composting

By Sarah Zitin

What is composting?

Composting is the breakdown of organic matter into soil that is rich in nutrients and microorganisms. Why is composting so important? For the same reason that eco-friendly products are the must-have on your grocery list! Composting is a great way to create zero waste; you’re disposing of food scraps and turning them into usable soil. This soil will grow more food and enrich your garden, and property. 

Here are a few of the benefits of composting:

  • Composting can reduce landfill waste.
  • Lowers greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • Saves money on bagged fertilizer.

How to compost:

  • Start your compost pile where it’s dry and shaded.
  • Add layers of green (weeds) and brown materials (straw).
  • Keep the pile damp without getting it too moist.
  • Turn your compost every few weeks to distribute air through the pile.
  • When the pile looks and smells like dirt, it’s ready for use.
  • Remember to Compost Year-Round for zero waste
  • Use Compost as Mulch or Fertilizer.
  • Slice and Dice to Speed Up the Process.
  • Compost Needs Air. 
  • Try Composting With Worms.
  • Consider an Electric Composter.

Ways of composting:

  1. Electric Composter

One of the more convenient composting methods out there is using an electric composter. An electric composter is a kitchen countertop-friendly device that can decompose food and organic waste, converting it into zero waste nutrient-dense dirt.

2. Worm Composting

Worm composting, also known as vermicomposting, is a composting method that can be done inside or outdoors. Vermicomposting involves introducing earthworms into a compost pile to break down the waste and accelerate the decomposition process.

3. Aerobic Composting

This method involves the use of microbes from garden soil to convert waste into compost. Aerobic composting is one of the easiest methods of achieving finished compost. Use a lidded plastic storage container, soil, and a trowel to bury waste in the soil layer. Drill a grid of evenly spaced air holes throughout the bin to ensure adequate airflow and decomposition 

4. Cold Composting

Leave your compostable waste in a pile outdoors and let nature decompose the materials for you. If you want a low maintenance zero waste composting method, you must have free space on your property, and you don’t mind waiting for compost.

5. Tumble Composting

Tumble composting is accomplished with a tumbler – an outdoor rotating compost bin. Tumblers make it easy to turn your compost regularly, allowing moisture, heat, nutrients, and oxygen to be evenly distributed throughout the waste. Use this technique if you don’t have a large property and you don’t have large amounts of organic waste.

6. Trench composting

Kitchen scraps don’t need to be put in a bin or a tumbler to decompose into compost. Dig a trench with enough room for your garden waste and then cover it up again once you’ve laid everything down. 

Benefits of Composting:

Reduces the Waste Stream

Composting is a great way to recycle the organic waste we generate at home. Food scraps and garden waste combined make up more than 28 percent of what we throw away. The best way to reduce impacts from food waste is to prevent waste from occurring in the first place. By utilizing food scraps and other organic materials for zero waste compost which goes right back into the soil for agriculture, the amount of waste goes from zero to zero! That’s quite an accomplishment. 

Cuts Methane Emissions From Landfills

When compostable waste goes to a landfill, it gets buried under massive amounts of other trash, cutting off a regular supply of oxygen for the decomposers. Although most modern landfills have methane capture systems, these do not capture all of the gas; landfills are the third-largest source of human-generated methane emissions in the United States.

Cuts Dependence on Fossil Fuels

Commercial methods of composting require oil-reliant machinery and a faster method of oxidizing organic matter at a high heat for it to break down quickly. No fungal decomposition is involved in this process. Using the method of composting at home, there is greater assurance that everything will be broken down by the fungi and bacteria.

Improves Soil Health and Lessens Erosion

Compost is an essential tool for improving large-scale agricultural systems. Compost contains three primary nutrients needed by garden crops: 

  • Nitrogen 
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium. 

It also includes traces of other essential elements like iron, and zinc, calcium, magnesium. Research has shown the capability of compost to increase soil’s water retention capacity, productivity, and resiliency.

Conserves Water

Agriculture is a major consumer of water in the United States, accounting for approximately 80 percent of the nation’s water use. Irrigation systems are effective but are expensive and time-consuming to manage. Additionally, water is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain across the country. Research has shown the water-retaining capacities of soil increase with the addition of organic matter. 

The 9 best foods for compost

  • Fruits. Most fruits—from apples and bananas to pears, grapes, and berries—provide compost with plenty of nutrients that will enrich your soil. 
  • Vegetables. Scraps from vegetables are some of the best foods for compost. 
  • Nuts and Grains. 
  • Leftovers. 
  • Coffee. 
  • Tea. 
  • Eggshells. 
  • Plant leaves.

Leaf composters are a great place to begin composting because they don’t need much maintenance. Just add all your leaves and garden litter into the composter and water it daily. If you add an accelerator daily (compost starter), you will get your first harvest in 4 months. The design of the product allows for easy harvesting. Gardeners value leaf compost highly for use in lawns, and compost from leaves is nutrition rich and organic.

Chomps can be used as row composters in homes with some outdoor space. Line them up and start layering your kitchen waste with Remix Powder daily, filling one Chomp at a time. Your first Chomp should be ready for harvesting by the time your last Chomp is full. 

The 4 tier Gobble Senior composter is light to lift and shift. Suitable for a family of 4 to 5, it can handle 1 kg of waste per day. Layer your kitchen waste with Remix Powder daily for smell free and fool proof composting. You don’t need to stir daily if you are using the cocopeat and spoon of the compost starter. Using the correct amount of cocopeat ensures that you have smell free composting.

Now that you’ve perhaps had your first lesson in composting, what are you waiting for? Go out and make a contribution to saving the environment and start a compost pile today!