Sustainability 101

Sustainability 101- Why and how to be sustainable.

Growing Gurus
Feb 8, 2024

Environmental sustainability is a critical aspect of overall sustainability, focusing on the preservation and responsible use of natural resources, reduction of environmental impact, and protection of ecosystems. Recycling and composting are two key practices within environmental sustainability that contribute to waste reduction and resource conservation.


  1. Definition: Recycling is the process of collecting, processing, and transforming materials into new products to prevent the disposal of potentially valuable resources into landfills.
  2. Benefits:
  3. Conservation of Resources: Recycling reduces the demand for raw materials, conserving natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals.
  4. Energy Savings: Manufacturing products from recycled materials often requires less energy compared to using virgin materials.
  5. Waste Reduction: Recycling helps divert waste from landfills, reducing the environmental impact of waste disposal.
  6. Commonly Recycled Materials:
  7. Paper and Cardboard: Newspapers, magazines, cardboard boxes.
  8. Plastics: PET bottles, HDPE containers.
  9. Glass: Bottles and jars.
  10. Metals: Aluminum cans, steel containers.
  11. Recycling Process:
  12. Collection: Separation of recyclable materials from general waste at homes, businesses, and public spaces.
  13. Processing: Sorting, cleaning, and processing collected materials at recycling facilities.
  14. Manufacturing: Using recycled materials to produce new products.
  15. Tips for Effective Recycling:
  16. Know Local Recycling Rules: Understand what materials are accepted in your local recycling program.
  17. Clean and Sort: Ensure that recyclables are clean and sorted correctly to avoid contamination.
  18. Reduce and Reuse: Prioritize reducing and reusing items before resorting to recycling.


  1. Definition: Composting is the natural process of decomposing organic matter into nutrient-rich soil conditioner, known as compost.
  2. Benefits:
  3. Soil Enrichment: Compost improves soil structure, fertility, and water retention.
  4. Waste Diversion: Diverts organic waste from landfills, reducing methane emissions.
  5. Reduces Need for Chemical Fertilizers: Compost provides natural nutrients, reducing the reliance on synthetic fertilizers.
  6. Commonly Composted Materials:
  7. Kitchen Scraps: Fruit and vegetable peels, coffee grounds, eggshells.
  8. Yard Waste: Grass clippings, leaves, small branches.
  9. Organic Materials: Paper towels, cardboard (non-coated), plant-based materials.
  10. Composting Process:
  11. Collection: Gather organic waste in a compost bin or pile.
  12. Aeration: Turning or mixing the compost regularly to provide oxygen for microbial activity.
  13. Maturation: Allowing the compost to decompose fully, usually taking several weeks to months.
  14. Tips for Effective Composting:
  15. Balance Green and Brown Materials: Mix nitrogen-rich "green" materials (food scraps) with carbon-rich "brown" materials (leaves, paper).
  16. Regular Turning: Turn the compost regularly to aerate and accelerate the decomposition process.
  17. Avoid Certain Items: Avoid composting meat, dairy, oily foods, and pet waste in home compost piles.

By incorporating recycling and composting into daily practices, individuals and communities can make significant contributions to environmental sustainability, reducing waste and promoting a more circular and regenerative approach to resource management.