By: Araceli Salcedo, CSUN Institute for Community Health and Wellbeing Volunteer
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, nearly ⅓ of all food goes uneaten through loss or waste. Billions and billions of dollars are also being wasted as well as space in our landfills. Though we aren’t close to completely fixing the problem, there has been more sustainability efforts in today’s day and age. More people are being educated on ways to help our environment, for example by being introduced to composting, we can indeed help improve our environment and decrease food waste in our communities.
Partaking in food reduction and composting efforts is a way CSUN is doing their part to help the environment. CSUN is one of the many institutions that aim to bring awareness and educate its students about sustainability. They introduce ways to help our environment, which ultimately plays a role in our health. CSUN has a compost program which reduces food waste on campus by collecting food and making compost/mulch out of it to grow more food! The program is also used to educate and bring awareness to students regarding what compost is and how it contributes in their sustainability efforts.
Composting alone is just one step closer to helping the earth. Composting is necessary in reducing households wastes. Composting is a form of waste disposal that includes the decomposition of organic materials under oxygen-rich conditions to produce compost, which essentially goes back into the earth and used as natural soil/fertilizer. Things that can be composted include leaves, branches, twigs, coffee grounds, food waste, grass clippings, egg shells, fruit/veggie scraps, tea leaves, natural made tea bags, paper, cardboard, and so much more!
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Department of Agriculture the following are the benefits of composting:
- Enriches soil, helps retain moisture and subdues plant disease and pests
- Limits wastes going in landfills
- Reduces greenhouse gasses, which are generated by waste in landfills
- Reduces need for chemical fertilizers
- Can improve contaminated soils
- Increases production of bacteria and fungi that’s beneficial to breaking down organic matter
- Compost can increase amount of agricultural crops
- Reduces your carbon footprint
- Saves money and helps the environment