Did you know that most of the greenhouse gas emissions from landfill is the result of decomposing organic materials, which could easily be reduced by composting garden materials and food scraps? Apparently, about 50% of the waste in the average Australian garbage bin could be diverted from landfill simply by composting or worm farming. I found this out via the International Composting Awareness Week (Australia) website. This week (May 2nd to 8th 2010) is International Composting Awareness Week, and there are events here, there and everywhere (in Australia at least) to help spread awareness of the benefits of composting, and how to do it. This annual week event started in Canada in 1995. I found it quite hard to track down information on events there or in the USA (run by the US Composting Council) although I did find lots of composting links all over the Sates in this pdf.
Our household has been worm farming (or vermicomposting) for a few years now, and although I had noticed a distinct reduction in the amount of stuff that goes into our garbage bin, and appreciated the benefits it provides our back yard veggie patch, I hadn't realised that we were also doing our bit for greenhouse gas minimisation. Every little bit counts. If you don't have your own worm farm yet, take a read of Catherine's information packed post about it from earlier this year, or have a think about setting up a Bokashi compost system inside your home.
Now that our garden has taken shape and we have a small lawn to mow, and more plants to prune, I've realised that our worm farm can't cope with all of our decomposable waste. I've been telling myself for the last 18 months that we don't have space for a compost heap, but in the interests of reducing our waste further, and improving our garden's productivity, we're reconsidering some of the corners of the garden where things don't grow so well, and looking at whether we can set one up. There's a great article on "Building Compost Bays" article in the May/June 2010 issue of Organic Gardener magazine, although with rats present in our neighbourhood I think we might need to opt for something a little more compact.