Earth Day 2021 - Composting At Home With Ecology

Every year in Australia, almost 300 kilograms of food is wasted per person (Clean Up Australia). Food waste that comes from our households usually ends up in landfill, where it anaerobically decomposes. That means the food reacts with oxygen and expels methane, a greenhouse gas that can have a negative impact on the atmosphere as well as being a contributor to global warming.

Why compost?

During the food decomposition process, these methane-producing microbes need oxygen to survive. Container composting (using a closed compost bin) means that these microbes stay inactive and prevent methane production throughout the decomposition process. Living in the suburbs and blessed with a sizable space for a veggie patch, our Ecology team member Rachel takes an interest in permaculture and composting in her own home. Here are her tips on composting easily at home.

1. From Kitchen To Compost

“I think that composting always starts in the kitchen. After all, we are trying to divert the food waste that we produce in the kitchen and turn it into something productive for our garden space. I think the most important thing to make composting easy is to have an indoor compost bin. All my food scraps that are compostable will go into this bin, and at the end of each day, I can take it outside to put into my large outdoor compost bin.”

Rachel uses her Abode Compost Bin to bring her kitchen scraps to her compost pile.

Here are some recommendations for what to compost:

  • Fruit and vegetable scraps
  • Coffee grounds and filters
  • Teabags (if not crafted from synthetic materials)
  • Eggshells
  • Shredded paper, cardboard and newspaper
 Tip: line your indoor compost bin with some scrap paper or newspaper. It’s an easy way to keep your bin a little bit cleaner and helps to easily tip out all your scraps into your compost pile.

Shop the Abode Compost Bin with Filter. 

2. Your Composting Style

"There are many types of compost bins that people use, but I have to simple, above ground, outdoor compost bins. It's an easy way to keep it all in one spot while the scraps decompose.

I simply take the lid off and add my fresh scraps from my kitchen compost bin to my outdoor compost bin. I also add in some dead leaves, lawn clippings. and if it's a bit dry in summer will add some water. At the bottom of the compost bin, there’s a hole for me to take out a compost that has fully decomposed and is ready to be layered onto my garden.”

 Tip 1: There are 3 components to every healthy compost bin - green waste, including fresh food scraps that provides nitrogen, brown materials such as dead leaves and sticks that provide carbon, and water to provide moisture.

 Tip 2: Whilst garden waste is great in compost, make sure not to add any diseased leaves or plants into your compost. This is to ensure that you will not spread any disease into your garden once your compost is ready to be used.

3. Feed Your Garden With Compost

"When your compost is ready, Rachel suggests raking in your compost into the soil, planting your seedlings and adding a layer of sugar cane mulch on top of the soil and around your new plants. The sugar cane mulch will help ensure your soil and compost will stay moist to feed your new plants, and will also prevent weeds from coming up."

A photo of Rachel's harvest of vegetables grown using composted created from diverted waste.

Have we tickled your composting bone? If you’ve caught the composting bug, it’s time to get started! Shop here to begin your composting journey.