Bob and Ruth talk composting
Bob Vila - Home Again
Presented By
Home Again with Bob Vila

Make Your Own Mulch For Free By Composting Your Trash!​​

Learn why you should be making your own compost at home with Host Bob Vila and Landscape Designer, Ruth S. Foster!

When you are throwing out your trash, you are literally throwing away money! The average homeowner spends around $300 mulching each season, but if you have a bigger property, that cost could be much higher! On this episode of “Home Again with Bob Vila,” Landscape Designer Ruth S. Foster teaches Host Bob Vila how to make your own mulch out of your trash. All you need is your old vegetable kitchen scraps, lawn mowings, chopped up leaves, and water. The end result is black gold mulch, which helps plants and shrubs grow and thrive. Watch the below clip to learn Ruth’s simple steps for yourself! 

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In addition to saving yourself hundreds of dollars you would have spent purchasing mulch, your decision to start composting is a gift to the environment. You’d be surprised at how much of your trash could be turned into compost instead of sent to the dumpster. In addition to the vegetable scraps and yard waste mentioned above, you can also compost tea bags, coffee grounds and filters, paper, houseplants, hair and fur, sawdust, fireplace ashes, and more. That said, food scraps and yard waste currently make up around 30% of what we throw away when they could be turned into compost to make our plants and soil very happy. But most of the time, this trash finds itself taking up space in landfills, contributing to the creation of a greenhouse gas called methane. Composting is a simple way for you to do your part to protect the Earth from global warming and keep it nice for future generations. If you’re not yet convinced, consider these 10 alternate reasons to start composting. 

1.) Composting reduces the need for using chemical fertilizers, which can cause nasty side effects, such as serious soil degradation, nitrogen leaching, and soil compaction

2.) Composting lowers your carbon footprint by reducing methane and carbon emissions in landfills. 

3.) Composting enriches the soil and helps maintain the moisture and nutrients that your plants need to thrive and grow. 

4.) Speaking of moisture, compost can hold up to 20 times its own weight in water. In addition to being very good for your plants, compost also has the ability to revitalize and filter local water sources, such as ponds, lakes, and local springs. Water is filtered as it moves through compost, soil and rocks on its journey to join these larger bodies of water. Composting also supports rainfall usage, which is particularly helpful in times of drought. 

5.) With its useful filtration abilities, composting helps ensure water is filtered by the time it reaches the ocean. This means the ocean stays cleaner and healthier. Composting prevents harmful pollutants from reaching the ocean, such as acidizing fertilizers and harsh chemicals, and takes away the need to use these concoctions in our gardening endeavors in the first place. 

6.) Once again, compost’s water retention abilities are saving the day! We’ve lost so much usable farmland due to pollutants and erosion, but composting can prevent unwanted erosion. When water is unable to penetrate the ground, it rushes to lower elevations taking the top soil along with it, thus creating erosion. When compost is present, it acts as a sponge to absorb more water into the ground, keeping the top soil in place and preventing erosion. 

7.) Not only does composting limit the creation of new carbon gases, but it also absorbs carbon dioxide that is already in the atmosphere. Absorbing the carbon actually makes the soil healthier, and promotes photosynthesis. 

8.) Composting helps the economy. In addition to saving you money, composting lowers production costs for farmers and creates new jobs in composting plants. 

9.) It might sound a bit crazy, but composting with your trash and food scraps will make new food healthier. Food that is grown in depleted soil that has been exposed to pesticides or chemical fertilizers will be lacking in nutrients. Compost fills the soil with nutrients and eliminates the need for chemicals, causing the crops to be healthier to consume and more resilient. 

10.) Composting will help you develop a regenerative outlook. In Nature, nothing is ever wasted. Everything eventually returns back to the soil to nurture new life, and you can help this process along by turning your trash into a treasured resource. 

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