Nearly 3 out of 4 Americans do not compost, which means we’re all missing out on the amazing benefits of compost when it comes to growing our own food, creating a stunning flower garden, or keeping our houseplants lush and green. Composting is a natural process of decomposing organic matter into a nutrient-rich soil amendment that offers numerous perks to your garden and the environment. But it’s not just good for your plants — it’s good for you (by increasing the nutrition of your homegrown veggies), saves you money, and is even good for the environment by reducing the amount of waste your household produces.

Why You Should Make Your Own Compost: 5 Amazing Benefits of Compost

1. Reducing Waste

Numerous studies have found that the average household throws away thousands of pounds (and dollars’ worth) of food waste every single year.

Not only are you wasting money, but all that food waste ends up taking up space in landfills — and that has significant impacts on the environment.

Composting is an excellent way to reduce landfill waste, which takes up valuable space and doesn’t take advantage of the benefits of feeding further crops. By diverting food and yard waste from the garbage, you can harness the added nutrients from food that is already naturally breaking down and contribute to a healthier planet. What a waste (pun intended!) to bag up all those nutrients and throw them into a landfill! Composting can also reduce waste collection costs and help municipalities to meet their waste reduction goals.

2. Enriching the Soil

Compost is a powerful soil amendment that improves soil structure, fertility, and water-holding capacity. In fact, Oregon State University reports that “adding organic matter is the best way to improve nearly all kinds of soils” and goes on to note that compost is the “best soil amendment” and can help improve everything from sandy, dry soil to hard, clay-based soil.

Compost contains a diverse array of beneficial microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi, and protozoa, that help to break down organic matter and release essential nutrients to plants. Compost also enhances soil biodiversity, which supports healthy ecosystems and helps to prevent erosion.

3. Saving Money

Composting can save you money by reducing the need for expensive fertilizers and soil amendments. By producing your own compost, you can create a custom mix tailored to your plants’ needs and avoid the use of synthetic chemicals that harm the environment. Composting can also save you money on garbage disposal fees and reduce the need for new yard waste bags.

4. Creating a Sustainable Lifestyle

Composting is an easy and convenient way to engage in sustainable practices that benefit you and the environment.

By composting at home, you can reduce your waste going to the landfill, support local food systems, and create a healthier environment for yourself and your community.

Composting is a simple way to take an active role in caring for the planet and creating a sustainable lifestyle.

5. Improving Plant Health

This is where the aforementioned nutritional and health benefits come into play. The food you eat is only as healthy as the soil it grows in. By growing your own produce in compost you’ve made yourself, you’ll level-up the levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in the food you eat.

Compost is an excellent source of essential nutrients that plants need to grow strong and healthy. By incorporating compost into your soil, you can enhance plant growth, improve disease and pest resistance, and increase fruit and vegetable yields. Compost also creates a stable soil pH that supports optimal plant health and reduces the need for chemical fertilizers.

Whether you start with a small compost bin in your backyard or a community-wide composting program, every effort counts in creating a more sustainable future. In fact, it’s easy to compost at home!

How to Make Your Own Compost at Home

Composting doesn’t require any fancy equipment, but you will need some basic materials. Start with a container — this can be a store-bought bin or simply a pile in the corner of your yard. You’ll also need a mix of brown and green materials. Brown materials, such as leaves and straw, are high in carbon, while green materials (e.g., food scraps from your kitchen, grass clippings from when you mow your lawn, etc.) are high in nitrogen. When combined in the right ratio, they create a healthy compost pile. Aim for a ratio of 3 parts brown material to 1 part green material.

Begin by adding a layer of brown material to your compost container. Then, add a layer of green material. Continue layering until your container is about three-quarters full. Be sure to mix your layers a bit as you add them to ensure even decomposition.

Once you’ve layered your compost (and you can do this over time as you collect kitchen waste and food scraps), water your compost. Your compost pile needs to stay moist, so be sure to add water every few days. Aim for a consistency similar to a damp sponge.

Finally, maintain your compost. Aeration helps provide oxygen to the beneficial bacteria who are hard at work turning your food waste into rich, earthy compost.

Every week or so, use a shovel or pitchfork (or a big spoon if you’re making compost in a small container) to turn your compost. This aerates the pile and encourages the breakdown of materials. You’ll know your compost is ready when it’s dark brown and crumbly, and no longer smells like the original materials.

Once your compost is finished, it’s time to use it! Spread it over your garden beds as a fertilizer, or use it to improve soil quality in potted plants. You can also use it as mulch to retain moisture in your garden beds.

BONUS TIP: Have you tried vermicompost? Think compost, but with worms! Worms accelerate the natural composting process, so your food waste and garden waste turns into compost faster. Worms also add more nutrients to the soil, and can even be added to your garden beds to further boost the health of your plants! Click here for an easy-to-follow vermicomposting tutorial from the University of Maryland.



  • https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/national-waste–recycling-association-survey-finds-most-americans-would-compost-if-it-was-more-convenient-in-their-community-239232261.html
  • https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnut.2019.00143/full
  • https://today.oregonstate.edu/news/adding-compost-improves-soil%E2%80%99s-texture-and-adds-nutrients