Composting doesn’t take much time or effort compared to the amount of waste it eliminates.
- Jar or container with a lid. Keep it on the counter top or easily accessible in a cupboard
- Composting bin. You can purchase one or make your own. The best ones rotate or tumble making it easier to turn the contents. To break down the contents need air and moisture and turning speeds up the process.
- Garden fork if your composter isn’t a tumbler style.
- Vegetable scraps
- Fruit scraps
- Coffee grounds and filters
- Egg shells
- Dry leaves
- Grass clippings
- When the food scraps container is full, empty it into the compost bin. Add leaves or grass clippings when you have them. A balance of materials is good. Don’t put weeds or other undesirable plants in the composter. They may germinate later and you don’t want that.
- If you’d like items to compost faster sprinkle with water occasionally or leave the top open when it’s going to rain.
- To aerate the pile, if your bin doesn’t tumble, use a garden fork to turn it over every once in awhile. Turning frequency depends on the amount of materials being added and how often. If you add a lot of materials in a short amount of time turn more frequently.
The amount of time it takes for compost to be ready to use depends on the composter, climate, and other conditions. In warm more humid climates the food materials will break down faster. In colder, dryer climates it’ll take longer. In the winter months mine doesn’t break down at all.
Another thing to consider is having more than one bin, for a couple reasons. If you produce a lot of compostable material you may find you fill up the bin quickly. Fill one and move on to the next. If it takes awhile for material to compost down add material to a bin for a certain amount of time, say 4-6 months, stop adding to it and move on to the next. That way the material in the first bin can continue to break down.
Do not add meat scraps, cooked food, fat or oils, dairy products, weeds, or animal feces to the compost. These items can make the compost smell bad, attract animals and cause problems in the garden.
There are many small, seemingly insignificant things you can do to help the environment. You may be thinking how can I, just one person, make a difference. Well, when a whole bunch of individuals make a change the next thing you know there are millions of people doing it and that can have a HUGE impact!
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