Issue Date: April 14, 2011
City: Washington, DC
Printed By: Avery Dennison
Printing Method: Photogravure
It is dark, warm, moist, and usually smells. It used to be the mysterious, slightly creepy pile in a corner of the back yard. It is also one of the best things people can do to help plants grow. It is called “composting,” which is the process of collecting organic waste products, helping them decompose (or break down), and adding them back to the soil.
Composting uses natural waste products like lawn clippings, vegetable peelings, and coffee grounds and blending them. The different materials used together speeds up the decomposition process. The compost is then spread over growing areas, adding its rich nutrition to the soil.
The restoring of nutrients from decayed matter back to the earth is a natural process. But that process is interrupted when resources are drawn out and not replaced, such as in manufacturing or farming. Composting is one way to return some of those nutrients to the soil.
Composting has long been practiced by lawn and garden owners, and is becoming increasingly popular with apartment and city-dwellers. Specially made bins enable people to collect compost no matter where they live. Whether used for spacious lawns, plants in high-rises, or window gardens, composting is an earth-friendly and valuable habit to form.