8 Great Reasons to Compost

Why compost? Here are many good reasons!

Maybe you've been thinking about composting, but aren't sure how to start. Or perhaps you heard compost piles are smelly, or attract bugs and mice. Whatever your lame excuse is, give it up. Here are eight good reasons why compost is a great idea.

  • 01 of 08

    Composting Is Easy

    Throwing fruit and vegetable waste into the compost bin
    Francesca Yorke / Getty Images

    How much time and effort do you spend putting things in the garbage can? A few seconds each week. That's how simple composting is -- it's basically a matter of opening a lid with one hand, and letting go of what you're holding in the other. (Phew! That was easy!) If you can walk and chew gum at the same time -- or even if you can't -- you can compost. And here's a quick list of what can and can't be composted.

  • 02 of 08

    Composting Is Dirt Cheap

    Garden fork in compost bin
    Mark Douet / Getty Images

    It costs next to nothing to start composting, aside from a tiny initial investment in a compost pail or bin. In fact, if you're a gardener or have any landscaping at all, your compost pile can save you money by reducing what you spend on fertilizer or yard waste removal. It will also greatly reduce what you throw in the garbage each week, so you might be able to save on municipal trash removal costs.

  • 03 of 08

    That Composting Pail Looks Stylish

    Crate & Barrel

    Even if you're not big on buying new kitchen accessories -- or buying anything, for that matter -- you might like the fashionable looks of the new, designer-styled composting pails that are on the market. And most have charcoal filters built right in, so no onion or garlic smells can leak out. Available in Hot-Rod Red, Space-Age Steel or Winter White, they'll dress up any hum-drum kitchen decor.

  • 04 of 08

    Compost Makes a Healthy, Thriving Garden

    George Doyle

    You really can't find a better soil amendment than compost. It loosens clay soils and helps sandy soils retain water. And not only does compost contain no petroleum-based compounds (like most commercial fertilizers do), it can suppress plant diseases and pests. Gardens that are composted produce higher yields of healthier fruits, yields of healthier fruits, vegetables and flowers.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Composting Is Good for the Planet

    Digital Vision

    Landfills everywhere are running out of room, and the EPA estimates that roughly 25% of the garbage in the U.S. is made up of yard trimmings and food scraps. That's over 60 million tons each year! Instead of watching your local landfill get bigger and more expensive to maintain each month, try composting.

  • 06 of 08

    You Can Compost Even if You Don't Have a Yard


    No yard? No worries. You can use compost even in a window planter box. And many cities have compost programs which will haul away your composted organic material for free. Not sure how to find one? Consult the fine folks at Earth911.com or the EPA for local resources in your area.

  • 07 of 08

    Compost Bins Are Cool

    Here's a compost bin even Darth Vader could love. Costco.com

    Gone are the days when a compost bin was a big, unsightly mess that made the neighbors complain. From space-age Darth Vader bins to chic, modernist styles to wood-frame compost bins made by do-it-yourselfers, the compost bin has evolved into an attractive amenity for every yard.

  • 08 of 08

    No Smell, No Pests


    The rumor that compost attracts bugs, mice or other pests is a dirty, stinking lie. Only compost done wrong smells or attracts vermin. To do it right, keep dairy products and meats out of your compost pile. Simple.