Banana/Potato/Carrot or literally any veggie or fruit Peal
You must me wondering why I am inaugurating the article with TRASH. (Mmm well not quite). If I ask you to check out your kitchen bin right now, there is like 80% chance that one of these items would be resting in it.
*As you get shocked at my very on-point guess * See, told ya!
But no, it’s not just you. Most of us carelessly throw all these into the bin multiple times every day. Now why I write ‘carelessly’ here? It is because no, these don’t belong to the bin. These aren’t useless. These can be turned into compost, and that can, in the bigger picture, save the planet. So let’s have a deeper look at it.
Compost simply as the Wikipedia tells, is a mixture of ingredients used to fertilize and improve the soil. It helps plants to grow and is often regarded as ‘Black Gold’. And made by a process called Composting.
Composting is the breaking down or recycling of organic matter like the food scrape and skins, leaves, garden waste and more, naturally, and into a very nutritious supplement or fertilizer. It is where organic material is decomposed into smaller units of organic and inorganic compound. This disposal is done by the attending microorganisms in the presence of oxygen and moisture. This ‘food not eaten’ by us is, as I like to call it, a yummy (also the healthiest) meal for your garden and encourages healthy growth and improves the water holding capacity of the soil. It is in every literal sense, making trash into treasure!
Now that we are slightly more clear about the ‘what’, lets jump to the ‘Why’.
Composting has a lot of benefits, ranging diversely from as small as saving the bucks you pay to get your yard leaves and waste cleaned to as big as helping the entire planet (no, not kidding, hear us out!)
- Reduces waste sent to the landfills : The greatest benefit of composting individually by yourself at home, is that it reduces your contribution to the landfill waste. This prevents the landfill waste overflow which further assists better decomposition in the presence of the required oxygen, by the bacteria. It also saves space and financial spending by limiting the need for more landfills.
- Reduces Greenhouse Gas and hence Global Warming : As stated above, the lesser burden on the landfill allows decomposition in presence of proper oxygen. Now this eliminates or at least hugely reduces the emission of the Methane gas by the bacteria. Methane gas is a highly harmful gas as it leads to global warming.
- Soil Friend : It is an almost essential for the soil. Composting conditions overall soil health and productivity by improving soil structure, keeping it in the best condition, as well as its texture, the aeration, its fertility. Not only the soil, it also encourages healthy roots in plants and keep any plant diseases at bay. Composting also improves agriculture.
- Water : In addition to all the benefits composting has on the soil, it furthermore enhances the soil’s capacity to hold and retain water and replenishes it. This eliminates the need for as much water required by the soil whilst uncompromising the yields.
- Reduces Need of Fertilizers : Compost acts as a natural fertilizer for the soil, that is extremely healthy and nutritious for it and is also free from any chemicals or toxins
(hence the name Black Gold!). This also the cost that goes into buying fertilizers.
- Recycles Kitchen and Garden waste: Not only does it reduce the amount of waste that goes into the landfill but in line also reduces the amount that goes into your own home bin.
Evident from the above stated pointers, it is very good for the overall environment and in more ways than one. It is a very good alternative to the prolonged ways of waste management and is a huge step towards sustainable living (love to hear that) and a greener and healthier Earth!
Keeping aside another WH, now get into ‘How’.
Composting can sound tough, demanding, cumbersome. This can further be felt even troublesome, basically almost impossible (did to me) to do it when you live in an urban setting, an apartment or any small space with no kitchen garden or yard. But (BUT), it ain’t so. Not only is it possible but also very much doable. Following is the entire strenuous-sounding process of composting served into easy to understand and do pointers (thank us later!) :
- Select a suitable place. In the case of small spaces here, a balcony would absolutely work.
- Get your tools ready. Have a compost bin. Easy to use and cheap to get.
- Coming to what to compost. The pile requires the three basics:
- The Brown Stuff – These bring carbon to the pile, includes dry materials like leaves, dead plants, twigs, straw, newspapers clippings, branches, coffee fillers etc.
- The Green Stuff – These are all the nitrogen dense materials such as all the veggie and fruit peels, scraps, leaves, coffee grinds, tea bags, top and end parts of fruits and vegetables, egg shells, etc. Compile as much organic food scraps you can.
- 02 and H20 – Oxygen and Water(Moisture) are adequately needed by the ones at work, the decomposers. Both in careful quantities, considering the compost pile, location, climate and more.
- Now coming to the main step, Composting – Now add these materials into your bin. But in a particular fashion. This is where layering, which is the very important, comes into picture. Layer the pile in the BROWNS, GREENS, BROWNS, GREENS order.
- Wait and Watch. After pile’s ready, let the trash magic happen. Keep an eye on the temperature, should be warm/hot; the moisture level, should be moist but not drenched wet: and aeration, should get adequate oxygen, for which keep mixing and turning the pile every now and then. This will also eliminate odor and also determines composting speed.
- And voila! You have got a nutritious pile ready for your ground and greens.