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Composting 101 - Apr 14, 2014

By: Beth Ledvina, Sustainability Intern

Composting can be a large part of anyone’s waste reduction plan. Reducing food waste is so important because 1/3 of all food produced globally is wasted and there has been a 50% rise in U.S. food waste since 1974. When broken down in a composting system, food waste releases carbon dioxide; but in a landfill it is converted into methane, a potent greenhouse gas with 21 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. Check out this infographic for more food waste facts.


Composting reduces this food waste. Instead of the food ending in landfills it can be reclaimed and add nutrients to the soil. Green Bay Botanical Garden already composts its garden materials but we are looking into more opportunities for visitors and staff to compost their food waste. Be on the lookout for composting bins during upcoming events at the garden!


Creating a composting system can be easy, this infographic shows the steps to create one at home. Composting requires a balance of green nitrogen-producing items and brown carbon-producing items. Green items include grass clippings, fruit and vegetable scraps and coffee grounds. Brown items include dead leaves, branches and twigs, coffee filters, shredded paper and newspaper. Some items not to compost include anything that does not break down easily, meat, bones and disease or insect-ridden plants. These plants should not be composted in order to prevent the spread of disease to the plants you are trying to nourish. You can also start a vermicomposting system. These systems include worms to break down food waste. Click here to view a comprehensive guide to building your own compact vermicomposting system at home 


Want to know more about composting? Sign up for the Backyard Composting class on Tuesday, April 15 at Green Bay Botanical Garden.

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