Have you ever thought of repurposing all the kitchen scraps and lawn clippings you typically throw away into something useful? Look no further than composting! For those of you shaking your heads because you may not have the “green thumb” you see others have, don’t fret, this simple process IS for everyone. You don’t need a huge garden to start and you can even compost to help others with their gardens as well–sharing is caring. Make this summer the one where you go eco-friendly and start a compost pile.
First of all, what is compost?
In basic terms, compost is the result of different types of scraps from your meals, grass, and other vegetation being broken down. You are creating soil again from items that once grew in the soil. The nutrients that are found in compost are a gardeners dream and help create an amazing starting point to providing plants with the ability to grow big and strong.
Why should you compost?
You might still be wondering “why should I compost?” There are so many reasons it benefits everyone, but let’s stick to the basics:
- Adding compost to soil helps it to retain water, which is especially helpful during periods of little rain.
- It can help plants thrive without the threat of disease because some pests avoid composted soil.
- You are keeping table scraps out of landfills and utilizing them in the best possible way!
What is the process of composting?
First let’s note what NOT to compost:
- Meat products
- Dairy products
- Grease of any kind
- Treated wood
- Animal droppings
Now what you CAN compost:
- Veggie and fruit scraps
- Sticks and leaves
- Coffee grounds and tea bags
- Plant clippings
Let’s get into the process
It can take roughly two to six months to fully compost your scraps (remember, this is a long-game but with a major eco-friendly payoff). You will need to start with a good container, which can be bought or DIY-ed, and should be placed in a dry section of your yard. You can even keep your compost inside the house with the use of a special in-home composting bin. Make sure your pile is near some type of water, such as a hose or even stream run-off.
Next, add the “green” and “brown” scraps that you have collected. Brown scraps can be dry sticks and leaves as well as newspaper, whereas green scraps may be fruit peels, grass clippings, and eggshells. Once added together, you will need to water your compost pile to begin the process. Note: You will need to water, mix, and turn your pile weekly to aerate and also move heat to new sections of your pile. Heat speeds things up but if you cannot find a truly warm spot in your home or yard, that’s ok – it just takes longer!
Once your compost begins to look like rich soil and feels cool in temperature, you have completed your journey into creating beautiful and nutrient dense soil which can now be added to your own garden or shared with a friend or loved one to help their garden grow.
Now, that wasn’t so tough and you did a great thing by keeping these scraps out of landfills and creating an opportunity to give back to the Earth. Be the eco-friendly goddess that you are and start today!
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Kim is the owner and publisher of Sass Magazine, as well as the owner of Sass Studios, a boutique graphic design studio in Frederick, MD. When not in the office, Kim can be found doing some of her favorite hobbies—reading a book, dancing, traveling, or playing with her rescued pitbull.