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Monday, 23 September 2013

Composting with Kids

We all hear that composting is good, but what are the benefits to the garden and environment? Composting doesn't cost you much, and potentially can be completely free, its a natural process that transforms your kitchen scraps and garden waste into a useful and nutrient rich food for your garden, which can save on purchasing compost from the garden centre.

The first reason that jumps to mind is to do your bit for the environment, by composting you are reducing the amount of waste that is taken by the council to landfill. It has been found that even households that are already composting their garden waste that almost half of the food waste they through away could have been composted. Don't forget through to consider what you buy and through out in the first place. If you don't waste it then you would save the money and not need to compost it.

Did you know, composting at home for just one year can reduce global warming gas equal to the CO2 your kettle produces annually?

Does that help make you feel a bit guilty... or hopefully enthused. When garden clippings and weeds are sent to landfill, air cannot get to the organic waste and it rots much more slowly. As the waste breaks down underground  it creates a harmful greenhouse gas, methane, which impact on global warming. However, when this same waste is composted above ground at home, oxygen helps the waste to decompose aerobically which means hardly any methane is produced, which is good news for the planet. And what's more, after nine to twelve months, you get a free fertiliser for your garden and plant pots to keep them looking beautiful.

Its great for your kids to get involved too, they all read about recycling at school but by setting up a compost bin at home, children can get involved and do more than just sending cans or newspapers off for recycling ,  they can see the actual process take place all the way through , from waste food scraps or other garden wastes though to something that is useful and not unpleasant to handle and is good for the soil. Contrary to the "out of sight, out of mind" philosophy, children who actively compost become fare more aware of waste as potential resources rather than just as something rubbish to be thrown away and forgotten. They learn through direct experience that they personally can make a difference and have a positive effect on the environment.

Not only that but they can then use the compost to grow new vegetables. How great would it be to take them through the whole process from waste, to compost to nurturing some new plants, to food, and back to scraps to start the whole process again.

If you don't do anything else this autumn in the garden.... start a compost bin!

This article was brought to you in association with DS Smith Recycling.

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