Community responsible for soil preservation claims 'Kiss the Ground' environmentalist

VENICE, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- We shop the Farmer's Market, maybe even grow a tomato plant or two, but Kiss the Ground founder Ryland Engelhart says there is much more we can do to make a difference in our health, starting with garbage.

"When we throw things in the garbage, they don't decompose and turn back into the earth," said Engelhart.

His advice: don't throw your fruit and veggie scraps into the black or blue trash bin! Instead, re-use those scraps. They're filled with carbon -- a much needed element for the soil.

The more carbon in soil, the less carbon dioxide in the air. Plus rich soil holds more water, requiring less to grow.

"Soil is essentially a nutritional bank account for all the food, all life on planet earth," said Engelhart.

Those veggie scraps make for about 30 percent of what goes to the landfill yet could be put in green bins for future compost.

The City of LA sells home compost bins for $20. They also sell compost from green bin waste. So even if you don't garden...

"That is a base line start that everybody can do, all food scraps can go in your green bin and that ends up turning into mulch turning into compost turning back into soil," said Engelhart.

Keep in mind those scraps are veggie only. Animal products are an invitation for mice and other animals to come looking for food.

If you do garden, compost using this recipe:

- Half of your compost should be greens coming from grass and produce scraps.

- The other half brown: Dried leaves, cardboard, newspaper, everything in the smallest pieces possible for easy breakdown.

Engelhart says the secret to making composting work is water.

"The feeling you want your compost to feel is basically a wrung out wet sponge," he said.

Need a tutorial? At Beyond Baroque in Venice they're looking for willing volunteers.

"It's a demonstration garden where people can come and see what is regenerative agriculture is and how they can get involved," said Finian Makepeace, co-founder of Kiss the Ground.

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