Composting 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Eco-Friendly Waste Management At Home
Posted on January 12 2024,
Welcome to the wonderful world of composting! Embark on a journey with us as we explore this simple yet powerful way of recycling organic waste and contributing to a healthier environment.
Imagine heaps of garbage piling up, rotting, filling landfills, releasing harmful methane gas, and contributing to the worsening global waste crisis. Only, you do not need to imagine. This is happening right now. In fact, Metro Manila alone generates an astonishing 12,500 tons of garbage per day.
Composting addresses this problem head-on.
Composting diverts all this organic waste from going into landfills, allowing it to break down aerobically. In the process, it generates nutrient-rich soil for your home garden while emitting less harmful gasses. While composting may sound like a complicated affair, this beginner’s guide will help set you on the path to successful composting right at home!
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
- Composting system (store-bought or DIY, depending on your chosen method!)
- Water (moisture)
- Greens (nitrogen-rich waste)
- Browns (carbon-rich waste)
- Air (oxygen)
1. Composting, your way!
There are different types of composting so choose the method that best suits your space and lifestyle. For those with spacious backyards, big open spaces, or households that generate a lot of food scraps, outdoor composting may be ideal for you.
Think of it as your personal recycling plant at home. But be prepared, as outdoor composting requires some space! You may choose to buy your own composting tumbler or create your own compost system in your backyard.
But what if you reside in condos or apartments where space is a very limited resource? Worry not, as indoor composting and vermicomposting may be your green ticket! Explore bokashi indoor composting, which utilizes a small compost bin that fits in most kitchens and balconies. Vermicomposting, which utilizes worms to break down scraps into compost, is also a popular option as it is discrete and odor-free when properly maintained.
2. Spot-on compost location
Choosing where to set up your composting system is crucial. Remember, composting requires enough aeration, drainage, and optimal temperature conditions to thrive.
You can put your store-bought or DIY compost system in the corner of your yard, on your balcony, or in a designated space in your kitchen. Choose a well-draining location to prevent waterlogging and potential odor issues. Avoid positioning your compost bins in areas frequented by pests or with inadequate ventilation and sunlight.
3. The ABCs of compost creation
Every successful compost needs a healthy mix of greens and browns. Greens bring the nitrogen punch. These are found in materials like kitchen scraps, fruit peels, vegetable scraps, and eggshells. On the other hand, your browns are your everyday yard waste, including grass clippings, dry leaves, small branches, papers, and some compostable food packaging. Browns are rich in carbon to balance out and fuel the composting process.
A quick tip: steer clear of meat, dairy, and oily foods as they can attract pests, induce odors, and even slow down the composting process. Here’s a handy list of what you can toss in your compost and what to keep out:
6. Don’t forget to churn!
To ensure proper decomposition, regularly mix your compost. This way, moisture and oxygen are properly spread out throughout the pile, supercharging the decomposition process. While many store-bought compost systems come with built-in tumblers, a trusty shovel can work wonders too!
7. Troubleshooting tips
Encounter an odor issue? Too wet or too dry compost? Don't panic, as these challenges come with straightforward solutions. Simply adjust the balance between your greens and browns! Fine-tuning the moisture levels can easily get your compost back on track.
8. Finally, reap what you sow!
How do you know when your compost is ready? Look for the following telltale signs: the compost should resemble dark, crumbly soil, and the pile must have no recognizable scraps. Once you’ve achieved that rich and earthy gold, it’s time to put it to work! Mix it into your garden soil or your indoor greenery and witness your plants flourish.
If you’re looking for more browns to supercharge your compost, Econtainer offers a wide range of eco-friendly food packaging and utensils that will not only cater to your convenient dining needs but also help you nourish your compost too! Econtainer’s biodegradable tableware, crafted from sustainable materials like sugarcane bagasse and birchwood, takes center stage in the composting game. In just 45 days, these containers gracefully transform into rich and fertile compost.
After savoring your delicious meals using Econtainer, you don’t need to worry about your post-meal cleanup! At the same time, you know your food packaging won’t aggravate the growing plastic waste problem, but rather, contribute to a greener world.
Creating your own compost system has never been easier or more efficient than it is today. And throughout your composting journey, Econtainer supports your commitment to a more sustainable future!