Colorado Reader November 2018: Taste It, Don't Waste It! | Page 2

Vocabulary compost (V, N) - A natural way to turn food, leaves, and other things into material that helps soils. Compost feeds soils, helps save water, and helps plants grow better. Verb: Compost vegetable scraps to help plants grow. Noun: You should put compost in your garden. decompose (V) - Break down, or decay. Tree leaves decompose into soil. divert (V) - To send something a different direction. To change from original direction. Aluminum cans are recyclable. They should be diverted from landfills. food recovery hierarchy (N) - A system that ranks ideas for keeping food out of landfills. Feeding animals is one idea on the food recovery hierarchy. greenhouse gases (N) - Gases that can change the climate of the earth. Greenhouse gases are sometimes called “heat-trapping gases.” landfill (N) - A garbage dump. Sometimes, new cities or parks are built on old landfills. methane (N) - A colorless, odorless gas used as a fuel. Methane is an important greenhouse gas. natural resources (N) - Resources from nature. Water, land, and air are natural resources. nutrients (N) - Something that helps a living thing to grow, live, and stay strong. Vitamins from food give us nutrients to grow. produce (V, N): - Verb: to make or manufacture from raw materials. Food is produced at the farm or ranch. Noun: Fresh fruits and vegetables. You can buy good Colorado produce at the store. recover (V) - To use a waste product again, reuse, or regain. When you compost banana peels, you recover the nutrients to feed soils. reduce (verb) - To make smaller, make something less complex, or use less. If you reduce food you throw away, you can save money at home. soil amendment (N) - Any material you add to soil to improve its chemical and physical properties. Amendments are different depending upon what the soil needs to grow a healthy plant. Quality compost is an excellent soil amendment for poor soil. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (N) - A part of the U.S. government that keeps people and the environment safe. The EPA works to keep water, air, and land clean and safe. vermicomposter (N) - A different type of composting using a special kind of worm to turn food scraps, paper, and leaves into plant food. Some students recycle food scraps with a vermicomposter in their classroom! 2 - Colorado Agriculture in the Classroom What's a Landfill? Trash is everywhere. Piling up in landfills, scattered in the seas and oceans, and even floating in space. The final resting spot for nearly half of the trash we produce in the United States is the landfill. There are about 2,000 landfills around the country. When you take out your trash, do you ever wonder where it goes? More than half (about 57 percent) of our trash goes to landfills. About a third (27 percent) of trash can be recycled or composted. Sixteen percent of trash is burned using big incinerators to combust the material. Garbage has a direct impact on the environment. As trash decomposes it produces harmful greenhouse gases. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that landfills are the third leading cause of methane emissions in the U.S. alone. Methane is a greenhouse gas that destroys the ozone layer. By simply sitting in landfills, garbage can be causing climate change. Around the world, people throw away roughly four million tons of trash every day. That’s enough to fill 44 Olympic-size swimming pools.