International Compost Awareness Week – May 7 – 13, 2023

Composting has a key role to play in improving soil quality and supporting biodiversity. International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW) is a global education initiative to raise public awareness about the importance of composting as a Recipe for Regeneration. This year’s theme is ‘For Healthier Soil, Healthier Food…Compost’ and both individuals and businesses can play their part in supporting one of Earth’s richest ecosystems.

Ending hunger is a global priority and one of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Healthy soil is vital in storing and cycling nutrients and supporting plant growth. It is home to billions of creatures and as well as helping feed the planet, it absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and stores it away as carbon. Although we rely on healthy soil for our survival, soil quality is under threat from a variety of sources, be it contamination, nutrient depletion, erosion, or overgrazing.

Composting has a vital role to play in improving soil health by helping to produce more nutrient-rich crops and increasing carbon sequestration (a process by which carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere and held in solid or liquid form.) It makes great use of food and garden waste and is a simple and inexpensive way of reducing your carbon footprint.

According to ICAW:

• The use of landfill space and incineration can be reduced by at least one-third when organics are recycled.
• Methane, a greenhouse twenty-five times as powerful as carbon dioxide, can be significantly reduced through organics recycling.
• Soil health and productivity are dependent on organic matter – the essence of compost – to provide the sustenance for the biological diversity in the soil.
• When used in water quality projects, compost binds pollutants to the organics material and prevents them from entering our lakes, wetlands, streams and rivers. Soil erosion is mitigated, and water-holding capacity improved through compost’s enhancement of soil structure, binding soil particles together.

Circular food cycle on chalkboard with stickers and chalk drawing

Spring is the perfect time to start making your own compost, whether at home or at the workplace.

Start by collecting fruit and vegetable peelings, tea leaves and coffee grounds and mix with garden waste and paper and cardboard to balance items high in nitrogen and those high in carbon. Then let nature take its course. There are lots of resources online to get you started. Take a look at this guide from the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) –

Business generates significant waste, much of which could be used for composting. Make use of your company’s outside space and apply your own compost to grow flowers, fruit and vegetables. Engage with your workforce and get a compost scheme started to help support the triple bottom line. Buy a compost bin and some food caddies to collect compostable food waste.

To learn more about ICAW visit: