Composting at home –
Compost is a very basic organic material that can be added to soil to help plants grow. Food scraps and yard waste together currently make up more than thirty percent of what we throw away, and could be composted instead and made better use of. Making compost keeps these materials out of landfills where they take up space and release methane, a potent greenhouse gas which is very dangerous for our environment and mother nature. Wastage management is the key to a better future and a better life. Wastage management leads to your waste being reused and recycled and made better use of.
Composting basics –
All composting requires three basic ingredients which are –
Browns – These ingredients include materials such as dead leaves, branches, and twigs.
Greens – These ingredients include materials such as grass clippings, vegetable waste, fruit scraps, and coffee grounds.
Water – Having the right amount of water, greens, and browns is important for compost development and helping the environment.
Your compost pile should have an equal amount of browns to greens respectively. You should also alternate layers of organic materials of different-sized particles in the composting area. The brown materials provide carbon for your compost, the green materials provide nitrogen, and the water provides moisture to help break down the organic matter at best.
What to compost –
You can compost materials from your kitchen like Fruits and vegetables, Eggshells, Coffee grounds and filters, Tea bags, Nut shells, Shredded newspaper, Cardboard, Paper, Yard trimmings, Grass clippings, Houseplants, Hay and straw, Leaves, Sawdust, Wood chips, Cotton and Wool Rags, Hair and fur and Fireplace ashes respectively. If you ideally compost all these materials, it would really help in the wastage management goals of the world as a whole.
What not to compost and why –
Black walnut tree leaves or twigs should not be composted because they release substances that might be harmful to plants.
Coal or charcoal ash might contain substances harmful to plants.
Dairy products such as butter, milk, sour cream, yogurt and eggs create odor problems and attract pests such as rodents and flies. The diseases or insects might survive and be transferred back to other plants.
Fats, grease, lard, or oils should not be composted because they create odor problems and attract pests such as rodents and flies. Meat or fish bones and scraps should not be composted because they create odor problems and attract pests such as rodents and flies
Benefits of composting –
It enriches soil, helping retain moisture and suppress plant diseases and pests. It reduces the need for chemical fertilizers. It encourages the production of beneficial bacteria and fungi that break down organic matter to create humus, a rich nutrient-filled material. It reduces methane emissions from landfills and lowers your carbon footprint.
How to compost at home –
There are many different ways to make a compost pile such as the ones given below. Helpful tools include pitchforks, square-point shovels or machetes, and water hoses with a spray head are required. Regular mixing or turning of the compost and some water will help maintain the compost evenly.
Backyard Composting –
You must select a dry, shady spot near a water source for your compost pile or bin. Then add brown and green materials as they are collected, making sure larger pieces are chopped or shredded. After that you must moisten dry materials as they are added. Once your compost pile is established, you have to mix grass clippings and green waste into the pile and bury fruit and vegetable waste under ten inches of compost material. Cover the top of the compost with a tarp to keep it moist. When the material at the bottom is dark and rich in color, your compost is very much ready to use. This usually takes anywhere between two months to two years in time and is a patient process.
Indoor composting –
If you do not have space for an outdoor compost pile, you can compost materials indoors using a special type of bin, which you can buy at a local hardware store, gardening supplies store, or make one for yourself. Remember to tend your pile and keep track of what you throw inside the bin. A properly managed compost bin will not attract pests or rodents and will never smell bad. Your compost should be ready in two to five weeks and will help in your home’s wastage management