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  • Writer's pictureThe Collected Seed

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.

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