WegoWise's Friday Links: 5 Ways to Compost Your Waste
This week, we’re giving you five ways to start composting your leftover food waste to start reusing at home. But first, here’s a great picture of our favorite office dog Einstein enjoying the pool at doggy daycare. If we say he’s the happiest one in the pool, can you tell which dog is ours?
Now back to today’s topic – why is everyone so interested in composting these days? The organic material that you would otherwise throw in the trash simply ends up in a landfill and never actually breaks down. By composting, you can reduce the amount of trash you throw away every week and also produce a homemade fertilizer for your plants that’s completely free of harmful chemicals. This saves many people money associated with trash fees, and it saves everyone money to make their own fertilizer! Here are five different techniques you can try today:
Vermicomposting uses worms to do all of your work. After you bury your food waste under damp bedding, worms will essentially eat through your waste and produce fertilizer. Didn’t anyone ever tell you that most dirt is just worm poop? This method can be easy especially for those with less space in an apartment. Some also believe that worm compost can prevent plant diseases.
If you have an area in your yard where you know you want to grow plants, dig a trench and begin a compost pile. Next year, you’ll have free fertilizer already in your soil. This method is free and fairly easy in terms of labor, but it takes between 6 months and 1 year to produce your final compost material.
Pile composting is exactly what it sounds like: a giant heap of your organic waste. One major necessary factor in this method is space, so if you’re in an urban area, it might not be the best option. For all you rural readers, consider pile composting if you don’t want to pay for any additional materials or put in any regular physical labor. The downside of this method is that it takes anywhere between 1 and 3 years to produce usable fertilizer. These “cold” composts should not be larger than 5 feet tall to prevent essential air pockets from collapsing inside the heap.
4. Hot compost
This method is similar to the Pile Compost, but it’s much faster. If you’re willing to turn your waste at least twice a week, and invest in some sort of tarp that will keep your compost warm, this method might be for you. Hot composting also requires a significantly greater ratio of brown, woody materials (carbon-rich) than green kitchen scraps or grass clippings (nitrogen-rich). The recommended ratio is 25 parts carbon to 1 part nitrogen. This is also a great source of physical exercise!
A tumbler is an easy and clean investment for composting your waste. Since it is an enclosed and raised area, it can be more convenient for smaller spaces and easier to turn. Because they are closed units, they are also a good method for keeping any hungry critters out. Costs for tumbler composts run anywhere between $15 and $200 depending on the size, but you can also make one yourself from a 55-gallon drum or tightly lidded plastic garbage can.
Be sure to keep in mind the kind of critters that might roam around your compost looking for food. Some methods may work better than others to keep animals away. Finally, remember that composing involves a combination of your food waste and plant waste, like leaves. So, fall might be the perfect time to start getting good use of the leaves all over your lawn! Happy composting from the WegoWise team.