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Giving Life Back To Earth

Composting saves rainforest


At the simplest level, the process of composting requires making a heap of wet organic matter known as green waste (leaves, food waste) and waiting for the materials to break down into  after a period of weeks or months. Modern, methodical composting is a multi-step, closely monitored process with measured inputs of water, air, and carbon- and nitrogen-rich materials. The decomposition process is aided by shredding the plant matter, adding water and ensuring proper aeration by regularly turning the mixture. Worms and fungi further break up the material. The compost itself is beneficial for the land in many ways, including as a soil conditioner, a fertilizer, addition of vital humus or humic acids, and as a natural pesticide for soil.

Some time in the mid 90’s 1000 truck loads of orange peel and orange pulp was ordered to be purposefully dumped on a Costa Rican national park today the park thrives with brilliant greenery. A team of researchers from Princeton university reviewed the land 16 years after all the orange peel and pulp was left there. The results they found were astonishing.

“In 1998, as part of an innovative agricultural waste disposal service contract, an estimated 12,000 Mg of processed orange peels and pulp were applied to a 3-ha portion of a former cattle pasture with compacted, rocky, nutrient-poor soils characteristic of prolonged fire-based land management and overgrazing in Área de Conservación Guanacaste, northwestern Costa Rica. After 16 years, the experimental plot showed a threefold increase in woody plant species richness, a tripling of tree species evenness (Shannon Index), and a 176% increase in aboveground woody biomass over an adjacent control plot”.

The results they found means that the orange peal saved the land and turned it from a rocky wasteland to a beautiful covered forest. Which means compost is extremely good not just for the plant your growing but also the whole of its surroundings. This is the perfect example of why everybody should be composting as it is a way to give back to the planet and reduce your carbon footprint.

Before, During and After of rain forest rehabilitation
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