Earth Friendly reasons and tips for home composting
Composting is a green and great way of turning organic material into soil fertiliser. It is an effective and affordable way to reduce your household waste which would otherwise collect in the landfills. At the same time, it provides you with an inexpensive way to replenish the soil in your garden and flower beds.
How does compost form?
Microcosms and earthworms break down the organic materials that you put into your compost heap. When these materials have broken down, they are then in a form that becomes useful for plants to absorb.
What are some green reasons to compost?
Throwing plant, vegetable waste, and other suitable composting materials in your household rubbish adds to the amount of waste going to and being deposited on landfills. Composting is a good way to reduce this amount of waste. Not only that, reducing the amount of waste going to the landfills will positively affect the amount of methane gas produced there.
Waste that ends up in landfills produces a harmful greenhouse gas called methane. This is produced because air cannot reach the organic waste. In contrast, composting at home produces no methane, because correct composting ensures an adequate supply of available oxygen during decomposition. Composting is, therefore, an effective way we can contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
Fewer garbage trucks mean less air pollution? When you (and everyone else) throws away less garbage, not as many garbage trucks need to be out using fuel and creating further emissions that pollute the air.
Unless you make your own organic fertiliser, composting will help you save money on fertiliser. And if you have been using chemical fertilisers, it will help improve the quality of your soil by reducing the amount and number of chemicals you use.
Less fertiliser runoff – If you can use compost instead of fertiliser, it means less chemical fertiliser getting into our rivers, lakes, and oceans. The nitrates in fertilisers are responsible for creating large algae blooms, which consume and remove the oxygen from the water, resulting in “dead zones” which cannot sustain fish and other marine life.
One such “dead zone” exists in the Gulf of Mexico, and it was last recorded to be 6474 square miles in size. This would be equivalent in size to Connecticut and Rhode Island!
What can you compost?
This is not an all-inclusive list by any means, but gives you a good idea of where to begin.
• Vegetable and fruit peels
• Coffee grounds and the filter paper
• Rotten fruit
• Leaves and grass clippings
• Tea bags and tea leaves
• Toilet paper rolls
• Eggshells (crush them)
• Old bedding plants
• Brown paper bags
• Vacuum cleaner contents
• Dryer lint from natural fibres
What can you not compost?
• Kitty litter
• Animal feces
• Cooked meat, dairy products, rice or pasta
• Weeds with seeds (otherwise you’ll spread the weeds later)
• Treated wood
There are good reasons too for not composting certain things. Throwing cooked or even raw meat onto your compost heap will soon leave you with some new & probably unwanted small visitors in the form of maggots. Then there are the unwanted and undesirable bigger visitors like rats, or even raccoons or bears depending on where you live. Not to mention the horrible smells you will get from adding meat to your compost heap.
Treated wood of course is covered in and contains chemicals which over time will leach into your comport. Many of them could be carcinogens. It therefore makes sense that you would want to avoid having these chemicals in your food later on.
In order to compost effectively and safely you need to have some basic equipment, like a composter for example. If you are handy and like being creative you can make your own. Choosing the right sort of composter will also depend if you live in an urban or rural area. Here are are few suggestions to get you started.
Here are a few examples of the many types of compost bins available. It is worth taking some time to research which would be the best type of composter to meet your individual needs before making a purchase however.
Inexpensive and reliable. Despite its simple design this bin seems to be effective in what it can do. You get an easy to assemble, low cost bin which provides good circulation and among other things, a lid at the bottom to remove the finished compost which you can then use in the garden. Most buyers were very satisfied with it as over 58% of those reviewing it gave it five stars.
Easy way to turn over the contents. There are also the types of composter available which make it easier to turn over the contents, such as the one above. This type also makes it easier to get the compost to where you want; make sure to choose one with wheels if this is an important criteria for you.
Wooden Cedar Compost bin with Flaps for easy access. If design is what you are looking for and the price is not an issue , this stained cedar bin might be the one for you. The flaps will keep animals from getting into the box (as well as keeping your pets out!). A simple yet attractive design with equally spaced slats allowing for good air circulation.
As you can see, composting the right kinds of materials will reduce how much you are throwing away and will benefit the planet in many ways. Added to all the other reasons listed above composting can be a very rewarding activity and will likely help bring even more awareness to the role we play in taking care of our planet.
Wishing you happy composting and looking forward to reading your comments