I decided to do some research. I wanted to have some facts to substantiate the need for composting in my home, in Australia and in the world. See below what I discovered:
How bout them apples:
- Australia is one of the highest waste producers in the world, recently ranked in the top five waste producing nations, on a per person basis.
- The average household waste bin sends more than 5kg of food waste to landfill each week
- Roughly one third of all the food produced in the world for human consumption every year gets lost or wasted and this is on the increase.
- 97% of food waste ends up in landfill.
- At landfill food waste is compacted down and covered. This process releases methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Landfills also produce a toxic liquid, called leachate. Leachate is a mixture of organic acids, dissolved chemicals and rainwater. It can contaminate surrounding land and waterways.
- As the level of these landfill gases rise, so does the temperature of the Earth. The rise in Earth’s average temperature contributed to by human activity is known as global warming.
- Greenhouse gas emissions are continually on the rise
- It is estimated that every kilo of food thrown away results in 3.8 kilos of greenhouse gas emissions
- Many countries have been incorporating alternative forms of waste management strategies such as composting however we have not yet embraced composting in Australia
I am shocked and completed freaked out by these statistics. BUT I am also feeling reenergised…even one person can make a difference by reducing their waste, by reducing their own ecological and greenhouse gas footprint. Phew, I am finally on the right path by starting composting at home.
New questions have now been posed like what else can I be doing? How can I incorporate these things simply into my life and how can I can empower others to go on this journey with me?
Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, Australian Bureau of Statistics, www.abs.gov.au , DECC NSWwww.environment.nsw.gov.au, UNEP, Marine Litter: A Global Challenge (2009) , Planet Ark, , Cleanaway, www.cleanaway.com.au Environmental Protection Agency, natural resources defence council
What do you think it will take for you to start composting at home?