No matter where you live it is possible to reduce your waste by creating a compost area. Not only will you be sending less trash to a landfill, but you can have some great fertilizer and soil for your plants this coming spring!
No matter if you are in an apartment with no yard, or you have a house and yard as far as the eye can see, you can make a compost area in about 15 minutes and get started towards a greener lifestyle.
The first thing you need is a container. If your compost will be outside, some simple wire fencing will do, or any sort of plastic container. Indoor composts can be plastic tubs, an old coffee can, anything that will not break down and can be closed.
If you are using a container with a lid, drill or poke a few holes in it. This allows the oxygen to get to the contents and help break them down. If you are using something like wire fencing, the gaps in the fencing serve this purpose.
Now, what can you put in your compost?
- egg shells
- fruit and veggie straps
- coffee grounds and filters
- paper towels/napkins
- cooked pasta or rice
- stale bread, tortillas, crackers, cereal, etc.
- pizza crusts
- facial hair trimmings or hair from your brush
- toilet paper rolls
- nail clippings
- plant trimmings
- dead plants
- ashes from fire pit
- saw dust
- dead leaves
- branches or twigs
- cotton fabric scraps
- pencil shavings
- shredded papers (like bank documents)
- dust bunnies
- pet fur
This is just the beginning of the list, but it’s a good place to start. Make sure you have a good variety of things to make sure everything breaks down. It is also a good idea to shred as many things as possible so that they break down easier.
Make sure you turn your compost every week or two to make sure everything is getting mixed properly. If you have an indoor system, you will also need to water it every so often. An outdoor system will get all the water it needs from rain. (If your outdoor compost has a lid, you will need to water it as well).
Your compost is usable as soil when it looks like dirt. It should not stink at this point. If it stinks, add more variety to your compost.
Eventually you will find a balance and a routine that works for you and gives you some of the best fertilizer, completely free! By spring you should have some great potting soil for all your fresh flowers and plants. Happy Composting!