So, you want to become a composter? You've heard about how much waste you can save from landfill & you want to finish the cycle for your EarthMail Packs So how do you get started?
1. Decide which compost unit suits your needs and situation.
If you have a garden, consider a typical compost bin. If you have an outdoor space but not so much a ‘garden’, consider a green cone. If a balcony or windowsill is your only outdoor space, consider an indoor/bench top unit or a DIY indoor compost bin. As we said, no matter what your living situation, composting is a way you can be reducing your landfill and entering the mind frame of a circular economy.
2. Consider what you’ll do with the compost once it’s ready.
It takes about 4 – 6 months for a compost pile generally takes to be ready. So take this time to work out how to best use your nutrient rich compost gold. Gardeners will delight in distributing it around their garden or house plants, but those with no garden need to think a little harder. Some councils collect compost. Some cafes collect compost. Some neighbours will love you more if you give them your compost. You can always become a guerrilla composter and distribute it amongst the green spaces in your community. The only limit is your imagination.
3. Get your materials together.
There are a few materials you may want to have on hand to kick off your composting journey. But luckily these are all things that you will find readily available either around your home or local hardware store: for distributing around the garden.
A small indoor compost bucket – for storing food scraps from the kitchen. You can also just use an old ice-cream container or something similar.
Carbon material – aka brown stuff: twigs, newspaper, straw, wood ash, dried leaves, egg shells, coffee grounds and EarthMail Packs & other certified home compostable bioplastics
Nitrogen material – aka green stuff: food scraps, green manure including clover, lawn clippings etc, manure.
If you’re using an open compost unit, you’ll need some vermin-proofing material, like chicken wire. Lay this under and around the bin to keep rodents out (they will steal the food scraps, from your precious heap).
4. Get the carbon: nitrogen ratio right.
Once you set up your bin, it’s just a matter of piling stuff in. For a healthy and efficient compost you should stick to a ratio of 1/3 green (nitrogen) to 2/3 brown (carbon) material. The brown stuff keeps your compost pile aerated (which keeps worms and micro-organisms happy) and keeps it from smelling.
5. Turn your compost pile once in a while.
You can work your compost so you don’t have to turn it by adding enough carbon material. Or you can purchase a compost bin that does not need any turning whatsoever, like this Aerobin. Otherwise it’s simply a matter or sticking your shovel in and giving it a little poke around every once in a while to ensure air gets in all the nooks and crannies and the green material and brown material are mixed nicely. No big deal.