Composting our way to a better world
November 01, 2019 by Extinction Rebellion
Everyone knows what compost is, but few people understand how important it is, and the part it can play in building a truly sustainable world.
Nature makes compost naturally – any plant or animal matter that falls on the surface of the land is used by bacteria, fungi and other organisms as food, and this process of breaking materials down means the nutrients are returned to the soil. Plants then take up these chemicals and the cycle begins again. Additionally, carbon is sucked out of the air with photosynthesis and some is laid down in soils, sequestering it away.
Many modern societies have left this cycling of nutrients behind, which doesn’t make sense.
Compost wants to happen. It’s very easy to have a compost system in your garden, or community allotment site, and with a bit of effort local authorities can collect food ‘wastes’ and convert them into valuable fertiliser.
Home composting not only provides wonderful rich soil for healthy plants for wildlife and our garden crops, but also a habitat for a multitude of invertebrates and the things that eat them. Worms are one of the most obvious compost dwellers, but a garden compost bin will support beetles, flies, mites, woodlice, millipedes, centipedes and molluscs; and then toads, newts, hedgehogs, rodents, bats and birds feed off these.
We need to use our food and garden waste better, for the benefit of our crops and wildlife, to reduce our reliance on unsustainable resources, and to help us trap carbon in the soil. Humans have recycled our ‘waste’ this way for countless generations, and now we need to rediscover composting as part of creating a low carbon society.