Starting A Compost - Small Urban Space Inner City Composting
by HARPER SINCLAIR - On a quest to find the best sustainable alternatives to common products. I believe in supporting the sustainable fashion industry, choosing toxin-free cruelty-free beauty and living as sustainable as possible. It's always a work in progress. Education and knowledge are paramount. Every bit counts, fight for ecological change. XO Harper
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Starting A Compost - Small Urban Space Inner City Composting
Why Start Composting?
When you add food scraps to your landfill waste bin for collection you might think those scraps could in fact be helpful. Possibly you think they are better than the plastic in the landfill and will help break down the other waste.
Sadly this is not true. Adding food scraps to landfill waste changes the otherwise healthy nutrients into a toxin poisonous gas.
Food doesn’t belong in sealed landfills as they are anaerobic environments, meaning there is no oxygen available. In this environment, organics rot and produce methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
Food scraps and liquid also don’t belong in recycling as it can ruin your good efforts and prevent recyclables from being recycled.
What can you do? OwnMuse understands most of the people on this planet are living in small spaces, apartments, small houses. Composting can seem hard. It won't be once you start but starting and knowing whether to start is challenging.
You can do anything you put your mind too, you are your own muse. Often all that you need to do is get used to changing your daily habits.
We now have a compost, in fact we now have 3. Here is how we made it happen.
Deciding on which compost was the hardest step. Not wanting to get it wrong and have something that was intended to reduce emissions end up in landfill is a weighty decision.
There are council supplied composting programs. Currently, all are full in our area. Which is frustrating on so many levels I won't go in to here (I explain my frustration at the bottom of the post if you are interested).
This is a productive place to start. Google - 'Community compost near me...' (add in your country and state).
Bokashi compost bins are made from recycled plastic. You can add in general food waste, including all fruit, vegetables, eggshells, pasta, bread and coffee grounds can go in the Bokashi compost. You can also add dairy, meat, fish and bones. Most composts (in fact I don't know another) you can't add dairy, meat and bones too.
Created in Japan the word bokashi translates to "fermented organic matter". This compost has specifically be designed for those who need an urban compost. Ideal in small spaces, the Bokashi has no smell, doesn't need tumbling. You can store the bokashi compost under your kitchen sink.
Remember to sprinkle some of the Bokashi fine-grain mixture magic every time you add food scraps. The larger bags for the mixture are compostable!
As the Bokashi bucket fills you will be able to drain the liquid adding to your garden as fertilizer. Alternatively pour down your kitchen sink! It will clean your drains, the microbes help to break down waste in your water pipes (incredible).
Once full you have two options:
1. Leave the waste in your bokashi compost to ferment for 2 weeks. This method ideally you have a second bokashi compost to use while this one ferments. Possibly owning two bins works best, stacking the bins one on top of another. You can use one bin while the other ferments.
2. Once full add straight to your garden, planter or outdoor compost. Lightly bury the fermented waste for 2-3 weeks. An airtight container will be fine too! Which could sit out on your balcony if in an apartment? After the 2-3 weeks, you will have nutrient-rich soil to add to your garden.
For those living in apartments, you could pass the fermented waste on to a community garden, friends, relatives, schools or the apartment gardener, even urban farms.
So we have got this amazing machine which is a compost tumbler. This was additional to getting the above two Bokashi bins. We have 6 people living in our house. This tumbler is sitting out front of our house we have a tiny front tiled area. Urban living not much space, but it fits and we are very happy to own it.
Add all general food waste, fruit scraps, vegetable scraps, eggshells, pasta, bread, coffee grounds and tissues. As well as brown waste, shredded paper, toilet rolls and plenty of garden green waste.
We could of just have purchased this tumbler compost but we have a lot of scraps. This eco tumbler compost needs 50% food scraps and 50% garden waste. We don't have a lot of garden. We do have trees that drop ample green waste directly out front. So are using the surrounding plant matter, yard trimmings and our food scraps to getting this tumbler compost processing high nutrient soil. No need to have a green thumb it is easy.
The eco tumbler compost has two sections which allow one side to process and the other to be added too. Creating healthy compost full of nutrient-rich soil which your potted plants will thrive on.
Made from recycled plastics. I do not own one of these, we have 2 Bokashi and 1 Eco Tumbler by Maze featured above.
This has been included to give you a full spectrum of available products. We started with the above two products and most likely will move to a worm farm in addition to the above soon.
About the Maze worm farm compost.
These work well for small urban space you can put out on your balcony or in your courtyard garden.
Worm farms create a steady supply of liquid fertilizer. The Farm processes up to 2 litres of food scraps per week. This would be an excellent addition for smaller households or in addition to the above-composting processes.
This particular version offers easy to clean trays that help the worm farm breathe, improving the well-being of the worms and increasing their productivity.
Worm farms require a balance between layers of greens and layers of browns.
Feed your worm farm a balance between equal portions of greens; vegetables, fruit scraps, coffee grounds, pasta and bread. They are little creatures avoid spicy foods, preservatives, onions, meat and dairy.
The browns are paper, egg cartons, dry leaves and carboard! How exciting the worms will turn such things into nutrient-rich fertilizer.
The Difference Between Biodegradable and Compostable Packaging Materials
A trending word at the moment is biodegradable. There is a common assumption that this means compostable? That like the recycling myth does not come guilt-free and it is not ok to use in abundance. Biodegradable does not mean compostable it is meant to mean products can be managed by the environment in their decomposing state. Though the overflowing global landfills are not able to keep up with the quantity.
What Does Biodegradable Mean?
Your common plastic toothbrush takes 200 years to decompose and break down. Through that process, the plastic particles are dispersed into the soil, releasing toxins and contaminating the surrounding soil.
Biodegradeable carries a much shorter decomposing and breaking down schedule.Often biodegradable will take 2 years to fully break down. Yes, this is better than 200 years for . plastic toothbrush.
The problem though is the trend word 'biodegradable' can be used for a mix of products. Some break down quickly but decompose leeching plastic and other chemicals into the earth. There are as well good biodegradebale products that don't.
Choosing biodegradable products does help reduce landfill as they break down faster and do overall typically contribute to a safer environment. Avoiding biodegradable products entirely is a far better solution.
Compostable as we have discussed is similar in ways but these products break down far quicker again. 100% compostable products do not leech chemicals and plastics into the environment. Compostable products once given the right condition, nutrients, air, water and soil typically break down in 2-3 weeks.
Yes, we should have always been composting. But possibly like me, it was lingering in the back of your head as something we would commit too soon.
That soon is now.
Do you already compost? At your home, business or do you have a local compost waste management program? OwnMuse would love to hear from you.
Remember its when you add food matter in with general rubbish it creates a toxic chemical. Your food scraps which could be turned in to soil nutrients are turned into poisonous gas. It's the mixing of the rubbish that is the problem.
I hope in the future we have a sperate waste collection for general rubbish versus compostable waste. That we can compost on a grand level to rebuild the already damaged ground from the decades of decay.
Currently, the waste from your home is put in 'leak proof' bags in the earth. Though those leak-proof bags are only leakproof for some many years.
Our local park has a large hill, underneath is rubbish. How dreadfully awful is that? At one end of Sydney's city. There is a children's play area down the bottom of one side and a kids bike track down another other side is a playing field. The modern world?
Any composting is better than no composting.
Once you kick start new habits it becomes the new norm. It's the kick start part that is often the challenge.
Spread the word, I honestly believe most people are good and care. More so than not people just don't know the harm they are doing.
Start today and feel good about that. Don't dwell, we have all done or could have done things differently.
Fight for change.
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