On an average each individual person produces about 4 pounds of wast a day! Isn’t that just insane? What could you do with some of the waste you make? Something that really doesn’t call for much work at all would probably be ideal. There is something you could do with some of the waste you produce and that would be to make a compost! Composting is pretty simple and easy it really wouldn’t take much time out of your day to do so.
About a year ago , when we first moved into our new home, I decided it was time to create a compost. Composting is not only great for reducing waste in the land fill but it can and should be used to promote your garden’s health or even your lawn if thats more your lifestyle.
Where to Start with Composting
Starting a compost really doesn’t take up much room. The best things about composting is that you can really take control about how much you have just by throwing some food away. Yet it also depends on your lifestyle and how you eat. You cannot, or at least should not, just throw anything in the pile and call it a day. You do, however, have to consider the science behind what is going on.
Composting is when you use natural matter ( leaves, food scraps, etc…) to start the natural process for recycling organic matter into valuable fertilizer or soil.
What to Compost
- coffee grounds
What NOT to Compost
- Meat Scraps
These are just a couple of lists with a very few of can and cannots.
A really beneficial resource that I still like to refer to is Pela.earth when is comes to those questionable compostable items. They have a list of items with items I would have never even thought to consider.
Where, How, When…?
So composting is pretty straight forward, you pretty much only have to throw some food scraps in a pile right? Right but that is not the only thing. Here some somethings to consider:
- Where you are going to keep your compost pile?
- City living or Country living?
- What will you use your compost for?
We live in the city and a backyard that hugs our neighbors yards pretty well. That being said I am extremely cautious when it comes to smells. Keeping the balance with your greens and browns will be your best friend if that may be a problem for you! But we will get back to that in a minute. Lets talk about what to store your compost in and how?
Lets start with the question of how much effort you would like to put in. There are so many type of fancy composter from indoor counter top composter to just picking a spot to throw some food scraps on the ground. And by saying that you can also spend $0 or $500 with all the different options you may want to take!
Today I am going to talk about some popular ones!
- Tumbling Compost Bin
- Stationary Compost Bin
Tumbling Compost Bins
These are a great choice if you don’t want to sacrifice must space and to help make sure you don’t create more than you may need. Having a tumbling bin will also help your compost decompose even faster.
Using a tumbling compost bin is pretty straight forward.
- Put your scraps into the bin
- Rotate the bin until you feel is mixed enough an go on your way!
The tumbling bin is great for starting out in my option. I wish this was the route we took when we started out being that we didn’t have much use for our compost right away
Stationary Compost Bin
A stationary compost bin is exactly that! It’s a bin that does not move! You just set it in the area you would like and let it be! I personally like to keep things moving with bins like this so your scraps can decompose a bit faster rather than just sitting.
Since we moved into our new house we went with a stationary compost bin. But instead of having a fancy contraption for it we found a food grade 55 gallon barrel and cut out the bottom and top to create as our compost area and that itself did the trick very well!
55 Gal Barrel (Food Grade)
Keeping the Balance
Now that you have educated your self on your options with where to store your scraps you need to think about the science just a tad. Don’t let that scare you like I stated before its really simple no overthinking is necessary.
Now when you start building up scraps there are two different “variations” to think about. Those two variations are referred too as greens, and browns. As I like to call them the living and the dead.
You eventually want to make sure the ratio is about even so you can prevent any unwanted smells. What do I mean by that you ask? You want to make sure you have the ABOUT the same amount of greens and browns to prevent and stench and to allow to decompose properly. Either way the outcome still is wonderful for any gardening or lawn care needs!
- Herbs and Spices
- Chicken manure
- Grass Clippings
- Some Fruits
- Tea Leaves
- Egg Cartons
- Cottons Balls
- Card Board
- Used Matches
- Pencil Shavings
And lastly if you have a stationary compost you will want to keep “mixing” it up often! it is pretty straight forward and doest cost anything. For our home we decided to find an old long shovel handle to mix up ours.
Good Luck on your gardening journey! Remember to enjoy the journey and allow your self to learn on the way!