The average household throws out pounds upon pounds of organic waste every week, which usually goes straight to a landfill.
Unfortunately, although this waste is natural, in an environment like a dump it begins to release methane (a harmful greenhouse gas) instead of being broken down by nature and used to create nutritious, nutrient-dense soil.
But how do you combat this? Composting is the answer. It’s extremely simple to achieve, requires minimal effort, and can be done with any organic waste or scraps that you happen to have lying around.
Read on for our comprehensive guide to composting if you would like to stay more in tune with Mother Nature and reduce your carbon footprint…
What Exactly Is Composting?
Composting involves collecting a variety of organic materials, like garden waste and food scraps, and decomposing them into a soil-like mixture that will help your plants thrive.
When you compile your organic waste naturally, microorganisms and other creatures in the pile will break them down and transform them into a rich, dark peat that is jam-packed with nutrients. This substance can then be used to nourish your veggie garden, houseplants, or flowerbeds, and is essentially free!
What Are the Advantages?
There are almost too many benefits to name! Firstly, compost enriches any soil you add it to, which is essential considering the worrying erosion of our soils worldwide. It also cuts your need for chemical fertilizers greatly, and introduces healthy beneficial bacteria back into the soil.
Composting is also fantastic for the environment, as it reduces harmful methane emissions from landfills and incorporates natural matter back into the ecosystem where it belongs.
It will also significantly lower your carbon footprint, while keeping your garden healthier in the process. Best of all, it’s so easy that you could be back to playing online bingo NZ in a matter of minutes!
What You Can Add to Your Heap
Wondering what to add to your compost heap, and what to save for recycling or binning instead? All compost heaps need three basic ingredients; brown items like dead twigs and leaves, green items like veggie and fruit scraps, coffee grounds and grass clippings, and good old water.
Once you have this base, you can toss a wide variety of waste items into your pile, no matter what the weather.
Just a few options include vegetables and fruits, eggshells, tea bags, nut shells and fruit pits, coffee grounds, paper, cardboard and shredded newspaper, garden refuse, grass cuttings, leaves, straw, sawdust, cotton rags, wood chips, hair and pet fur, and even ashes from your fireplace!
Where You Can Create a Compost Heap
Ideally, you will want to place your compost heap outside – but that doesn’t mean you need a massive, sprawling garden for it.
It’s best to pick a shady and dry spot near a regular water source to put your heap or bin. Once you have a location, simply add the three golden ingredients mentioned above in alternating layers, and add brown waste as your top layer to prevent odours.
Water the pile regularly, and turn it with a shovel or pitchfork to keep it aerated. Once the material at the bottom of the bin or pile is rich, dark or well broken-down (which will take 4-6 months), your fresh compost is ready to use.
To read more on topics like this, check out the home & garden category.