Princeton Campus Composting, Ezekiel Akinsanya, UG '26, Julia Dumais, UG '26, and and Giselle Schrier, UG '26 (3993749)
Methane gas produced by decomposing organic matter in landfills is responsible for about 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Imagine if we could eliminate ⅕ of these emissions while creating something that nourishes the environment and its inhabitants. Composting is one of the easiest ways to diminish our carbon footprint. There are two ways of disposing of organic waste: letting it rot in landfills or using aerobic decomposition. The major difference between these two methods is that in landfills, organic waste generates methane, a potent greenhouse gas. By composting wasted food and other organics, methane and greenhouse gas emissions are significantly reduced. In fact, aerobic composting creates no methane at all. Composting can help in various ways. Compost reduces and in some cases eliminates the need for chemical fertilizers, promotes higher yields of crops, aids reforestation and wetlands restoration, and habitat revitalization efforts by improving contaminated, compacted, and marginal soils. Food insecurity is a global problem, but composting can make a difference. The average household wastes approximately 240 pounds of food per year. By composting your food, you can create nutrient-rich organic soil to fuel the growth of necessary crops and reduce your carbon emissions. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), every year US landfills and trash incinerators receive 167 million tons of garbage, more than 50% of which is compostable.