There are a lot of miracles that occur in nature: The Aurora Borealis, The Great Barrier Reef, and the ability for natural waste (leaves, veggie peelings, other produce leftovers) to biodegrade into essential nutrients for rich soil. With the current health craze leaning towards “going green”, composting is one of the easiest things a family can do to reduce their carbon footprint and assist the environment in a natural way. By turning everyday waste into compost, you will not only diminish the amount of trash in landfills, you will be getting free, 100 percent organic fertilizer for your flower beds, garden or lawn.
While many major cities have added mandatory composting bins to their curbside collection, it is still not a global concept. Check your local municipality to see if you have a local composting center, and if not you can follow this guide to compost your own waste yourself.
The most common mistake of any gardening project is to bite off more than you can chew. Especially if it is your first time to take a whack at gardening, you aren’t going to want to end up looking at a half-finished mess in your yard. Simply start with a plastic bin in a designated corner where you pile all of your organic waste and work your way up from there.
Pick a Reasonable Location
You wouldn’t put your kitchen garbage can in your bedroom or living room, so make sure the compost refuse is in a convenient location (close to your kitchen or garden) or you might not get as much mileage out of them as possible. You don’t even technically need an actual bin to start composting – just get a pile of leaves going in your back yard and add the organic waste to it. Keep a tight lidded compost container under the sink for quick kitchen waste, and add to your pile once it’s full.
Brown and Green Material Only!
You are going to want to only put organic material in to your compost pile. Brown materials will be the dead leaves and plants from your yard; Green materials are going to be the waste from produce, wet grass clippings, vegetable peels, etc. You should try to avoid putting meats, oils, fruit, and nonperishable items like disposable diapers in to the pile as they can attract rodents and slow the entire biodegrading process down.
Pro-Tip: Remember that water is necessary for attracting fungi, worms and bacteria. If you live in a region with a dry climate or dry season, remember to water your compost pile and place a cover over it to conserve the water more effectively.
After around 6-12 months, the compost pile that you’ve been slowly growing and developing should be ready for use in your garden! Once it has turned into a dark and sweet smelling dirt, you can use it as a nutrient supplement for your flowerbeds and planter boxes.
Not only is this a great way to do your part to keep your garden green with items you’d just throw out anyway – you’re helping save the planet!