Composting is a fantastic way to re-purpose food that otherwise would go to waste and end up in a landfill. You can compost in your home or outdoors. The other benefit of composting is that it can improve soil quality and reverse the effect of soil pollution, something I have posted about previously. Due to the effects of agriculture, industrialisation and even litter, over time the quality of our soil has decreased. By composting we can add nutrients back into our ground and improve soil quality.
If you are proud of your garden, both flowers and growing your own food. I have previously posted about Urban Farming and its benefits, then composting will improve your lawn, flowers and veggies!
How do I compost?
This can vary depending on how you are composting, I personally have a small compost bin in my kitchen. As I do not have a garden my compost bin is not much wider than a standard CD case, but it does not limit what I can do. Between my recycling bins outside, larger bin for garden waste and compost bin everything can be recycled effectively.
What can I compost?
You may be surprised that you can compost more than just food waste such as potato peels and fruit. You can compost tea bags, cardboard toilet roll holders and even egg shells. A tip for egg shells is to crush them first as this will speed up the breakdown of the shell in your compost. Egg shells will also add calcium into your soil improving the soil quality even more. You could even compost the cardboard egg box! Here are a few do’s and do not’s of composting:
How to compost outdoors.
If you are composting outside there is a variety of options on how you can begin. You can purchase a compost container, either a sealed plastic one or a wood one. Wooden ones are available both open or with a lid. Evergreener provide one of the largest range of outdoor composters in all shapes and sizes. If you want to keep it simple you can section off a space of your garden and create a box with posts and some chicken wire.
Once you have decided how to begin the compost pile outdoors it should become very low maintenance once you understand the process.
- Choose your space – Ideally in a dry shaded space you can easily add water too.
- Add your ingredients – A mix of materials high in carbon (brown materials) and rich in nitrogen (green materials). If you add large materials be sure to chop or break them down to aid the decomposing process.
- Add moisture – Be sure to add water regularly particularly during hotter seasons. Your soil should feel like a damp sponge, just enough moisture but not too wet. You can also add beer or old wine which are rich in yeast to help speed up the composition process.
- Add air – Using a garden tool such as a spade or fork, turn your compost regularly to add air. This will help speed up the composting process.
- Wait and watch nature’s magic – You will know when your compost is ready as it will be dry and crumbly and look as compost should.
How to compost indoors.
Composting indoors is even easier. You can either purchase a compost bin or some biodegradable compost bags if you don’t want another bin in your kitchen. I personally have three bins and I understand this can take up a lot of space. The only limit to doing this indoors may be the size of things you can compost. Items such as cereal boxes, newspapers and cardboard egg boxes can be otherwise recycled instead of composted.
How do I start composting?
I bought the OXO Good Grips Compost Bin which fits lovely in my kitchen, it takes up very little space. It is air tight, lightweight and easy to take outside. This particular one is available in black or white.
If you aren’t sure about the OXO bin then the Joseph Joseph Stack 4 is ideal for you. This one is even smaller and is especially designed to reduce odour and moisture. Another benefit of this one is that this food waste caddy uses compostable bin liners made especially for this product.
Why should I compost?
One third of all food produced is wasted or lost, this equals 1.3 billion tonnes annually. This is both in industrialised and developing nations. We can all make One Change Now and re-purpose a percentage of wasted food. This will help improve the quality of our food and soil. We can all reduce some of the pollution in our ground and grow organic pesticide free food.