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Celebrate International Compost Awareness Week

Celebrate International Compost Awareness Week

While conceivable that this great, week-long holiday could be overshadowed by other events such as Mother’s Day, International Compost Awareness Week is SO worth celebrating. This week focuses on building awareness of composting and its environmental benefits. It’s the largest and most comprehensive education initiative related to composting, and it’s celebrated each year in the first full week of May.

When you take out your trash every week, likely about a quarter of what you’re sending to the landfill could be turned into a valuable resource instead. Kitchen waste—everything from onion skins and tomato cores to stale bread and coffee grounds—could go into an easy-to-manage compost pile or bin. You can even compost things such as dryer lint, egg shells and paper scraps. If you make composting, reusing and recycling a part of your normal routine, you’ll be excited and amazed to see how little trash you create.

Sending less stuff to the landfill should be a goal for all us, not just for those of us who garden. Even if you don’t grow a garden or have a yard, you can compost. You can do so by setting up an indoor worm bin (see How to Make a Worm Bin), or you could participate in community-based composting initiatives. Some cities will provide bins you can fill up with yard and kitchen waste, which you then set out on the curb each week for the city to pick up and take to a large composting facility.

If you do garden, then composting is a win-win-win (actually, there are probably way more than three wins involved!). You’ll save money on soil amendments because you can use the free compost you create, you’ll generate less trash, your crops will thrive, and you’ll have fun in the process.

I compost everything I can, and I honestly think it’s really fun. I simply have a covered crock sitting on my kitchen counter that I dump often into a couple of bins I made in my backyard out of wooden stakes and chicken wire. There are myriad ways to compost—some people just prefer open piles. If you want to keep critters out, you can opt for an enclosed bin or tumbler.

I also kept an indoor worm composting bin for a few years, which was loads of fun. I made so much compost tea and rich castings via that little bin—and I really became fond of my worms. They’re such hard workers! Sadly, I moved cross-country and a friend had to adopt my worms and their bin.

You can celebrate Compost Awareness Week by setting up a compost system for your household, or, if you already compost, help a friend or family member get set up. For much more about composting, see the info in Compost Made Easy. Also, check out the resources on this Compost and Soil Building info page.

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Shelley Stonebrook

Shelley Stonebrook is an Associate Editor at Mother Earth News—North America’s most popular magazine about sustainable, self-reliant living—where she works on exciting projects such as Organic Gardening content and the Vegetable Garden Planner. Shelley is particularly interested in organic gardening, small-scale, local food production, waste reduction, food preservation and cooking. In her spare time, she posts in her personal blog, The Rowdy Radish.


+ add your own
6:51PM PDT on Apr 23, 2013

Now I'm ready to tackle composting. Thank you!

3:15AM PST on Jan 3, 2013

I compost almost all my kitchen waste (the dog and cat get bones and meat scraps). Most paper goes into the mulch pile, too. What needs to go in the trash each week fits into a plastic grocery bag. I love my composter.

8:40PM PST on Jan 2, 2013

Have a worm farm

7:59PM PST on Jan 2, 2013


12:59AM PDT on Sep 20, 2012

Thanks for sharing.

2:33PM PDT on Jun 3, 2012

Thank you for sharing, Shelley

6:51PM PDT on May 27, 2012

Love my compost heap!

6:48PM PDT on May 27, 2012

Love my compost heap!

8:07PM PDT on May 22, 2012


5:18AM PDT on May 18, 2012

thank you and keep these ideas and ways of helping ourselves posted on care2.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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