Composting…. Where do I start?

compost

At Sun2u, we believe in green living and reducing our carbon footprint wherever possible. One of the really easy things you can do to be more environmentally friendly at home, is starting a composting pile.

What is compost?

It’s a mild, slow release fertiliser that is completely natural. It’s organically produced and will improve plant growth and increase the yield of your veggie patch, by returning valuable nutrients to the soil.

What are the other benefits of composting?

Some of the advantages of composting include:

  • Reduction of landfill waste – When biodegradable matter is thrown out with regular household rubbish, it ends up in a compacted pile in landfill. The compaction prevents your food scraps from access to oxygen, which is required for a cleaner process of decay. Consequently, more methane and other greenhouse gases are produced. When composting, oxygen facilitates natural decomposition, which produces no harmful emissions.
  • It’s nature’s own recycling system – Occurring naturally in ecosystems around the world, composting is a natural process of organic matter degrading and replenishing that which is still living. The process is completely organic, and the waste produced is as rich as the nutrients that were put into it to start with.
  • Anything that was living or has been grown can be composted – the list of items you can compost is quite extensive. Generally, anything that was once living or was grown from the earth can be composted. Some items you may not have thought of as compostable include; crushed egg shells, coffee grounds, hemp or cotton tea bags, used napkins and paper towels, cooked rice and pasta, stale bread, cardboard boxes (remove any plastic windows), peanut shells, chopped up wine corks, stale beer and wine, facial tissues, hair from brushes, toilet paper rolls, nail clippings, old cotton clothing (shredded), used paper bills, pencil shavings, newspapers, used matches, flowers, feathers, pet hair and dried cat or dog food.
  • Composting can reduce household wastage by 20-50% – have you found that you’re filling the general waste bin too quickly each week? Why not start a compost pile? You could substantially reduce the amount of wastage in your bin and not have to spend the last moments before collection day squeezing some space for one more bag.
  • It’s a great environmental lesson for the children – composting can teach all of us about the natural life cycle of organic matter, as well as important lessons on being environmentally responsible and taking care of our planet.

compost

How do I start my own compost pile?

  • Step 1 – Make the decision to start today.
  • Step 2 – Choose a location, think; convenient, close to a hose/water, shielded from the wind and elements, and good drainage. You may want a smaller one inside too- and that will need a lid to prevent unpleasant odours.
  • Step 3 – Purchase the indoor and outdoor bin of your choosing.
  • Step 4 – Start collecting the appropriate items and placing in your indoor bin/ outdoor bin.
  • Step 5 – Begin the process. Ensure you have a large layer of brown material as the base, then alternate layers between green and brown. For optimal breakdown speed, you’ll need to turn the pile and mix the contents. Alternatively, you can purchase a compost tumbler, which is a quicker and easier way to accomplish this.
  • Step 6 – Enjoy the advantages… not only are you reducing your household waste and contribution to local landfill, you can use your compost to enrich your soil and watch your garden grow.

For more information on green living, or on how you can save the environment AND save money on electricity by employing the power of the sun, give us a call at Sun2u on 4001 0505.