Good stewards – Recycling for sustainability (Week 2)

July 5, 2018

The Counseling Corner

By Rev. Judith T. Lester, B.Min. M.Th

“God spoke: “Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature. So, they can be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle, And, yes, Earth itself…” – Gen. 1:26 (MSG)

At Creation, and in God’s sovereignty, God chose to delegate a portion of His authority to humans in the rule and care of His creation. Our creation care responsibilities stand even today. This month’s focus is recycling for sustainability. This week’s focus will be composting: what is composting and the do’s and don’ts of composting.

Composting is organic matter that has been decomposed in a process called composting. This process recycles various organic material – otherwise regarded as waste products and produces a soil conditioner (the compost) (Source: Wikipedia. com). Composting allows you to save money, resources, improve your soil and reduce your impact on the environment by reducing landfill waste, incineration and emissions.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, composting requires three basic ingredients:

• Browns – This includes materials such as dead leaves, branches, and twigs.
• Greens – This includes materials such as grass clippings, vegetable waste, fruit scraps, and coffee grounds.
• Water – Having the right amount of water, greens, and browns is important for compost development.

Your compost pile should have an equal amount of browns to greens. You should also alternate layers of organic materials of different- sized particles. The brown materials provide carbon for your compost, the green materials provide nitrogen, and the water provides moisture to help break down the organic matter.

A few items that can be composted:

• Fruits and vegetables
• Eggshells
• Coffee grounds and filters
• Tea bags
• Nut shells
• Shredded newspaper
• Cardboard
• Paper
• Yard trimmings
• Grass clippings
• Houseplants
• Hay and straw
• Leaves
• Sawdust
• Wood chips
• Cotton and wool rags
• Dryer and vacuum cleaner lint
• Hair and fur
• Fireplace ashes

Items you should not compost:
• Black walnut tree leaves or twigs – they release substances that might be harmful to plants.
• Coal or charcoal ash – it might contain substances harmful to plants.
• Dairy products (e.g., butter, milk, sour cream, yogurt) and eggs – it creates odor problems and attract pests such as rodents and flies.
• Diseased or insect-ridden plants – diseases or insects might survive and be transferred back to other plants
• Fats, grease, lard, or oils* – it creates odor problems and attract pests such as rodents and flies.
• Meat or fish bones and scraps* – it creates odor problems and attract pests such as rodents and flies. Pet wastes (e.g., dog or cat feces, soiled cat litter) – might contain parasites, bacteria, germs, pathogens, and viruses harmful to humans.
• Yard trimmings treated with chemical pesticides – might kill beneficial composting organisms.

*Check with your local composting/ recycling center to see if these organics are accepted by your community curbside or drop-off composting program.

Next Week: Continuation

The writer does not assume responsibility in any way for readers’ efforts to apply or utilize information or recommendations made in this article, as they may not be necessarily appropriate for every situation to which they may refer. This information is for educational purposes only. If you would like to contact Rev. Lester, write to her c/o P.O. Box 121, Brookfield, WI. 53008.