Beginner’s Guide to Composting

Composting is a great way to help the environment by cutting down on resource waste. Leftover food and old materials such as paper, clothes and other decaying organic matter can be turned into effective, nutrient providers for plants through the process of composting.

Before deciding to discard your leftover dinner, your old newspapers or torn and unworn clothes into the bin, consider their use for composting! If everyone plays their part in reducing resource waste in these small ways, it’ll bring big benefits to our environment!

If you feel this urge to help the environment and reduce waste, then you may want to begin by composting. However, attempting composting as a beginner can be difficult without sufficient knowledge. So, to help you out, we’ve come up with some tips for you to follow so you can start your composting journey off right!

Balance browns and greens

When composting, it’s important to have a good balance of carbon (browns) and nitrogen( (greens). An ideal aim for a good compost is 50% carbon and 50% nitrogen. Some carbon producing waste includes paper, cardboard and dry leaves. Nitrogen producing wastes include mainly food scraps such as fruits and vegetables.

Slice up waste

If the process of decomposition is taking too long, likelihood is that your scraps are too large and therefore take a longer time to break down. Cutting up your waste, be it paper or food scraps, provides larger surface area for bacteria to grow, significantly speeding up the decomposition process. A good well chopped up compost would take between 1-3 months to be ready for use.

Log your compost progress

It is important to frequently check on your compost. Keeping a log of your compost’s progress helps you to pay attention to the needs and changes of your compost. Note down the differences between weeks such as the change of colour, are there pests, any foul smells, is it too damp? Keeping track of such details will greatly benefit future composting attempts!

Avoid animal feces & cat litter

Although it makes sense to use animal waste or cat litter to add into your pile of compost, it isn’t a healthy solution. Animal feces harbor lots of bacteria, germs, viruses and parasites. Adding them into your compost could end up spreading diseases in your home.

Avoid meat, fish & dairy

To prevent pests and unpleasant smells, it is important to avoid use of meat, fish and dairy. These forms of waste release foul but inviting smells to pests and flies when decomposing. To avoid flies and a pest infestation or a foul odour, avoid using such forms of waste.

Remove Produce Stickers

One common mistake made when composting is that produce stickers are left on when thrown into a composting pile! As these stickers are made from plastic, they don’t decompose. Most of the time, this can be done out of forgetfulness, so be sure to check your produce before adding them in!

With the right methods, composting can be made simple, even for beginners! If you’re looking to start your composition journey, these tips will definitely come in handy!