Are you looking to reduce your waste? Composting allows you to divert organic waste from the landfill, where it would otherwise contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and take up valuable space. This nutrient-rich soil amendment can improve soil structure, retain moisture, and provide a slow-release source of nutrients for plants - and, by making your own compost, you can reduce the need for expensive fertilizers and soil amendments!
The benefits don't end there. Composting supports biodiversity by providing a habitat for microorganisms and other creatures that help break down organic matter and improve soil health. The best part? Composting is easy to begin, doesn't require any special skills, and is a great way to get started with sustainable practices at home. Beginner composters, use these five tips as you get started:
1. Start with the right materials: Composting requires a mix of "greens" (nitrogen-rich materials like fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, and grass clippings) and "browns" (carbon-rich materials like dried leaves, twigs, and shredded newspaper). Aim for a mix of about 50% greens and 50% browns.
2. Use a compost bin: A compost bin helps keep your materials contained and allows for proper aeration and drainage. You can buy a compost bin or make your own using materials like wire mesh, wood pallets, or cinder blocks. (Or, you can get a free worm compost bin from Let's Go Compost.)
3. Keep it moist: Your compost pile should be moist but not too wet. Aim for a texture similar to a wrung-out sponge. If your pile is too dry, add some water. If it's too wet, add some dry, brown materials.
4. Turn your pile: Turning your compost pile helps aerate it and speed up the decomposition process. Use a pitchfork or shovel to turn your pile every few weeks, or invest in a compost tumbler, which makes turning easier. Tip: If you are using a worm composter, the worms turn the pile themselves - meaning you don't have to!
5. Be patient: Composting takes time, and it can take several months for your compost to be ready to use. Be patient and keep adding to your pile, and eventually you'll have rich, nutrient-dense compost to use in your garden or potted plants.
Let’s Go Compost is a community-led effort to make compost bins free and accessible. We upcycle empty bulk ingredient bins into free, food-safe worm compost bins that are donated back to the community. Click here to get a free compost bin at our next pick up event.