Compostonomics: Where Composting Fits in the Circular Economy
So by now you’ve heard of the circular economy, and if you’ve been keeping up with our blog, you’ll know what it is. There are so many elements involved but one in particular is completely vital to the very foundations of a circular economy. If you haven’t already guessed … it’s compost.
Organic waste and food. They aren’t going anywhere - in fact, they’re increasing! Plastic, even recycled, is terrible for the environment and is being replaced more and more with biodegradable alternatives. The food we eat and *ahem* it’s end product aren’t stopping any time soon either, which means we need a way to both manage this organic waste and create sustainable fertilisers for agriculture.
The composting process takes this organic waste and in a matter of weeks (or months, depending on how you do it) turns it into organic fertiliser. That can be used to grow our food, replacing those polluting chemical fertilisers, which in turn becomes more organic waste, which in turn gets composted … you get the picture.
Compost not only ties the carbon and nutrient cycles in a nice little bow but it also brings with it numerous other benefits. Unlike other aspects of circular economies, it can be extremely lucrative and creates jobs, all while being amazing for the environment. There are also so many ways to implement it to fit everyone’s lifestyle, whether you want to do it yourself at home or simply separate it out and get someone else to collect it.
And it’s finally getting the credit it deserves. The scientific literature agrees that “high-quality compost represents the driving force of this change to connect food, waste, economy and environment”. The media is also giving it props, most recently in the ABC's War on Waste series.
Now this isn’t to disparage other means of recycling organic waste. Redistribution or repurposing of organic waste such as food is obviously always preferable to having to throw it away. Anaerobic digestion, which produces bio-fuel and electricity, is another way to recycle it and also produces valuable soil amendments. These sorts of solutions will be just as important in building circular economy infrastructure.
But to us at EarthOffset, absolutely nothing compares to compost in sustainability, affordability and accessibility. If you have a square metre patch of land, you can compost.
If you're a mega-fan like but don't know how to start or how to do it, you're in the right place. Check out our website for more information on what we're doing to make composting easy for everyone, subscribe and make sure you're following all our socials - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter!