Composting and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

As an individual, I have a sustainable impact by composting my garbage at home, however, I also have an unsustainable impact by driving my car to UIC three days a week. I am privileged to have been taught by parents who care for the environment. In my house we have three waste bins, one for the trash, one for the recyclables, and one for the compost. My dad, who spends all of his early summer mornings working out in his garden, believes that composting is one of the best tools he can use. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, composting at home, “Enriches soil, helping retain moisture and suppress plant diseases and pests. Reduces the need for chemical fertilizers. Encourages the production of beneficial bacteria and fungi that break down organic matter to create humus, a rich nutrient-filled material. Reduces methane emissions from landfills and lowers your carbon footprint.”. I believe that the benefits of composting at home are incredible because it not only helps our garden grow stronger, it also helps the environment. I have learned the importance and personal benefits of taking care of the environment by  just putting my banana peel in the compost bin outside. This semester, I chose to drive as my commute to school. The effect of me driving to school, is an unnecessary amount of greenhouse gas being released. Environment and Climate Change Canada claims that driving vehicles contributes to, “Globally, almost 80% of GHG emissions from human sources come from the burning of fossil fuels and industrial processes”. This information encourages me to investigate commuting to school by the train instead of driving my car next semester. As I am learning more in depth about urban sustainability and the challenges it faces in order to protect our environment, I am encouraged to improve my own personal behaviour to a more sustainable way. I believe that as I learn more knowledge about sustainability and my impact on the environment, I will be able to make wiser choices in order to be more sustainable. Authors Marina Alberti and Lawrence Susskind state in their article Managing Urban Sustainability that, “Sustainability involves a self-conscious choice; it does not simply happen”. This is a valid statement because as an individual I have a choice to be a good steward of my environment each day.

 

Works Cited :

 

The United States Environmental Protection Agency : http://www.epa.gov/recycle/composting-home

 

Environment and Climate Change Canada :

https://www.ec.gc.ca/indicateurs-indicators/default.asp?lang=En&n=D4C4DBAB-1

Alberti and Susskind (Class reading) : https://us130urbansustainability.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/3_alberti-susskind_managingurbsustainability_1997.pdf

 

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One thought on “Composting and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

  1. I send thanks to you and your family for your commitment to keeping unnecessary wastes out of landfills. By recycling and composting, you are essentially extending the life of items so many of us just leave for nature to deal with. I definitely support your considerations of commuting next year. That is an action that can save you both time and reduce your carbon footprint on the planet. In my Planning Great Cities course, we have discussed an idea stating that “If we as humans are equally entitled to public spaces, then fifty people traveling on one bus are entitled to fifty times more space on the street as one person traveling in their private vehicle. However, individuals can take up almost 1/3rd as much space as a car – far too much.

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