A Resolution for the Earth & Your Garden: Compost!

Over the holidays, I was particularly excited to receive a new compost bin from Wei and Gregor of Arogya. I know… this doesn’t sound like the most glamorous gift, however it will play an invaluable role in nourishing my gardens and a small but still important part in combating global warming.

Here’s something you might find surprising:

Did you know that putting organic matter into landfills actually increases green house gases and slows down the process of decay?


My new compost bin, ready to go.

Here’s why:

Products that are inherently biodegradable, like vegetable trimmings, fruit, eggshells, and tealeaves, require soil, light, water, and bacterial activity for the process of decay to occur.  When this matter is instead buried under layers of inorganic waste – like plastics and other non-recyclables – an airless, anaerobic environment results.   Rather than decompose normally, the suffocated organic waste produces methane, which is a potent greenhouse gas. This toxic bi-product leeches its way out and drifts into the atmosphere.

Backyard composts and community compost projects in rural and urban areas can play a role in curbing methane gas emissions by keeping organic waste out of the landfills. Plus, composting will make your gardens healthier than ever before.

Even if you’re not a gardener, you can still compost. Share the fertile soil you produce with some green-thumbed friends. You might be thinking, “It’s hard to imagine that my small steps will have any big impact.” Remember, all large-scale change is dependent on individuals taking charge, one responsible step at a time.

You don’t need much to get started. You can find affordable, good quality compost bins online or at your local gardening center. Be sure to read product reviews before making an investment. Look for a sturdy bin that’s designed to keep raccoons and other critters out.

In addition to the instruction manual that should come with your new bin, there are countless resources online about how and what to compost. As tea purveyors, we’re happy to share that tea leaves are an excellent addition to your compost. Rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and various trace minerals, tea not only offers fertilizing nourishment to plants but also helps expedite the decomposition of carbon-rich material in your compost bin.

Note: If you’d like to learn more about garbage and the stunted decay process of organic waste in landfills, we recommend checking out the work of the late Professor William Rathje. Rathje was the founder of an anthropological study at the University of Arizona called Garbology.  Just to give you an idea of what he came across in his knee-deep landfill research: He unearthed 25 year old hot dogs, corn cobs, and grapes that were still recognizable; as well as easy to read newspapers and receipts from 1952.


by Sophie Slater