Group pushes composting of Christmas organic discards

IN the midst of celebration and feasting this Christmas Season, Zero Waste advocacy network EcoWaste Coalition tells the public that Mother Earth would be happy to feast with us by providing her with her favorite food – compost from our organic discards.

“As we prepare to dine together for our traditional Noche Buena and Media Noche, remember to feed Mother Earth, too,” said Noli Abinales of Buklod Tao, member of EcoWaste Coalition’s Task Force Ecological Agriculture.

“Her favorite food comprise of fruit and vegetable peelings, as well as leftover biodegradable stuff, that normally end up in dumps or landfills, adding to the voluminous garbage which could easily be lessened through simple composting,”Abinales added.

Data has it that some 50-60 % of discards that the average Pinoy throws away as trash are biodegradable wastes that could be composted to nourish the soil that feeds us.

“It’s simply returning favor to which it is due: Mother Earth feeds us; we should feed her too in return, and that is so she could continue feeding us, of course,” Abinales further said.

EcoWaste Coalition maintained that composting not only reduces wastes by more than half its usual volume; it also ensures that biodegradable wastes are reused or recycled as satisfying health food for Mother Earth, so that the food she yields for us in return would also be healthful and free from harmful chemicals.

According to EcoWaste Coalition, there are many simple ways by which composting can be done, yet all these follow the same basic steps, which are as follows.

Segregate biodegradable from non-biodegradable wastes.

Prepare the “composter” (pit, container or pile where biodegradable wastes are to be composted).

Chop or cut biodegradable wastes into small pieces for easy decomposition.

Mix the chopped “dry” and “wet” biodegradables so that the mixture is not too wet or too dry. Place the mixture into the composter.

Place a thin layer of soil or chopped “dry” biodegradables on top of the mixture and sprinkle it with a small amount of water.

Aerate the pile by turning it once in a while or by inserting a vertical tube (made of bamboo or old pipes) in the middle of the pile.

When the interior of the pile is no longer hot and the biodegradables have turned into dark and dry soil, composting is finished.

Compost can now be applied as fertilizer to feed your soil and plants.

“It must be remembered that, in the absence of big space, any container, such as can and sack, can be used as a composter. You can prepare Mother Earth’s food in any container possible. She would love it anyway you make it really,” EcoWaste Coalition said.

Composting, the group pointed out, is a practical climate, environmental and economic solution as it:

– diverts biodegradable waste from getting into a dumpsite or landfill, lessening space use and pollution;

– minimizes the release of methane, a greenhouse gas and a major global warming culprit;

– enriches the soil with nutrients, ensuring the production of healthful, chemical-free crops;

– improves the soil’s water-holding capacity, reducing the need for watering or irrigation;

– provides a conducive environment for the healthy proliferation of a wide range of beneficial microorganisms; and

– saves money that otherwise would have been spent for fertilizers, pesticides, and water.

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