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Composting: Recycling Nature

Recycling is a great start to living a greener lifestyle, and helping to preserve the environment.  However, people should not get complacent and comfortable that they are doing enough by simply recycling.  Composting is the next step to helping reduce your overall impact on the environment.  Organic materials and table scraps make up 30% of the waste sent to our local landfills.  This entire sum of waste can be easily diverted in to something that can actually help to save you money as well.  Finished compost is even more nutritious to use as a soil amendment than other fertilizers, helps retain moisture in soil, and buffers the PH levels.  Even if you dispose of your food scraps in a garbage disposal, you are still wasting water and increasing the energy needed to treat your sewage water at your local wastewater treatment facility. To start your compost pile, you have several options.  There are many options for indoor or under sink compost bins that you can use to fill with table scraps an empty into your outdoor composter once a week or so.  Another option is to simply have a compost pile somewhere in your yard, or an outdoor churning bin.  The factors that affect composting are oxygenation, temperature, water content, surface area, and carbon nitrogen ratios: * Oxygen is required by the compost for respiration by the aerobic inhabitants of the pile. * Ventilation, wind, and occasional mixing of the compost will help eliminate the foul odors that may be produced by the anaerobic inhabitants. * Optimal temperatures for composting are between 85 to 135 degrees.  Any temperatures below this...