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Is your ecofriendly compost really green?

What's in your fertilizer?
What's in your fertilizer?
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Just because you make your own compost doesn't mean it's green. Fertilizer is only as ecofriendly as it's ingredients. What do you put in your green compost? If your compost contains chemical pesticides and fertilizer, it's not green compost. There are surprising ways chemicals can contaminate your compost. What's the point of natural fertilizer if you don't monitor what goes into it? How can this be accomplished so that you know your compost is as green as possible?

Are your lawn clippings green?

How is your lawn fertilized? If you use a lawn service, even one that advertises green methods, there's no guarantee that chemicals are not being used on your lawn. Green methods usually involve an up-charge. Don't assume a company that totes itself as green is using all green methods. If you use a lawn service, be sure to ask what types of fertilizer and pesticide are used on your lawn. Your Eco friendly compost can become contaminated by adding grass clippings that have been chemically enhanced.

Are your leaves green?

Trees are very often sprayed with pesticides to protect them from insect damage. This is especially true with fruit trees. Even if you have never done this with your trees, your neighbor might have. Why does this matter? Wind blown leaves from your neighbors yard could end up in your Eco-friendly compost.
How can you prevent this from happening? A good solid privacy fence will keep the majority of leaves on the other side of the fence.

Is your coffee green?

One of the most common components of ecofriendly compost is coffee grounds. While it may seem an innocent addition to green compost, coffee grounds are not always pesticide free. Coffee production quite often involves the use of pesticides, since it's grown in countries where regulations are not as strict. Check the label or the company that manufactures your coffee to be sure it's certified organic, before adding coffee grounds to your compost.

Are your eggshells and kitchen waste green?

Unless you eat all organic, the answer is likely no. Chemical fertilizers and pesticides used for growing leach into fruits and vegetables. Adding these fruits and vegetables to compost can compromise it's green quality. What's the most common compost ingredient from kitchen waste? Fruit and vegetable peels. Why is this bad? The skin of fruits and vegetables contain the highest concentration of chemical pesticides. Eggshells from conventionally raised chickens can also contain hormones,antibiotics and feces.

Is your manure green?

Many people are under the false impression that manure is safe to use as an ecofriendly fertilizer. This practice is actually very harmful to the environment. Nitrate based fertilizers cause overgrowth of algae in ponds and streams. Algae consumes oxygen needed for other plant and animal life. In addition, the excess nitrates cause birth defects and other health hazards. Use green manure instead. Green manure is made from winter wheat, a plant product containing several grasses used as a soil nutrient. It can be used alone or added to green compost. Farmers often sow it into their fields at the end of a harvest, then plow it under as fertilizer for the next year.

Is your ecofriendly compost really green?

To sum it up, your ecofriendly compost is only green if everything that goes into it is green. It simply isn't possible to control every ingredient that goes into your Eco friendly compost but you can eliminate the major problems. Be sure leaves and grass clippings that go into your compost have not been chemically treated. Try to eat organically, so that the majority of kitchen scraps found in your green compost are chemical, preservative and hormone free. Use green manure instead of animal feces as a supplement to your compost. Taking the time to really think about what goes into your compost will insure that it's as green as possible.

This article was previously published by this author on a closed Yahoo! property.

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