Composting Vs. Waste: What You Need To Know

Composting Vs. Waste: What You Need To Know

Mar 18, 2024Jonathan Englert

At Good & Fugly, part of our mission is, of course, to help get the most tasty and wholesome produce direct to your door. By supporting farmers and buying the produce that the supermarkets wouldn’t touch, we’re even able to do that in a way that saves you money. 

However, we’re driven in other ways too. One of our goals with the company is to combat the huge amount of food waste that goes on in Australia. Some of that has to do with the supermarkets rejecting farmer’s produce, yes. But it also has to do with what households throw away. One of the ways we can all contribute to a healthier environment is by understanding the impact of our choices, particularly when it comes to composting peelings, cut-offs, and fruit and veg that is no longer edible. 

Essentially, whether you choose to compost, or throw these things away. 

Here’s what you need to know.

The Benefits of Composting

Composting is a natural process that turns organic waste, like fruit and vegetable scraps, into nutrient-rich material that you can spread over your soil, as a replacement for fertilizer. 

This is one of the simplest and yet powerful ways to recycle the same nutrients that you’re feeding yourself when you cook with these vegetables and fruits, and allow your garden to derive the same value that you are. 

We like to think of composting as having four major benefits:

  • Improves Soil Health: Compost adds essential nutrients back into the soil, promoting better plant growth. Whether you’re growing trees, flowers, or a veggie patch of your own, you’re going to get so much more out of it with composting.
  • Enhances Water Retention: Using compost in your garden beds can improve water retention, reducing the need for frequent watering. Given how dry Australia can become, this is a particularly valuable feature of composting.
  • Supports Local Ecosystems: Compost is rich in beneficial microorganisms that help break down soil contaminants and support plant health. Worms, insects and other animals love it, which in turn helps maintain the health of birds and other ecosystem animals. 
  • Reduces Waste: By composting, we can significantly decrease the amount of organic waste sent to landfills, where it would otherwise contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.

The Impact of Waste

So, what happens if you allow organic waste to end up in landfill instead? Well, nothing good, unfortunately. Three of the main consequences are:

  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Decomposing organic waste in landfills generates methane, a potent greenhouse gas that exacerbates climate change. This is an incredible statistic, but if we stopped wasting food, we would reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 6-8%, all by itself.
  • Pollution: Rotting organic matter can create and allow toxins to thrive, and this can subsequently contaminate soil and water bodies, leading to a host of environmental problems. Sites for dumps and tips are selected because they limit the risk here, but it still contaminates the trash area itself.
  • Resource Inefficiency: When we fail to compost, we miss out on the opportunity to recycle valuable nutrients, leading to a greater reliance on synthetic fertilizers. These might work in the short term, but in the longer term the nutrient-deprived soil lowers in quality and can even become toxic from the additional chemicals introduced through the fertilizer.

For all these reasons, we encourage our customers to join us in composting efforts. Even if you don’t have your own garden or need for composting, see if you can donate your compost ingredients to community efforts or local farmers. You’ll find that the need for compost in your area is greater than you expected, and your contributions will be most appreciated. 

Whether you’re a home gardener or simply looking to reduce your environmental footprint, composting is a practical and impactful step you can take. 

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