Composting: How and Why Every Household Should Compost

The basics behind composting at home are pretty easy to absorb. Food will break down with the help of worms and become nutrient-rich soil to grow… you guessed it… more food. This process of decomposition is one of the simplest, yet most important, aspects of carrying through the entire plant life cycle in a garden.

What is Compost?

Compost is the natural, organic matter that breaks down and infuses soil with nutrients to grow new natural, organic matter. The process of composting involves exposure to air, bacteria, and worms in order to break down the ingredients. Simply put, dirt is dead. It will not grow anything. However, when you add compost, it becomes soil and is ready to foster growth. Adding seeds to compost grows food. Any of the scraps (or peelings) from our produce will break back down into compost. This amazing cycle of life and death takes place each year.

What are the benefits of Composting?

First and foremost, saving money on the amount of trash leaving the house is a huge benefit to your household and the community. You can cut back on the amount of plastic garbage bags used, or completely stop using them if your trash collector allows. Between composting and limiting food waste, we virtually eliminated the smelly trash can issue. Since our toddlers love dropping things like keys into the trash and exploring the contents, it gives a lot of peace of mind that yesterday’s mashed bananas won’t end up smeared on the couch. The pile breaks down quickly in the heat, and offers a great option for clearing yard waste like leaves.

My favorite aspect of composting is growing an understanding of the natural lifecyle that takes place outdoors each year. It is helpful for processing and explaining the concept of life and death. I also like connecting my actions with the needs of the Earth. All those dying, discarded scraps are helping to nurture and revitalize her for years to come. Although our compost heap is new to our family, the lessons we have all learned will carry through the generations.

“Compost is the most important thing you can use in your garden to improve your land’s fertility (lawn, garden, and landscape), get rid of kitchen and yard waste efficiently, and save time and money.” -Maria Rodale, (

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About jensera

Jennifer Harrington is a Toronto-based illustrator, writer and graphic designer. She illustrated the best-selling children’s book series 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' which includes the titles 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' 'The Night Before a Canadian Christmas' and 'Canadian Jingle Bells.' She is also the owner of JSH Graphics, a boutique graphic design agency that specializes in print and web advertising. With her latest project, Eco Books 4 Kids, Jennifer has partnered with illustrator Michael Arnott to create a series of ecologically-themed ebooks for children. Her next book, 'Spirit Bear,' is due for release in the Summer of 2013. Jennifer offers two different school presentations for her 'Moose in a Maple Tree' collection, an illustration demonstration and a Christmas concert series, which can be booked at She will be taking bookings for school readings of 'Spirit Bear' beginning in October 2013.

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