Project Greenify - Eco gardening - Compost

Straight to the Compost

A large chunk of our everyday activities generates waste. Cooking food for meals, going grocery shopping, or doing some gardening work all lead to waste production in one way or another. It is no surprise that the average household generates approximately 3kg of waste per day. Imagine that amount multiplied by the global population count!

At this point, it is reasonable to feel overwhelmed by these figures. However, rather than overwhelm, this blog’s goal is to establish a sense of urgency to take action.

The big challenge that this week’s blog wants to convey is this: do whatever it takes to reduce waste that ends up in landfills.

What’s Project Greenify’s recommendation? Start your very own compost bin today.

Food scraps account for around 22% of landfill solid waste. When you maintain a compost bin at home, you help divert these types of waste  away from landfills and are instead stored within homes and are then used to create “finished compost.”

Finished compost is then used as a conditioner for soil as it is rich in nutrients needed for improved plant growth. It even earned its nickname “black gold” for its promised gardening benefits.

How Do You Compost for Beginners?

Creating home compost is very simple and beginner-friendly. All you need is a good bin and commitment to maintenance.

We will be dedicating the next sections of this blog to choosing good compost bins. In the meantime, this section will be talking about compost bin maintenance.

Yes, you have to maintain your compost bin because there is such thing as a healthy compost pile. There is what most people consider a golden ratio to achieve this healthy pile. This ratio involves both green and brown waste. Below are examples of both waste types:

Green waste:

  • food scraps
  • coffee grounds/ used tea bags
  • garden scraps
  • fresh grass clippings

Brown waste:

  • brown leaves
  • branches and twigs
  • newspaper
  • paper napkins

Your compost bin must have two to three times as much brown waste as green waste. Too much green waste will develop a displeasing odor to your pile. Those who practice composting recommend alternating the layers of browns and greens, starting with a layer of browns. By doing so, the base pile has good air circulation. Make sure the final or top layer is composed of brown waste to avoid the development of odor. Add in some soil here and there too to introduce more organisms that will aid in the composting process.

The microorganisms in your pile will need air and water. So, once the pile is built, leave it for around a week. After a week, turn your pile in order to aerate it. Make sure you water it a little too. It only needs small amounts of watering so make sure you cover your compost bin during heavy rains and other extreme weather conditions.

Once you nail this green waste, brown waste, water, and air mixture, you are sure to produce finished compost every few months. Finished compost is a dark brown matter with a loose crumbly texture.

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What Type of Compost Bin Is Best?

The type of compost bin you use is totally up to your preference.

To aid your decision-making process on what compost bin to choose, here are a few types you should consider:

Continuous composters –

These are big bins that are usually sealed on the top with covers. They’re called “continuous” because you can keep adding new waste for composting at any time. Finished compost is easily filtered in the bottom portion of the bin. Producing finished compost with this type of bin is relatively slower especially because you keep adding new waste every now and then.

Batch composters –

As its name implies, batch composters produce finished compost in batches. After a batch of waste is thrown into the bin, you have to continuously monitor the pile by turning it around, and providing sufficient water and air to it. Batch composters are best when you want to quickly produce finished compost.

Indoor composters –

These bins are usually small in size to fit small indoor spaces like your kitchen.

Outdoor Batch Composter
Comfortable to turn!
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What Is the Best Compost Bin for Beginners?

Indoor composters may be the best option for beginners.

Indoor compost bins are used for small-scale composting. Beginners may want to get a hang of the whole process first before committing to larger-scale compost bins. However, if beginners prefer to start with low-maintenance compost bins, they may want to consider continuous composters instead.

Bin for Collecting Food Waste
for Composting
Click on pic for more details!

What Is the Best Location for A Compost Bin?

Good finished compost comes from a healthy and well-balanced pile. However, this pile also needs to be stored under ideal conditions.

A compost pile needs sufficient, air, heat, and water. Most people recommend placing your pile under reasonable shade. The shade prevents too much water evaporation, which in turn helps keep the pile moist. Worm bins, specifically, are best positioned under the shade because these worms fare well in cool conditions. Another thing to consider for your compost location is good drainage. This is because your pile must maintain certain dampness, but it must not be soaked.

How Long Does It Take for Compost to Be Ready?

There are a lot of things that factor in on the speed of finished compost production. The fastest method can produce mature compost as soon as four weeks.

The fastest way to produce mature compost is through the use of batch composters. Since they are closely monitored through regular turning, and because enclosed bins better regulate temperature, they speed up the composting process. This method of composting can produce finished compost in about four to eight weeks, especially when the pile mixture is done right.

How to Use Finished Compost?

Finished compost is best used as a soil conditioner for gardening.

It is important to emphasize that finished compost is not a fertilizer, nor is it meant to replace fertilizers. However, its use does significantly reduce the need to apply fertilizer to your plants. What finished compost does is it helps hold nutrients and water in the soil which aids in plant growth.

What Do You Do with Compost If You Don’t Have A Garden?

Using finished compost for gardening is one of its most acknowledged uses. However, people who do not garden may simply perform the practice as a way of solid waste management alone.

If you are not one to enjoy tending to a garden or don’t even have space for one to begin with, you can still try out this sustainable practice for the sole purpose of solid waste management. If you do end up producing finished compost, you may share it with neighbors who need it for their garden. A win-win situation indeed!

Complete Guide for Composting
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