Ever wonder what to do with your leftover food from your meals? Composting is a great way to turn your scraps into a natural, sustainable fertilizer. Read on to learn how you can easily start your own compost in your home and the benefits it has on the environment!
The most important thing is to know what you can or cannot compost. You can add things to your pile such as orange and banana peels, lawn clippings, eggshells. You can add fruits, vegetables, coffee grounds and filters, and other organic materials. You can even put cardboard and paper in your composter! What you can’t add is any products that come from animals- dairy or meat- pet wastes, fats and oils, coal, charcoal, diseased or chemically treated plants. You also can’t put paper with special finishes on it in compost. A good rule to determine what paper can’t be composted is that any paper that is shiny or feels plasticky or smoother than normal paper can’t be put in compost. Examples of this kind of paper are magazines, photo paper, wrapping paper, and laminated paper.
The First Steps
First you might be thinking, how can I start composting? There are different ways to compost depending on your living situation.
If you have a backyard, you need to find a spot that is dry, shady, and close to a water source, like a hose, for your pile or your bin. Add the compostable materials to the bin and make sure they are shredded or broken down into smaller pieces. This makes it easier and quicker for the materials to decompose. Add water to the dry materials to add some moisture and cover the pile or bin with something to keep moisture in and pests out.
If you do not have a backyard, there are many indoor composting bins that you can find at your local hardware or gardening supply store. Then, you do the same as you would with your outdoor compost pile.
Around 2 to 5 weeks later your compost should be ready to use!
Compost Uses and Benefits
Now that you know how to start composting, here are some ways you can use the compost and some reasons you should. You can put the compost around your plants, on your lawn, and in your garden to help enrich the soil. Soil retains nutrients from old plant and animal material. Plants deplete these nutrients, and sometimes they are not replenished. Adding the compost will help put those essential nutrients back in so the soil stays healthy and plants can continue to grow. This reduces the need for chemical and inorganic fertilizers which can runoff into our water systems and can cause negative environmental effects. It also reduces your carbon footprint as it reduces the methane emissions generated by decomposing food and other natural materials in landfills.
Here is my source for this article. It also has full list of compostable and non-compostable materials:
~ Written by Hannah Shapiro ~