Originally posted at Writeindependent.org on March 15, 2012
Of all the things I do, the one I am most proud of is composting. There is something oddly comforting about composting. I have a bin, but the process that is the most interesting is what happens after I bury my kitchen green waste in the soil. I dig a hole and throw the banana peels, potato skins, carrot tops, apple cores, and pepper ribs, seeds and all into the ground. I cover it up with soil and forget about it.
About six months later, you wouldn’t even know a pineapple top had been buried there. By the magic of microorganisms and soil digesters like earthworms, the scraps turn into something easily absorbed by plant roots.
Nothing else reminds me more of the temporal quality of matter than the composting process. If only most products recycled so easily, we wouldn’t have the deleterious effects of chemicals or byproducts, things called “externalities” by economists. Compost is proof of the beauty of a regenerative loop, or inherently sustainable system.
Even on my worst day, I can say “at least I compost,” when only a small percentage of the population partakes of this earthy delight. It’s never too late to start.