Composting has come mainstream and is being done in big scale.
There are always questions about what can be composted.
We do get conflicting advice regarding those questions.
One item I am more concerned is the use of paper in compost.
We are told to use newspaper and cardboard in composting.
Make sure you shred them to speed up the process, we are advised.
There is even a branch of gardening that advises the use of these materials as base for compost and plants.
Personally, I am not a fan of using paper in compost.
I would rather send them for recycling.
Not all papers are created equal, to begin with!
The office paper we use for printing shouldn’t be used at all.
They have toners and inks that are toxic. You don’t want them to seep into the soil you are using to grow vegetables that you and your children will eat.
Then come the newspapers.
Yes, More newspapers use recycled papers and soy-based inks.
Soy based inks are not 100% vegetable based. They do contain other chemicals and vegetable material is only a part of it.
When you go to a printing shop, you can smell the ink and say for sure that they are petroleum-based. Because the smell is same like of a car body shop.
We get so many flyers as advertisments and glossy magazines.
They do use petroleum-based chemical inks to make them adhere to glossy paper.
Same with cardboards. They also use inks for printing.
Above all, pulp and paper industry is one of the big one to use a lot of chemicals and it is one of the big polluters.
Experts can claim, oh, the chemicals used in these papers are only minuscule and negligible amount.
Still, they are toxic.
Don’t we already have enough toxic materials that contaminated our soils?
I prefer using regular garden and kitchen material for compost to paper material.
I would rather send the paper material for recycling. We already have infrastructures to make recycled paper and they always need more paper to recycle.
The more we recycle paper, the less the price would be.
And the more businesses can afford recycled paper, the more trees are going to be saved.
We can save environment smart way than using the paper in our compost bins.
Even with our good intentions, sometimes we may do more harm than doing good.
That is what I think about using paper in the compost.