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Earth Day has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean you should stop thinking about our beautiful planet. Most of us have been taught from a young age to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Right? But what about the wonderful world of composting? Composting used to only be something practiced by farmers and gardeners. Now those big green bins are popping up at restaurants and offices all over the place. Want to get in on the action? Here are some common composting questions (and our green answers) to help you get started:

What exactly is composting?
Composting is combining naturally biodegradable materials in a way that helps it break down quickly and creates a nutrient-rich soil.

What can you compost?
Food scraps (not meat)
Coffee grounds
Paper towels
Certified compostable containers (includes some plastics)
Coffee cups
Uncoated paper (newspaper)
For a full list, click here.

Why should you do it?
Composting eliminates waste from landfills and creates super-food for gardens and is a natural alternative to chemical fertilizers on farms. Most cities that encourage composting are working to reduce waste and will provide farmers with the composted soil to use for their crops. So even when you dump the rest of your lunch into the green bin, you’re helping out.

How can you compost at home?
You can build your own composting box in your backyard. If you’re without a yard or who want to start small, keep a container (an old coffee can works, too) on your countertop or under the sink. You can use your compost on your own plants and garden or check if your area has a program where they’ll come pick it up for you.