Earth Day is the perfect time to rethink old habits in favor of new ones that are kinder to the environment. Take recycling. Most of us are pretty good about recycling cans, plastic bottles, and paper, but what about organic waste—peels from fruits and vegetables, eggshells, coffee grounds, burnt toast, leftover pasta, etc.?
Some studies suggest that up to a third of what we throw away could be composted and turned into something that can enhance the soil and provide food for plants.
Growing awareness and desire on the part of residents to do this has spurred over a dozen cities in Hennepin County alone to offer organic waste collection along with regular trash and recycling. Or you can do it yourself at home as gardeners have done for centuries and create rich compost to boost the health of your soil.
Many local garden centers including Mother Earth Gardens in Minneapolis have everything you need to start a pile. Caribou Coffee can help by providing used coffee grounds with their “Grounds for your Ground” program. Coffee grounds, according to one U of M Extension Master Gardener, are an excellent addition to compost piles due to their high nitrogen to carbon ratio (20-1 which is close to animal manure), and provide lots of food for the beneficial bacteria. Just stop by any metro Caribou store to pick some up.
Caribou has also been rolling out a program to haul organic waste from their metro stores and has already kept nearly 11 tons of waste out of landfills. Good news for Mother Earth on any day of the year.