by Berenice Westmore September 18, 2019 4 min read
Despite common misconceptions, composting is NOT complicated, does NOT make your household smell bad and it does NOT have to attract unwanted pests. Composting is possible in even the tiniest of apartments and you don’t even need a garden. There are various collectors in our cities who will come and collect your organic waste for you, or you can drop it off at one of your local composting plants. If you do have a garden, you can use the compost you produce as an all-natural fertilizer that promotes healthy plant growth.
Get your hands on a composting bin. Garden composters (like Postwink’s example in this image) can store large amounts of organic waste away from pests and sunlight. Alternatively, you can make your own by adapting an existing plastic bin or container, just make sure you drill small holes in the plastic to allow for airflow but make sure they are not big enough for birds and rodents to enter!
Follow our guide of what you can compost and start collecting organic waste from your kitchen and garden to add to your bin. A nice mixture of brown waste (dry leaves, cardboard, paper etc.) and green waste (vegetable peelings, cut grass, coffee grinds etc.) will create a compost that is neither too dry or too wet. This will result in a mixture that is not too soggy and will reduce potential pests. However, remember that while we are trying to avoid birds and rodents; worms, bugs and microbes are natures way of breaking down organic waste and therefore these organisms are your friends!
After a few months your compost will be ready. Your very own, all natural, nutrient-rich, eco-friendly, plant super food! Mix it in with some regular soil and watch your plants thrive.
In addition to the conventional method of composting described in the 4 easy steps above, there is an ingenious alternative that can be utilized in even the tiniest of apartments. I introduce you to Bokashi composting!
Invented by the Japanese Professor Teruo Higa from the University of the RyuKyus in Okinawa, Bokashi composting breaks down organic waste through anaerobic (devoid of oxygen) fermentation instead of regular aerobic decomposition. You simply deposit your food waste into the bin and for each layer you add a sprinkle of the earth bokashi bran. The bran contains micro-organisms that rapidly break down the food waste through fermentation. The liquid produced can be tapped off throughout this process and used to fertilize your plants or poured down the drain to clean your drainage system and prevent blockages.
Once your Bokashi bin is full, set it aside to ferment for an additional 2 weeks, after which it will be ready bury in your garden or add to your pot plants. If you don’t have either of these available, donate it to a friend or family member who has a garden! The bokashi will improve soil health and nutrients, enabling your plants to thrive.
So, there you have it, composting is so easy and so beneficial for the environment there really is no excuse not to start your own home-composting initiative today. Spread the word and share your expertise with friends and family and get them to start composting too!