily Podsiadlik, Hannah Garrison, Bryce Gable, Josh Lawrence, and Christian Lubbers

“From my home alone I have prevented 118.9 pounds of food waste from going into a landfill,” Carolyn Peterson said.

It positively impacts the environment. There is no need for worms. It saves you money. You can improve your health. It’s easy and convenient.

“I thought it could be very sustainable and more of a long-term project.”

Carolyn Peterson took on home composting as a method for solving an environmental issue after being inspired by an independent research project in her Environmental Science Class.

As she took on the project, her family came with her. In the midst of the lifestyle change, Carolyn’s mom said, “the longer you compost, the more conscious you become of trash. I have definitely seen a change in the amount of trash we throw away at our house.”

Though he is not as into the project, Carolyn’s dad supports it fully.

“Dad does it just as much as we do, and my sister also joins when she’s home,” Carolyn said.  

Although it is not her favorite part, Carolyn says the maintenance is fairly low.

“I only have to stir the bin once a week,” she said.

Stirring the bin refers to turning the handle on a home composting system to rotate the decomposing food inside.

Despite the once-a-week chore, Carolyn and her family see the long-term benefits of maintaining the system.

“My favorite part is seeing how it affects waste reduction,” Carolyn said. “It is a very easy way to take your food waste and reuse it instead of putting it into a landfill.”

This is the amount of trash Carolyn prevented from entering a landfill each week:

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“My results show that this small life change can make a home significantly more sustainable. I will continue to do this and create a garden in the spring, thus making my house more and more sustainable as the years go on,” Carolyn said.

Here are 5 reasons why you should start composting in your home:

1.) Positively Impacts the Environment       

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It increases the sustainability of a home by not putting as much waste into landfills,” Carolyn points out. “Being able to grow food is much more sustainable because it decreases wasteful water use and the use of fossil fuels.”

Reducing trash helps so many aspects of the environment.

Wildlife-

Carolyn explained that the soil formed through the process of composting can be used for growing your own food, eliminating the need for any fertilizers which are usually loaded with harmful chemicals that end up in the environment through runoff.

Loose trash also accounts for many animal deaths.

Carolyn Peterson’s Environmental Science teacher Mr. Groenhout says, “Less trash in the landfill leads to less potential for loose trash.” Plastic waste is often mistaken for food by innocent animals. According to Ocean Crusaders, “100,000 marine creatures a year die from plastic entanglement and these are the ones found.”

Air Pollution-

Carolyn also claimed that if more and more people start home composting, there will be less of a need for trash service. The number of garbage trucks needed will lessen and the amount of air pollution created by garbage trucks will dwindle.

Fossil Fuels are another contributor to air pollution and are used in the processing, packaging, and transportation of food. When compost soil is used in a garden to grow your own food, there will be less of a need for store bought food thus decreasing fossil fuels.

 

2.) There’s no need for worms

Com_5207When it comes to home composting a huge misconception is that it’s gross. Carolyn tells us, “You don’t have to use worms, it just takes a little bit longer for everything to compost.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.) Saves Your Money

“Growing your own food is an economic plus,” says Carolyn.

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According to HomeAdvisor, trash pickup usually costs between $10-$40 dollars per month. Fertilizer tends to cost between $20-$70 dollars per bag. This means composting would save you at least $150 dollars not to mention the money you save on food when growing your own.

 

4.) Improves Your Health

File_000 (4).jpegTurning trash into fertile soil, allows you to create new food for your family through a home garden. By eliminating any and all fertilizers and replacing them with organic compost soil people will consume less chemical-laden and more nutrient-dense produce.

 

 

 

 

 

5.) It’s Easy & Convenient

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Composting isn’t a huge hassle like taking out a big bag of trash. “We have a small bin in the kitchen and we just take it out to the outdoor compost when it gets full,” says Mrs. Peterson. As far as maintenance goes Carolyn tells us “I only have to stir the bin once per week.” This means we can all compost conveniently.

Click here to buy a home compost bin for your kitchen and a larger outdoor bin here.

 

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