Composting is an easy way to save room in the trash so there’s less to toss, and doing so means treating the earth a little better. It sounds like a win-win, but many people still struggle to find the time to make small, impactful changes. Consider these 12 reasons you should start your compost today.

  1. Composting Is Easy and Economical

Composting doesn’t require expensive equipment. In fact, it’s not much harder than separating out your recyclables. Just add another area in which to put your compostable refuse. When done right, there will be no smell, but you might want a lid to keep it protected. You save money in the long run by not having to fill up your trash bag with items that can decompose.

  1. It Reduces Landfills

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that about a quarter of all landfill waste could have been composted. Landfills across the globe are becoming problematic, and that situation can only worsen with time. Not only would the landfills be a quarter less full, but that waste could have been transformed into nutrient-rich soil that would boost any garden.

  1. Creates Nutrient-Rich Soil

Compost creates rich-nutrient rich soil that help your plants grow bigger and healthier. Even if you don’t have a garden growing right now, anyone who does would be grateful for what it adds to the soil. It improves the soil quality of anything you grow, from flowers to potatoes, and it can even boost production.

  1. Fertilizes the Soil and Deters Pests

Not only is the soil better for growing, but compost acts as an all-natural, slow-release fertilizer. It’s the best substance you can use to fertilize your garden, and it’s free. But it has an added benefit of deterring some garden pests. If you don’t plan on gardening, save it for your neighbor – this is a gift you can’t buy.

  1. Lower Greenhouse Emission

Organic materials create warming gasses that are lessened when you compost. And since landfills are the largest toxic methane gas emitters, it makes sense that the less compostable material thrown into a landfill means a reduction in greenhouse emissions. It also will not take up valuable landfill space.

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  1. Better Air Quality

Many people will burn yard waste, like sticks, dried leaves or branches. Burning brush like this can lead to the release of chemical dioxins in the air. The toxic air can create allergic reactions and even asthma symptoms. When yard waste is thrown into an outside compost bin, that step is skipped and air quality is improved.

  1. Encourage Bio-Diversity

Using compost in your garden diversifies it and helps sustain many lifeforms — it is, after all, alive. When this happens, plants grow better, stronger and healthier as the soil becomes more aerated.

  1. Reduce Dependence on Fossil Fuel

Compost that people buy on the shelf is made using oil-reliant machines. Making it means using a fast method of oxidizing the organic matter at super high temperatures so that it breaks down quickly. There’s no fungal decomposition at all. What you compost at home has been broken down by fungi and bacteria that is good for the earth.

Also, when you lessen your trash, you lessen what needs to be picked up and hauled around — so fewer fossil fuels are exhausted by taking care of what is better left to the soil.

  1. An Eventual Fuel Source

When organic matter breaks down, it creates heat. Some communities have found a way to capture this energy source and use it for fuel. Right now, what compost can fuel is small — greenhouses or water tanks — but expect to see compost as a possible energy source for bigger needs in the future.

  1. Better Use of Water

Compost not only creates a nutrient-rich soil, but it also helps your garden retain moisture so you can use less water. When it rains, a composted garden retains its nutrients, unlike less-natural fertilizers whose nutrients can be washed away.

  1. Reduce Your Impact

We all want to leave the earth a little closer to how it was before we intruded on it. Composting fulfills the cycle of use that sustains the globe — grow, eat, dispose and give back to the earth.

  1. Feel Good About Your Choices

There are some choices we make for the environment that are good for the community and the world. Composting is one of those choices. When we do this easy task, it doesn’t make day-to- day life more challenging — like choosing to bike instead of drive to work. It simply changes a task we would be doing anyway. An easy choice that is good for the world makes you feel good about what you are doing.

Reduce Your Environmental Impact While Saving Change

When it comes to caring for the environment, choosing the right thing often costs more, but with composting, the exact opposite is true. Composters save money and resources while improving the quality of their soil. From reducing greenhouse emissions to reducing how much you spend on trash and collecting, composting enriches the environment and keeps the earth a little healthier.