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  • Writer's picturemommyincapetown

Becoming A Composting Queen – 1 Simple Step To Sustainable Living

My current journey to making my home more sustainable has started with creating new habits.

Small changes to my daily behavior that, I hope will benefit our planet. I have noticed that by changing one habit it has a knock-on effect into other parts of my life. Reminding me that “everything is connected”

Last year we moved into a new home and to my excitement space for a veggie patch and herb garden. This veggie patch came in handy during lock down, we ate veggies from our garden instead of going to the shops. I like growing my own vegetables as I know exactly what has been put on them, in terms of chemicals and pesticides. I’m a bit jaded when it comes to organic vegetables (no that is a rant for another day!) Food security is one of the biggest issues facing the human race, by growing our own food we are one step closer to being a more sustainable household.

While I’m prepping meals, I keep a little metal bowl close by and throw the peels and discarded bits into the bowl. Once I have finished prepping the food, I simply take the bowl to the composter and throw the veggie peels into the composter. So simple!

While prepping food place your off cuts / peels/ skins into a caontainer. Once finished prepping take to composter. I have a composter in my garden
While prepping food. Put your off cuts into a container to take to the Composter.

Strangest sentence I have ever written “I love composting!” Who knew that a green plastic box in my garden would be so handy?

What is compost? – According to Wikipedia :

Compost is organic matter that has been decomposed in a process called composting. This process recycles various organic materials otherwise regarded as waste products and produces a soil conditioner (the compost).

Compost is rich in nutrients. It is used, for example, in gardens, landscaping, horticulture, urban agriculture and organic farming. The compost itself is beneficial for the land in many ways, including as a soil conditioner, a fertilizer, addition of vital humus or humic acids, and as a natural pesticide for soil.

At the simplest level, the process of composting requires making a heap of wet organic matter (also called green waste), such as leaves, grass, and food scraps, and waiting for the materials to break down into humus after a period of months.

A composter is the unit that you put the organic material in to allow for decomposition to occur to create compost. Available from your local Nursery, Gardening store ,Hardware store and various online stores.

Composter bins in south Africa. Has locking top and slide at bottom to remove compost.
Composter Bins with Top that locks.

7 Reasons why I Compost:

- Save money on compost for garden.

- Less food waste in dustbin = less smelly bins (save money on cleaning products)

- Less food waste going to landfills. We already recycle, so we have minimal waste.

- Less garbage bags being used (save money)

- Its good for the soil. By composting you are returning much needed organic matter to the soil.

- Refuse collection in South Africa does not include Garden Refuse. Using a composter saves me money on having to pay someone to come collect my garden refuse for legal disposal.

- Stops plants, leaves and branches clogging waterways and gutters (less chance of flooding)

What can you put into the composter?

- Organic waste such as vegetable and fruit peels. Cut off pieces of vegetable you cannot use in the meal.

- Teabags

- Coffee grounds

- Newspaper (black and white – no glossy pages)

- Cardboard

- Vegetarian animal manure. Have a pet rabbit or hamster? Add their manure to the composter.

- Sawdust and wood shavings (unvarnished or treated) – rabbit and hamster saw dust can go into the composter when you clean the cages/ hutches.

- Grass clippings and Tree leaves (make sure the plants are disease free)

- Egg shells.

- Bread, pasta and noodles.

What you can’t put into the composter:

- Nonvegetarian manure (dog and cat manure may contain diseases that can be spread. Its best to discard of this in a sanitary manner)

- Onions – they are to acidic for the soil.

- Coloured paper and cardboard. The ink is not good for the soil.

- Any plastics or metal

- I do not put bones and meat products in my composter. My dog will try get to the bones. This may also attract scangers. If you do decide to add meat products, ensure your composter can lock.

- Diseased plants and weeds. Its best not to add diseased plants to the composter, you risk infecting your other plants. The weeds will grow in your soil and spread throughout your garden.

It is simple to start using a composter. The Composter bin acts as the perfect vessel to help the organic materials break down. Limited human interference is needed. I add some Bokashi to help with the process. Every 4-5 weeks I turn the compost to ensure that it is being aerated and mixed in properly.

Slide at bottom of the Composter Bin, allows me to remove compost when needed.

I have the Bin Composter. Once the material is composted, I use it in my garden.

Composting is a great and simple way to becoming a more sustainable household. It has so many benefits. Being Green can be simple.

Please note: I am not a professional gardener or landscaper. Consult with a professional Gardener or chat to someone at your local Garden Centre for expert advice on how to compost.

Do you compost?

#composting #sustainableliving #greenhome #mygreenhome #greencanbesimple


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