Want to reduce your waste without trashing your place. Here’s an easy step by step guide for Indoor Composting.
What is compost?
Compost is organic material that can be used as a soil amendment or as a medium to grow plants. Mature compost is a stable material with a content called humus that is dark brown or black and has a soil-like, earthy smell.
What are the benefits of composting?
Compost has the ability to help regenerate poor soils. The composting process encourages the production of beneficial micro-organisms (mainly bacteria and fungi) which in turn break down organic matter to create humus. Humus–a rich nutrient-filled material–increases the nutrient content in soils and helps soils retain moisture. Compost has also been shown to suppress plant diseases and pests, reduce or eliminate the need for chemical fertilizers, and promote higher yields of agricultural crops.
Did you know?
-Suppress plant diseases and pests.
-Reduce or eliminate the need for chemical fertilizers.
-Promote higher yields of agricultural crops.
-Facilitate reforestation, wetlands restoration, and habitat revitalization efforts by amending contaminated, compacted, and marginal soils.
-Cost-effectively remediate soils contaminated by hazardous waste.
-Remove solids, oil, grease, and heavy metals from stormwater runoff.
-Capture and destroy 99.6 percent of industrial volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) in contaminated air.
-Provide cost savings of at least 50 percent over conventional soil, water, and air pollution remediation technologies, where applicable.
Green Yourself: Build an indoor composting container…
Live in an apartment, condo, or townhouse without a yard, here’s a guide to get you going green on gaining the most our of your organic waste.
You will need to paint buckets (like the Home Depot Orange Paint Bucket Size), A screwdriver or drill to put holes in the buckets, and a spigot to take advantage of the nutrient rich liquid that is a useful byproduct of the composting process.
Place 1/4 inch holes around the base of ONE bucket, do not do this to the other bucket. The holes around the first bucket should be near the base and go no higher than 3 inches from the base, also put holes on the bottom of this same bucket. Not too many though if everything from the top simply and instantly drops to the bottom you might as well have used one bucket.
Place one hole in the bottom the bucket slightly smaller than your spigot. Put the spigot in the hole and make sure it is tightly positioned in the hole. Liquid will be in this area and you don’t want it to spill on your floor.
Spigot – Tap, Valve, Faucet, etc. Basically it controls the release of liquids. As you add water to your compost, some will drain through to your bottom bucket and be a useful nutrient boost for house-plants, outdoor trees, etc.
Thats it, you have a great container for compost. Read more on how to make compost correctly and avoid flies and smell…
Compost contains 4 necessary ingredients: Water, Nitrogen (Green Organic Material), Carbon (Brown Organic Material), and Air. If you add banana peels, egg shells, etc. it will add useful nutrients, but Water, Nitrogen, Carbon, and Air are vital to creating compost.
Now to avoid a foul smell seems backwards from your normal idea on smells. Compost will have an earthy smell, but a foul smell is most likely caused by anaerobic digestion (no oxygen) as opposed to aerobic digestion. If air can freely circulate through your compost it will avoid that very wet, nasty smell that gets us to take out our trash cans from the kitchen in the first placed. So oxygen is key in reducing smell, once you have compost in your bucket you should designate a spoon or spinning device to turn the compost as often as possible and when you leave the house leave the top off the compost to give it more air or place it near a window to catch a breeze.
Flies will be attracted to the foul smell caused by anaerobic digestion, but will also be attracted to rotting dairy and meat in compost. It is recommended that you stick to organic waste, definitely not plastics, and refrain from meats, grease, fat, and dairy to avoid smell and fly issues.
As always the key to understanding is trial and error. Add things to your compost and see what happens, life’s an experiment don’t get too caught up in the details just the results. Enjoy!
If you enjoy this Green Yourself idea be sure to check out the full episode about this issue
Season 1 – Ep. 5 Planting Plants
Season 1 – Ep. 5 Planting Plants
(Native and Sustainable Landscaping)