For gardeners across the globe second week of the month of May is special in one sense. It is the “International Compost Awareness Week”. We are at the hinge of entering this second week now. Composting at home, composting yourself, making your own compost or in whatever terms you may take it but in the core it is about owning a responsibility by composting. Use of home generated waste adds to your garden and soil with many advantages. As a gardener it becomes our duty to spread awareness about composting this week.

Let us have a look at some of the statistics first. In the year 2006, a specific survey was conducted by “Statistics Canada” and this survey revealed some really interesting results. According to its findings, almost 98% of the residents of ‘Prince Edward Island’ are actively composting. In the ‘Nova Scotia’ this percentage was reported to be 95 percent.

There is just a reverse picture portrayed by another survey results. In ‘Portland, Oregon’ efforts were made to popularize composting for almost ten years. A dedicated public awareness campaign was supplemented with the sale of more than 90,000 plastic composters. Despite all these efforts only 30% of the households started composting with their kitchen wastes. The Alameda County in California is normally considered as compost-crazy among the gardeners in the United States. Statistics indicate that almost 24% of the homeowners in this county are also active  composters in their gardens.

Results of these statistics may be moderately satisfactory for many of us but then the question still remains unanswered as why many other gardeners do not find it appealing? Gardening experts, educators, and scientist’s world over are still working to find an answer to this question.

A recent study conducted in Scotland however makes attempts to understand the behavioral patterns among gardeners and homeowners. This study is titled as “Behavioral Determinants of Household Participation in a Home Composting Scheme”.

It is all about the attitude”, revealed the findings of this study. Buzzwords like saving the environment, good gardening practices, and others would never motivate a person who is a non-composter to pick the tools up. Instead if the person is convinced somehow that to become a good person and human being composting is must, always works. You can easily hand over a compost bin to such a convinced person. “Converting a non-composter in to a composter takes only an attitude change”, says the study.

Some of the other studies conducted in past also emphasize on the importance of habits of the active composters. The active composters generally use almost 70% of their food waste in making compost. These people also actively do recycling or composting all of their yard waste as well.

It is an established fact that almost in every case once a person starts composting it never stops. According to the data collected through several studies nine out of every ten people who begin composting keep on continuing the habit even after ten years or more. Study results also demonstrate a specific pattern among the composters. It is very common among them to try out making two or more types of composts. One is a
heap and another is an enclosed bin.

Let us all feel responsible and contribute in every possible way to help people, organizations, and communities to spread the awareness about composting.”The International Compost Awareness Week” is the best opportunity to begin with this task.

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