In the natural environment, plants die and decompose back into the soil, which creates a nutrient soil that feeds microorganisms and new plants that are growing. When we farm our food, the plants go to our homes, and we eat them instead of those plants recycling back into the environment. What we can do is send our food scraps back to the farm to use for healthy soil. That is what composting is. You collect your food scraps and let them decompose, and then farms use this rich organic material on their soil to grow more food. This means they don’t need to use chemical fertilizer to provide nutrients to their plants. Compost is also organic. There is so much energy in all the food waste and scraps we throw away into landfills that can go back into our farming system to make our farming more regenerative. We can’t rely on fertilizers because those sources come from limited mined materials and will run out. We must farm in a regenerative way. Composting is a major component of that. 

Hopefully, your city trash collector collects compost. Typically, it is a green bin. If you don’t have one, check your trash collector website or call your city officials to ask about this. Every city must adopt composting as part of their trash collection to get this major organic resource back to the local farms. If your city does not have this, you can advocate and vote for it. 

If you have a garden at home, you can compost at home and use it in your own garden. There are composting bins you can buy to help you compost, or you can create a pile that you rotate around until it is ready to use. Check out a book from the library to learn about composting or take a class. Another way to compost is to get a worm garden—you feed the worms your scraps to eat, and their poop is nutrient-rich material for your soil.

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