Worm Composting: The Way to Step Up Our Environmental Game
John Chen, Division 2, 9th grade

As I looked down at my tree, which is still growing, in the spot next to the road as it flourished in the California sunlight, I reminisced about how my tree grew into the healthy sapling that it is now. In the past, my tree was not very healthy due to it having withered yellow leaves rather than the vibrant red and green leaves of the other trees. However, I was able to get some of my compost from the worm bin and place the compost into the tree’s vicinity. Acting as a fertilizer, the compost helped my tree become more healthy, and thus I believe that worm compost is a good way to naturally fertilize plants and get rid of organic waste.

To counter the ever-increasing accumulation of trash in landfills, I have decided to start using worms to compost my food. This method is meant to target the organic waste that ends up in the landfills. Many may associate the term “landfill” with trash and plastics; however, 46% of all waste in garbage dumps are food-related. That means 2.6 trillion tons of trash is organic and should be returned to the wild. Instead, the food waste is mixed in with the rest of the trash, causing anaerobic bacteria to grow inside the landfills. These bacteria, which do not survive off of oxygen, produce methane and carbon dioxide which both contribute to global warming. Generally speaking, worm composting is the use of worms ,such as red worms, in decomposing organic waste. Natural foods, excluding oils, grease, and milk, are placed inside the bin for the worms to eat and process. Then, the “fertilizer” or worm excrement can be taken out and used as a natural, nutritional soil.

The soil from the worms can be used to help revitalize plant growth or start a young sapling with a good foundation. In addition, this worm-produced soil does an exceptionally good job at retaining water. I find this aspect of worm compost appealing because of the drought that is afflicting California currently. Like I said before, organic waste makes up 46% of the trash in landfills so around half, and if this half is cut out from the landfills, then landfills will be half the size. Additionally, landfills would no longer produce greenhouse gases because there wouldn’t be any rotting food that would help cultivate these harmful bacteria.

After learning about these benefits that worm composting can give, I decided to try it out, and it was a total success. Organic waste from the kitchen would be given to the worms to eat every two days until a bucket full of natural fertilizer was in the bin. Once I separated the worms from the soil, I placed the dirt around trees in my yard, mine included. After a while, the trees were doing better than before, especially my young sapling.

Overall, worm composting is an easy way to help make the world a better place. The soil is free and stimulates plant growth. It also retains water along with the nutritions in the soil. By composting food waste, almost half the trash in landfills can be taken out while stopping the production of greenhouse gases. All of theses effects help make the world a better place.
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