Friday, June 21, 2024
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How You Can Help Create A Healthier Ocean By Composting

Did you know about the direct connection between home composting and the health of our ocean? For many, the tremendous benefits to the ocean may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think about composting, but whether you live on the coast or in the middle of the country, embracing nature’s way of recycling really does have a transformative effect in preserving our marine ecosystems.
The ocean is closer than you think, and it’s an exciting reality that improving its health starts on land, so let’s take a minute to dig deeper into the benefits of home composting and look at some simple steps we can all follow to turn the tide and ensure a brighter future for our oceans.
Healthy Soil = Healthy Seas
In the United States today, the USDA estimates that between 30 and 40 percent of the food supply goes to waste. Once in the landfill, this waste creates a powerful greenhouse gas called methane that is driving climate change by trapping heat in the atmosphere. By diverting organic waste from landfills and preserving these vital nutrients through composting ourselves, we can reduce this potent emission and instead create healthy soil that captures and stores more carbon dioxide.
The soil, produced without any use of chemical-laden synthetic fertilizers that pollute our waterways, can then be used in places such as fields, parks, roadsides, or gardens at home, and being a natural resource rich in essential nutrients, it’s able to better absorb and filter any surface runoff water. This not only helps reduce the risk of flooding and erosion but also improves the quality of the local waterways by limiting the amount of stormwater runoff polluting our rivers, streams, and seas.
That’s why everyone at 11th Hour Racing passionately believes composting is a revolutionary act of ocean conservation. If we all roll up our sleeves, grab our compost bins, and join forces, we can make a positive impact felt for generations to come.
Click for a larger version of this infographic.
All You Need is Enthusiasm and a Bucket
Home composting requires minimal effort, equipment, or expense. You really don’t need to be an expert to get started. Here are five simple steps to follow as you embark on your composting adventure!
Choose the right bin: The all-important first Think of your compost bin more as an organic treasure trove. There’s a variety of options available to suit every space and preference. Whether you opt for a rotating bin to aid decomposition, a wood or plastic open pile system that invites wildlife, or a traditional tumbler with a lid for easy access, the choice is yours. You’ll find a pretty basic homemade pile in my backyard, but it does the job! No yard? No problem. Many companies will come and collect your waste for you, and I’ll explain further how this works below.
Learn what you can (and can’t) compost: No doubt this can be a daunting prospect initially, but this infographic is a helpful resource to save and follow. Waste from fruit and vegetables is a great place to start, while tea bags and coffee grounds also provide us with daily opportunities to dispose of materials. Meat, dairy, and cooking oils must be avoided, as is any pet
Balance green and brown material: This can be a delicate dance as the ratio between green and brown material in your compost pile affects how it heats up, how it breaks down, and even the smell. It’s not an exact science, but a recommended ratio is three-part browns to one-part greens. If your pile isn’t heating up, try adding more green material (grass clippings, fruit and veg scraps), and if it’s starting to smell, try adding more browns (leaves, twigs, sawdust).
Embrace living organisms: The unsung heroes of the compost Worms, pill bugs, and other tiny critters play a vital role in the composting process by feasting on the organic matter and breaking it down. So, don’t be alarmed if you spot a wriggling worm or a scuttling pill bug in your pile – they’re doing an amazing job in front of your eyes!
Be patient: It’s essential to set realistic Composting is a natural process, and like all things in nature, it takes time. Don’t be discouraged if your compost pile doesn’t transform overnight. I certainly don’t do it perfectly, but Mother Nature is pretty forgiving, and with a bit of patience and enthusiasm, you’ll soon be rewarded with nutrient-rich compost.
What if I need extra support?
There’s a passionate community of compost leaders out there who can help support you on your journey whether that be through answering your questions, collecting your waste from your front door, or inspiring you with their initiatives and content. We know
this to be true first-hand as 11th Hour Racing supports projects that advance sustainable practices and directly impact ocean health. In 2023, our grantees helped divert 3,280,900 pounds of food waste from landfills via composting. You can find more than 80 composting collection services in the Northeast United States at or a map of national composting initiatives can be found here.
About the Author
Michelle Carnevale is president of 11th Hour Racing. Prior to joining 11th Hour Racing, Michelle spent six years at the University of Rhode Island Coastal Resources Center, working on the state climate change adaptation plan and developing state policy and best practices for offshore wind energy development. She holds a B.S. in Marine Ecology from Cornell University, an MBA, and an M.A. in Marine Affairs and Coastal Management from the University of Rhode Island.

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BtoB Central Staff
BtoB Central Staff
Btobcentral is dedicated to business news.


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