Sustainability Tip: Composting helps reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions that are causing climate change
Did you know that food waste and yard scraps that end up in the landfill break down into greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change? Thanks to the efforts from the Climate Action Collaborative, the Walking Mountains Science Center has data about what kind of materials end up in the local landfill. Data show that 47.3% of the waste that went to the Eagle County Landfill in 2017 was food waste and yard scraps, which broke down in the landfill and emitted around 80,904 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
But there’s a more sustainable way to dispose of food and yard scraps. Nature has created its own method of recycling organic waste, and it’s called composting. It’s the best recycling center around, because it’s free from chemicals and electricity. In nature, nutrients are recycled continuously. When plants and animals die, the organic components are cycled back into the system with the help of many different organisms. Anything that is alive, or was once alive, is considered organic, and can be composted under the right conditions.
Composting can have a huge impact in reducing the greenhouse gases causing climate change, but it also comes with many other benefits. Composting increases landfill space, enhances plant and forest seedling crops, prevents plant disease, controls erosion, replenishes damaged soil, helps prevent pollution and enriches garden and house plants and flowers. Follow the tips below to learn how to turn your food scraps and yard waste into high quality soil conditioner.
If you are concerned about climate change, then get involved with our Climate Action Collaborative for the Eagle County community by taking our Climate Action Pledge at http://www.walkingmountains.org/climate-action- collaborative. You can also reach out to us for additional opportunities.
Here are three tips to help you began composting and reduce your carbon footprint.
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1. Visit http://www.walkingmountains.org/composting to learn more about composting, what type will work best for you and how to create your own compost system at home.
2. Visit http://www.vailhoneywagon.com/vail-compost-services.cfm to sign up for composting in Vail Honeywagon’s designated facility.
3. Pay attention to waste disposal signage when out and about and always sort waste between landfill, compost and recycling. Remember to peel of any stickers or plastic from food waste before composting. For questions about composting, please contact Stephen Beane.
Stephen Beane is an actively green intern at Walking Mountains Science Center. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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