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Home Composting: Everyone Should be Doing It

Of these three common home compost bins, the tumbler in the middle will "finish" compost most quickly.

I spoke to my alma mater’s alumni association last night about stewardship of the planet. The talk, which is a nice break for me from organic lawn care, is titled 10 Words: Essential Dialogue for Saving the Planet.

We had a great time, including a stirring rendition of the University of Maine’s “Stein Song,” but I have to say I was amazed at how this group of retirees had so little affinity for one of the main words on my list: Composting.

I have always said that the conscious creation of compost is mankind’s single greatest gift back to the planet. Everything that used to be alive — plants or animals — can be composted and turned into dark, rich fertile material to supplement our soils. In the home environment, composting of meats and some animal byproducts is not recommended, but otherwise folks should be recycling all their food scraps, leaves, grass clippings and any weeds that have not yet gone to seed.

Heaps of composting information can be found in books and on-line, but for starters, this site from Chicago is as good as any: http://urbanext.illinois.edu/homecomposting/basics.html.

About The Author

Paul Tukey

An international leader of the green movement, Mr. Tukey is a journalist, author, filmmaker, TV host, activist and award-winning public speaker, who is widely recognized as North America's leading advocate for landscape sustainability and toxic pesticide reduction strategies.

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