Three minutes a day to a healthier environment

03/23/2011 3:27 PM

05/25/2011 10:02 AM

My wife was searching through a box of plastics at the Miller Recycling Center, and taking stuff out.

“We bring things to the recycling center _ we don’t take them home,” I called out.

She had a good reason, she was pulling out a plastic coffee container with a lid to use for our kitchen composting. She was recycling the recyclables. During the years that old coffee tub has caught egg shells, fruit and vegetable peels and even old coffee grounds to put in our backyard compost pile.

Today, we begin our column, “Keeping the Plains,” on how individuals can live more environmentally friendly. I’m not going to get into any arguments about global warming, or political issues. Living “green” just makes good sense.

If you could do something that takes about three minutes a day, costs practically nothing, and has great benefits to the world around you, wouldn’t that be great?

Composting is that easy. You can even compost newspapers and fish.

I learned this week that 14 percent of what goes into landfill is food waste -- more than plastics or metal. Add yard waste and it jumps to 26 percent of what we haul away. But we could keep that at home, save landfill space and put it to good use.

Although food and yard waste does decompose, it does strange things when combined with all the other junk we send to the landfill. It produces methane gas, which, if not properly managed, can “seep underground and into nearby buildings, where it has the potential to explode,” reports the EPA

So you can keep things from blowing up.

Once all the garbage from your kitchen and yard breaks down, you can spread it as mulch to boost the nutrients in your soil. It also helps contain runoff which can pollute the water.

For a few minutes a day, you can help turn the Arkansas River from that bland green and brown that it sometimes get, back into a sparkling blue.

And that would be cool.

A guide to home composting

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