Friday, May 29, 2009

Help the Environment and yourself, Recycle your Food Waste

Billions upon billions of pounds of food waste every year are thrown away with the regular garbage pick up. This puts a tremendous strain on not only our environment but our wallets to pay people to come pick it up and hail it off to a local landfill.

All is not lost though. You can do your part and solve this problem by recycling your food waste. By recycling your food waste you are create what is called compost. Compost is the end result of organic matter that decomposes.

Your food waste doesn’t simply sit in your kitchen and rot away, which wouldn’t be too pleasant, you actually do something with it and that is you bury it. I will get to more on that in a moment.

The first step is to get yourself a giant Tupperware bowl that, from now on, you can put your food scraps into. Everytime you have leftovers that would normally go into the garbage you redirect that food waste to your Tupperware bowl.

When the Tupperware bowl gets full you will bury it in your backyard. Dig a hole about one to two feet deep and empty the contents of the Tupperware bowl into the hole. Now cover the hole with the dirt. That is it you are now done. You have just recycled food waste.

Now comes the exciting part that you don’t actually see, but trust me it is happening. There is an entire ecosystem that lives underneath that top layer of soil. When you bury food they work hard decomposing that food and give back to you compost.

Compost is filled with nutrients and minerals that plants, trees, flowers, shrubs and any other type of plant require in order to grow and be healthy. By you burying your food waste you are reintroducing these nutrients back into your soil and at the same time recycling waste that would go to a landfill somewhere.

Just keep in mind not to bury food in the same spot sooner than 60 days. It will take about that time for the underlying ecosystem to decompose the waste thoroughly. Just pick a new spot and repeat. If space is limited you can dig a 3 foot hole, dump the waste in, then put a 2 to 3 inch layer of dirt on top, then when the Tupperware bowl is full again, you dump it on top of that, and then more dirt and so on until the hole is full. This helps use the same space more than once.

If you want to get even fancier when your space is limited, you can build what is called a compost bin or a worm box, put your food waste in there with some red worms and they will take care of the rest. When they are done eating the food you remove the compost that remains, mix it in with your soil around your flowers, trees and shrubs and keep doing it.

Someone once said garbage is just another product. It’s just that no one has found a use for garbage just yet. Well in this case you have. Pull double duty helping the environment by burying your food waste.

About the Author
Mike is the author of the book Vegetable Gardening for the Average Person. It is a practical easy to follow book that teaches gardeners everything from composting techniques, aeration and frost conditions, to choosing the right tools and picking the right seeds.

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