Serena Caner, registered dietician

COLUMN: Composting your excess calories

One of the bad habits I adopted as a parent is eating my children’s leftover food.

One of the bad habits I adopted as a parent is eating my children’s leftover food.

Sandwich crusts, half-eaten apples, dried-up carrot sticks. It didn’t seem to matter how unappealing the food or the state of my appetite, because the habit was not related to hunger, but my aversion to food wastage. Luckily, I discovered a way to reconcile this habit by reframing the situation: composting.

Suddenly, unwanted food scraps were not filling my garbage can, heading for a landfill. Instead, they were being transformed into valuable nitrogen, enriching my garden soil.

Currently, it is estimated that over 30 per cent of the material entering our landfills is organic, compostable materials. The slow, anaerobic break down of organics in a landfill releases methane, a greenhouse gas, into our atmosphere. The aerobic breakdown that happens in your home composter does not.

Backyard composting not only reduces greenhouse gases and garbage, it saves you money on buying fertilizers or manure. To work effectively, composts do need some attention, making sure you have a mix of carbon (dead leaves/grasss), nitrogen (food waste), oxygen and water.

Luckily, the CSRD has some great resources on giving your compost some love on their website: http://www.csrd.bc.ca/services/solid-waste-recycling/composting-information. On this site, you can even order your own backyard composter for $40.

If you don’t have a garden, there are other options. Vermicomposting, or composting with worms is an option. Off-site composting is another option that has already started in Salmon Arm. Many businesses and organizations are sending their food waste to be composted at larger-scale sites, and curb-side collection is in our near future.

Composting is a great way to transform unwanted food scraps into a useful product. It can preserve valuable space in our landfills, and provide a home for unwanted calories on your plate.

Need compost for your garden? The CSRD sells this yard and garden waste compost, Kickin’ Compost, which has been tested and meets all health and safety parameters, at the landfill.

-Serena Caner is a registered dietician who works at Shuswap Lake General Hospital.

Just Posted

RCMP officer officially cleared in shooting incident

Police watchdog concludes Salmon Arm officer’s use of force was justified

Suspect faces charges of possession of stolen property, weapon

Two people arrested outside Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm Saturday, woman released without charge

CSRD increases building inspections in the Shuswap

New inspections to take place effective March 5.

Okanagan residents can win ride in army vehicle

A social media campaign offers the chance to win a ride in the Dragoons armoured vehicle

UPDATE: Kelowna snowboarder being mourned at Big White

He was a local snowboarder, who went to Rutland high school.

PHOTOS: Icing the competition

Skate Canada 2018 Okanagan Regional Championships skated through Vernon this weekend

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Vagina Monologues hits the Kelowna stage this week

Okanagan production set to target a hot topic: vaginas

Lottery will help save children’s lives

Each ticket gets you a chance to win a lot of money, while helping a lot of kids

Submit nominations for 2018 Okanagan College Alumni Awards

Deadline for nominations is Wednesday, March 14

Family home, police car targets of shootings in Keremeos

There were no injuries in two shootings that occurred in Keremeos over the weekend

Investigators seek public help to identify accused fraudster

Thousands of dollars in charges racked up on stolen credit card

Interest in Canadian Armed Forces remains high

Canada seeks about 5,000 recruits each year for its regular forces of about 68,000

Rules reviewed to keep drug money out of B.C. real estate

Investigator looking at loans as well as casinos, David Eby says

Most Read