4 Steps to Start Composting + Reducing Waste

Composting may be one of the best things you can do for the planet. Learn how to get started with your own compost so your environmental impact is reduced.
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Composting may be one of the best things you can do for the planet. Learn how to get started with your own compost so your environmental impact is reduced.
throwing compost into bin

Composting may be one of the best things you can do for the planet. Learn how to get started with your own compost so your environmental impact is reduced.

Paying attention to where your food comes from is all the rage these days, but eco-entrepreneur and yoga teacher Christine Mason McCaull wants you to pay attention to where it goes, too. "Food doesn't suddenly appear fully born on the grocery store shelf, and it doesn't magically disappear from your garbage can," she says. With the launch of her website, GoGreen Online, McCaull hopes to spread the word about the many environmental benefits of composting, among other green choices.

Why not just throw your food scraps and old leftovers into the trash? "Food waste and other organics such as flowers and yard clippings are not separated from your other garbage when they get to the landfill," McCaull explains. "The organic wastes get layered and buried, which stops them from getting air. Instead of breaking down with oxygen, they break down anaerobically, producing methane." By contrast, in the composting process, bacteria and insects break down food waste in a natural aerobic process that absorbs oxygen and yields nitrogen. Reducing trash in the landfill and nourishing the plants in your garden with compost are additional benefits.

See alsoRegenerative Agriculture: A Shift in Farming Sustainably

For McCaull, living a sustainable life and sharing it with others is an inevitable part of the yogic path. "Yoga will lead you to living green over time," she says. "Once you start practicing yoga, you can't really put your energy wholeheartedly into anything that's not leading to greater seeing, greater connection, and positive impact."

McCaull encourages would-be environmentalists to see the practice of taking the planet into account when making decisions as a daily learned behavior. "Just keep showing up, and don't get discouraged," she says. And keep composting.

4 Steps to Start Composting

Ready to turn kitchen and yard waste into rich, fertile compost? Look here for help.

1. Learn what you can and cannot compost.

Wondering whether you can compost your coffee grounds or dryer lint? Check CompostGuide's helpful chart.

2. Learn how to set up a composting bin.

Learn more about the hows and whys of composting from GoGreen Online. Watch Christine McCaull set up a bin.

3. Order your materials.

Order everything you need from Planet Natural to start composting, including bins and worms for vermiculture.

4. Find out what your state offers.

Find composting instructions from Vegweb and a state-by-state guide to local resources.

See also5 Ways Yogis Can Take Action on Earth Day