Composting for Climate

Most of us are very concerned about climate change and asking what we can do to help on a personal level. Along with reducing transport and electricity emissions, composting organic waste with a worm farm or other home composting system is one of the most significant and immediate actions you can take to help reduce emissions and contribute to a safer climate.

Did you know that for every kg of food waste that is composted, the equivalent of 1.9 kg of CO2 is saved from entering the atmosphere? When organic waste ends up in landfill it turns into climate wrecking methane, a dangerous greenhouse gas many times more potent than carbon dioxide.

Why Compost - Saint Louis City Recycles
Organic waste going into landfill creates lots of problems. Source: Saint Louis City Recycles

Currently as much as 40% of material ending up in landfill is organic matter – a huge problem that we need to fix. Most of this material should be composted and returned to the soil to improve fertility, soil health and food production.  So there is a great opportunity right under our noses to turn a waste problem into a fantastic climate solution!

Household waste composition in Melbourne Source: Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group

And there’s more – once your composted food waste goes into the soil, it builds up organic matter and feeds the soil food web, building populations of soil micro-organisms (and worms!) to continue their work, drawing down even more carbon from the atmosphere, stabilising it in the soil. It’s a positive feedback loop known as the nutrient cycle that will continue working its’ magic for years to come.

Soil health – the unsung reason to compost
Compost, organic matter and soil health. Source: Compost Crew

Composting and worm farming not only engages you with nature through participating in the nutrient cycle, it is great for well-being, connection and the empowering feeling that you are making a difference, at a time when we all need to get involved. Imagine the combined impact we could make if everyone composted all their food scraps!

Source: City of Wyndham
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