If you struggle to cut down on food waste but you hate the thought of it ending up in landfill, there is an alternative. You can use leftover food scraps to make your own compost.
Making your own compost is great for the environment. It can also be really satisfying too. So, how can you make your own compost and what should you know before you do?
Why Create Your Own Compost?
Composting is a natural process which can greatly benefit the environment. Research has shown that more than half of all food that is thrown away could be used for compost. So, what are the benefits?
Making your own compost saves a ton of emissions. Did you know for example, that composting at home for one year can save the same amount of CO2 as what your washing machine uses in three months?
As well as being better for the environment, it can also save you money and give your garden more nutrients. It helps to balance out the PH level of soil, while improving the condition of plants and flowers.
What Will You Need?
If you do decide to make your own compost, there are a few things you’re going to need. These include:
- A compost bin/barrel
- A well-drained space
- Organic material
You’re going to need a good barrel or compost bin to get started. You’ll find these are readily available online. You can even find small compost bins that are ideal for smaller gardens. It will also need a well-drained space to live.
Worms and organic material are the most important ingredients. The worms help to break down the compost, adding nutrients to it as they work. You can purchase compost worms online or find some in your garden.
The compost should consist of garden waste as well as food waste.
What Food Can You Compost?
So, what kind of food can you throw on the compost heap? Fruit and vegetable scraps tend to be the best options, alongside coffee grounds, dry leaves and eggshells. It may take a while for eggshells to decompose, however, so throw these in sparingly.
The Things You Should Never Compost
What about the things you should never add to your compost? The following foods and items should never be composted…
- Oil, fat and grease
- Dairy products
- Diseased plant materials
You’ll also want to avoid adding citrus peelings, onions and garlic. The reason for this is because these foods can repel worms. As you need the worms to break down the compost, you don’t need anything in there that will put them off!
These are the basics of making your own compost. You can find useful videos if you take a look online, as well as more advanced advice.
Did you know for example that there are two types of composting? You can either make hot or cold compost. Researching the difference and the methods for both will help you to determine which type of compost you should be making at home.