This year, the nationwide campaign is encouraging us all to try our hand at new composting activities in order to do our bit for the environment.
Although around thirty percent of us already compost at home, there are lots more things we can all try. For example, around sixty percent of people say they have never tried composting general household waste, such as scrunched up paper or the contents from a vacuum cleaner, and around fifty percent of people have never tried using peat-free compost* such as Veolia’s Pro-Grow, made from composted green garden waste from Hampshire homes.
What’s more, many of us are unaware of the environmental benefits of using peat-free compost. 51% of us have never used it, and 24% say they are not aware of it, despite the fact that it can also make a significant environmental saving**. It can take anywhere between 500 and 1,000 years to replace every one metre layer of peat extracted in the UK, putting at risk wildlife such as birds, dragonflies and butterflies that depend on its natural habitat for survival***.
Ed Watson, Composting Manager for Veolia in Hampshire, said: “This Compost Awareness Week we are encouraging everyone to give composting a go. Even those of us who are already composting at home could compost more things more often. Why not try greener, peat free composts, which will not only help the environment but also help your garden grow greener.”
Richard Johnson, Projects Director for Veolia added: “Over a third of households with gardens have already seen the benefits that home composting can bring by improving their gardens but there is still a lot that can be done. For example even those who regularly compost at home still send on average nearly 70kg of compostable food waste to landfill each year. That’s the weight of a medium sized adult.”
When food and garden waste is sent to landfill it breaks down in the absence of air and makes methane, a powerful global warming gas. The same waste composted at home produces no methane and provides free fertiliser and soil improver that helps vegetable crops, shrubs and flowers to grow.
* ICM research conducted for WRAP in March 2009
** ICM research, March 2009 and Exodus Market Research, November 2008
*** Tallis J.H. (1995), Blanket mires in the upland landscape. In "Restoration of temperate wetlands" ed. Wheeler et al., John Wiley & Sons, Chichester