Habit of the Month: Composting

July 7, 2010 at 9:13 pm 1 comment

This month, our habit of the month is Composting. Composting is easy for almost everyone but if you don’t have a garden (or a friend with a garden) you won’t realize the return. Compost is gold for any garden (even containers) and you don’t have to do much at all to create great compost. Composting prevents tons of material from going to the landfill that is specially designed to NOT decompose.

The first thing you need is a covered container to keep your food scraps in before you take them out to the bin. The size depends on how much food scraps you create and how often you want to take them out. Don’t use any meat, oil or dairy products to avoid getting pests. Dead and dying remains of fruits and vegetables, coffee grounds, egg shells any paper products that are biodegradable can be added.

The second thing you need is a compost bin, pile or vermiculture setup. Bins can be purchased at almost all garden stores or made with just simple material. See the Garden Tips section for information on building a outdoor bin like we built at the school garden. There are literally hundreds of websites and videos on composting. Some make it sound like rocket science but don’t worry … compost happens! Getting better at it just means you can create compost faster. Essential ingredients are green stuff (food stuff from your covered container, grass clippings, green leaves), brown stuff (dried leaves, small stems, cardboard), air, water and compost or soil starter. As you build your bin, layer these. There are tons of different “compost recipes” but unless you are measuring dry weight (I’m not drying out my garbage!) most are overwhelming. Keep a relative mix and check out how things are going by turning. If you turn your bin every week or so, that introduces more air and the process goes faster. Add a little water if it seems dry. Just remember that anything you do will speed up the processing … if you don’t do anything, compost still happens!

This column highlights little changes toward a more sustainable life. Each month we feature one small thing that you can do each day in just minutes. You may already be doing it so find ways to adapt and improve. Studies show that it takes about 20 days to establish a habit. By having a habit of the month, we are constantly establishing more sustainable lives.

Entry filed under: Composting, Newsletters. Tags: , .

Hot or Cold Composting Reflections on Kealia Pond Beach Clean-up

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July 2010

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