Sustainable Tip: Give Back to The Earth
Creating compost is one of my favorite ways to practice sustainability. I'd categorize that as reusing and recycling. This blog is a beginners guide to making compost anywhere and with minimal items; most items you either already have or can find anywhere!
RoseRenee | January 8, 2021
Waste Not; Want Not
is something that was drilled into my head as a child, but as I got older I realized that this saying wasn't really being applied in my household. Now that I'm older and on my own I've found that my favorite way to practice the "waste not; want not" saying is by creating my own compost.
I'm no longer wasting food by just throwing it in the trash can because who really knows what they do with that? I'd rather know where my food is going and give back to the earth. One of my favorite ways to give back to the earth is creating compost.
What is Compost?
Compost is organic material that can be added to soil to help your plants grow. It can be used as a natural fertilizer for your plants. To me a good compost is made of organic materials that create a mineral-rich soil, which I like to call, "that good soil".
Good Soil Components
There are various things you can put into compost, but if you want some of "that good soil", then here's a list of things that you can put into your compost:
Organic Fruits and Vegetables *See Notes*
Rain-Water *See Notes*
Do not get overwhelmed by all the items you've just read!
You can start off with just fruits and vegetables and work your way into adding the other items. I started out with just fruits and vegetables and later realized that all the other items were around me. You can also get the following items free when you shop. For example, when I go shopping at my local grocery store and I forget my reusable bags, the store members will package my groceries in a paper bag. After I've finished removing my groceries, I'll use the doubled paper bag to store my food scraps until it's time to take them outside. I then add everything into the compost; including the bag.
How To Make Compost
Despite the excuses you may have heard, compost can be made anywhere; any time. All you need is the following items:
A bucket with a handle and lid
A container with a lid or a doubled paper bag
Some of the following items listed above
Step 1. Make Space For The Compost
You'll want to make space outside for your compost; it doesn't have to be big, just find a spot that isn't to lit by the sun. Keeping your compost away from an excessive amount of sun will allow it to retain moisture to give your plants "the goods" that they crave.
If you live in an apartment, your space just needs to be big enough for your bucket to fit. You'll also want to have an area where you can take the lid off to stir and air out your compost. If you have a large enough area like a backyard, then you can use that. Preferably a space that has already been exposed with dirt or soil. If using an outside space, I'd still recommend putting a barrier around it to avoid any animals getting in. You can also buy a compost bin or you can make one, but if you decide to make one make sure you have ventilation and something to cover it to obtain moisture.
Lastly, you'll need an area in your kitchen or trash area to store the scraps that'll be placed inside of your compost.
Step 2. Starting Your Compost
Now that you have your space, there's nothing to it but to do it!
The next time you make your meal, save the pieces of your fruits and vegetables that you don't eat and add them to that container or paper bag that you set aside in your home. These can include, carrot tops, garlic and onion skins, apple cores,...etc.
Once you're done cooking, add the scraps that you set aside to the outside area/bucket and close the lid. If you have a large enough area that you've dedicated to compost, then you can add your scraps there. Again...I really recommend creating a barrier around your compost or making your own compost bin if starting it in an open space to avoid attracting animals.
Now let's discuss maintaining your amazing compost!
Maintaining Your Compost
So now that you've successfully started your compost, it's important to keep it up and healthy. Taking care of compost can be like taking care of a plant. Make sure it's well-moisturized and rich with good nutrients.
If you're doing it in a bin and apartment, then air it out for a couple of hours and close the lid at night. You'll want to rotate/stir your compost 1-2 times every week. If you have an open area then you'll want to rotate/stir it every 1-2 weeks, but still close it at night.
A good compost will not smell as horrible as most may think, so if it smells bad then start tracking what you put in there that's causing the smell.
Your compost should be ready in about two weeks to a month! You'll then be able to add it to your plants sparingly and trust me..you'll definitely receive a lot of good love and growth from your plants!
Organic Fruits and Vegetables- You can put any fruit or vegetable in your compost, but, for hard things such as lemon rind, avocado skin, onion..etc you'll want to cut those up into smaller pieces so the break down process can be quicker.
Rain Water- In small amounts can be good for your plants, so why not add it to your compost? I mean you want the best compost, yes? Once I started adding rain water to my compost and feeding it to my plants, they started thriving and I mean growing like crazy! Give it a try and watch that magic work!
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