Does my compost pile effect climate change?

Does my compost pile effect climate change?

Making your daily routine and life greener is a hot button topic for everyone today. From having cars that use less gas, or even just electric to taking a look at how we dispose of our waste most Americans are trying to do a better job of cleaning up the environment. Read More about compost pile at http://grist.org/living/ask-umbra-is-my-compost-pile-contributing-to-climate-change/. One great way to help with how much waste ends up in landfills is composting, but the new composter often ends up asking some questions the biggest one being, does my compost effect the climate change taking over the world.

Decomposing matter in general does produce methane gas, a known greenhouse gas that is worse for the environment then simple carbon dioxide. The way landfills are managed and how they trap food guarantees that food waste will slowly rot in these places, and produce a high amount of methane gas. The good news for backyard composters is if you manage your compost pile properly you can have a low methane or even methane free compost pile.

How exactly do you keep your compost pile from ending up like a land fill? Luckily that is an easy thing to see the key is making sure that the environment you are producing has a good supply of oxygen. By guaranteeing an oxygenated or aerobic environment your compost pile will produce not methane but carbon dioxide, which is a natural part of the cycle of carbon.The compost garden is also useful in the same manner.

Does my compost pile effect climate change?

Tips for providing an aerobic environment:

  • Size matters! Make sure that the bin you chose to compost in is at least a cubic yard in size to make sure that it is large enough to get the compost to a proper temperature.

  • Layers! How you layer in the waste is very important in keeping a well maintained compost pile. By alternating layers into browns and greens you will see a healthier (non-methane) compost pile. Browns are materials like dry yard waste, leaves, woodchips, potting soil and even cardboard. While greens are the wet organics like food scraps and fresh cut grass. Keep in mind there are things you do not want to add to your compost as well, things like meat, dairy and pet waste will hinder your compost pile from getting hot enough and make things smell bad.

  • As the pile turns! Make sure that anytime you add to the compost pile that you give a little turn or fluff to the current pile. This can be done by using a shovel or a pitchfork and will ensure that all of the parts of your compost are getting enough oxygen.

Those are the nitty gritty basic tips to keep your compost pile happy and well maintained and helping the environment instead of adding to it. Compost is one of those things that you will tend to learn as you go and find out what works best for you and the area in which you live. Weather and moisture all of these factors that are different in every part of the country can have an effect on how often you will need to fluff your pile or what kind of container you use. The important thing is to find what works best for you and build on that.

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