ICAW | International Compost Awareness Week
Updated: May 29, 2019
While composting may seem like a contemporary entry into the sustainable gardening dialog, the science to support it actually dates back a century or more. This long history might make it seem peculiar that an awareness week to promote compost use and composting is necessary. However, despite its long heritage and proven benefits, composting remains absent in many gardens and municipal waste programs.
Home composting offers an array of benefits to gardeners, most notably offering a significant cost savings over bagged amendments and synthetic or organic fertilizers. Compost can easily be made with materials that would have otherwise been destined for the garbage can or recycle bin, including newspapers, cardboard, grass clippings, leaves, vegetable scraps and coffee grounds.
Sometimes referred to a "black gold," compost is the end product of combining nitrogen-rich and carbon-rich materials. The following benefits explain why many gardeners believe compost is worth its weight in gold:
Adds organic material to the soil
Helps maintain healthy plant growth
Provide nutrients necessary for healthy plant growth
Breaks up clay soil and improves its drainage
Improves the structure of sandy soils
Helps prevent erosion
Draws earthworms to your garden
Reduces the need for water
Lowers the amount of waste sent to landfills
Can reduce storm water runoff
International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW) has been observed during the first week of May since its inception in 1995. The annual celebration is managed by the Composting Council Research and Education Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the US Composting Council.