The right subbotnik without harm to nature

It turns out that subbotniks are not always beneficial to nature and somewhere they can even harm it. Therefore, they must be performed in an environmentally sound manner. How to do it? Our experts told us.

The time for Tchaikovsky’s sub-botnics will come soon. An entire month has been set aside for them: they will take place from April 22nd to May 22nd. You can read more about this in one of our previous articles.

In our article, we want to draw attention to one of the main mistakes made during subbotnik – not only artificial waste, but also natural waste is sent to the landfill. It is possible to do this with organic waste, what can threaten and how to do it better, we learned from experts.

President of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Perm Yuri Khokhlov:

– Foliage provides soil enrichment with minerals and organic matter, structures the soil, creates conditions for the growth of soil microflora and fauna. It makes sense to collect and remove it only from winding lawns, which, however, in themselves are an example of non-environmental improvement. In parks, squares, urban forests, foliage is best left. Perhaps, for aesthetic reasons, the foliage and fallen branches should be placed in so-called rotten stocks

Rotten stocks not only look aesthetically pleasing, but also help nature: they become a haven for destructive insects, fungi, moss. Treat dead wood in fertile soil. protection of natural habitats from humans.

This is what rotten stocks look like:


Publisher of the newspaper “Your success. Tchaikovsky “environmental educator and” environmental blogger “Natalya Ilyinykh:

– Of course, it is absurd to pack organic waste (fallen leaves, grass, branches) in plastic bags and take it to landfill. Because everything that the earth has given must be returned to it, the circulation of substances in nature has not been canceled. By transporting organically to a landfill, we deplete the land and harm the environment.

Leaves, grass, twigs in plastic bags in the absence of oxygen will emit sulfur oxides, hydrogen sulfide and mercaptans, which spread around an unpleasant landfill odor, as well as a large amount of methane. This gas is highly flammable, followed by flammable polymers, adding toxic combustion products to the nauseating gas “cocktail”. All this not only significantly worsens air quality, but also contributes to climate change. And all this is done with our money, the taxpayers’ money.

What is the best way to deal with last year’s foliage and grass?

In urban forests and parks, it should, without a doubt, remain in place. On city streets – clean, especially where grass is planted, because otherwise bald spots form in places where foliage remains. If the natural grass grows with bald spots, it is better to leave the foliage, maybe in a year or two, thanks to the restoration of the soil, the bald spots will disappear.

The ideal disposal option for organic waste is a pit / pile / compost box. It is quite suitable for parks, yards and street squares.
There, the processing of organic matter is done due to the “wild” composting worms, other insects and microorganisms that already exist in the soil and waste. As a result, this option gives fertile land that can be used to improve urban areas and lawns. This practice is used in many European cities.

Our neighbors from Izhevsk – the public environmental organization “Green Steam Locomotive” – ​​in 2020 began to work in this direction and organized several experimental sites for the disposal of organic waste.

The branches can also be composted. And you can turn them into chips using special equipment and use them for financial purposes, including selling.

Natalia runs the Green Benefits ecoblog, where you can learn a lot about helping nature and how nature can help you.

Nadezhda Stepanovna Parkhomenko, teacher of the highest category of biology and ecology in the upper classes of the high school No. 10 of REC, whose students take first places and awards at environmental events.:

– Until recently, many farms carried out mass burning of crop residues and dry grass last year. But grass burning is one of the main causes of forest fires and peat fires. Burning grass is the cause of the destruction of ecosystems, especially forests, as well as various types of infrastructure: houses, power cables, death of people. This leads to a significant reduction in soil fertility. Such a fire does not increase the amount of mineral nutrients in the soil – it only releases them from the dry grass, making them available for plant nutrition. In addition, the huge amount of carbon dioxide released during combustion further exacerbates the problem of greenhouse gas accumulation, which leads to global warming.
The simplest and most effective way to dispose of last year’s foliage is to compost it. It has an ecological and economic impact.

To do this, you need to bury organic matter to a depth of 30 cm, as aerobics decompose it, which needs oxygen for life. To speed up the decomposition, it is necessary to “feed” the bacteria by adding a small amount of ammonium nitrate, which is freely available in all florists. And the third condition is sufficient humidity, ie it is necessary to water the pit well with fertilizer.

If there is a hot summer, then the bacteria that are working will decompose all the plant residues in one season and return them to the plants in the form of minerals, closing the cycle of substances.

Another effective way is to use biopreparations, which are accelerators of the decomposition of plant residues. They are based on biological fungi, bacteria and their spores: they decompose crop residues in a short period of time, prevent the growth of phytopathogens and infect crops en masse. They contribute to their rapid conversion into fertilizers, enriched with beneficial microflora and biologically active substances. Another advantage of these preparations is that they help to increase the humus content in the soil, improve its physical and chemical properties and contribute to the accumulation of biological nitrogen. That is, recycled biological waste can be used as fertilizer.

Here are some tips for proper behavior of subbotniks given by experts.

If you want to preserve nature and, at the same time, make it more beautiful, then you can resort to rotten natural shelters, as well as compost and clean the organic waste in common pits or piles, where they will be physically treated.

The main thing is that under no circumstances should you throw natural rubbish in bags or bags in landfills. This makes things worse for nature.


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