Composting How To Guide

What Is It?

Composting is the microbial decomposition of organic and dead materials into compost. Composting allows organic matter such as vegetable food waste and paper products to decompose and become nutrient-rich soil. This soil is perfect for growing plants in any environment.

How Can I Do It?

You just put the compost bin somewhere in your backyard, and dump all the organic matter into it. After a couple months, warm, rich, great smelling compost comes out the bottom. Honestly, you really don’t have to do that much work. Whether you live on a big farm or in a tiny city apartment, there’s an easy way to compost.

What Do I Do?

The best thing you can do is to buy a recycled plastic composter, stick it in your backyard, and start throwing food scraps into it. Composters generally sell for between $65 and $180 each. Here are the units that Green Home thinks are the best:


Plastic Spinning Compost Bin
$189.00

The Worm Factory 360 Composter
$99.95

 

Recycled Plastic Yard Composter
$65.00


Kitchen Waste Composter Kit
$54.50

The Recycled Plastic Yard Composter on the left is a very good unit at an amazingly good price, only $65. This unit will automatically create great soil without any turning. It’s a free-standing device and is easy to use, won’t attract vermin, and will help keep your yard looking neat and clean.

You can easily carry kitchen waste to the compost bin by using a Recycled Plastic Kitchen Compost Carrier. It’s so easy to start composting with this carrier, and you can store material in it for up to two weeks before moving it to the compost heap.

Many people choose vermicomposting, which uses worms to help turn food waste into soil. A multi-layer composter such as the Worm Factory is an ideal choice for this type of composting. We don’t sell worms so if you need some you will have to go to your local gardening supply store.

Why It’s Important:

Composting is one of the best ways to reduce your trash footprint. Currently one third of all trash that goes to the landfill could be composted. Once in a landfill, food does not easily break down. Energy for the garbage trucks is another unnecessary cost of not composting. Think about it! What if a full 1/3 of all the garbage Americans create didn’t ever leave the house?! What if that garbage got turned into fertilizer to grow local, delicious food! What if you started composting today! You can do it!

There are so many benefits to composting:

  • Reduces 1/3 of the trash that would traditionally go to landfills
  • Saves money and resources (no need to buy fertilizer)
  • Enriches soil naturally and organically
  • It’s fun and educational (your family will love to watch the process happen)
  • Helps reduce greenhouse gas
  • Enabling things to return their natural cycles just feels great!
  • Save $$ on your garbage bill
  • Provides a soil amendment for your veggie garden
  • Supports community, keeps them green, keeps things local

On this last point, improving communities really is another benefit to composting. For neighborhoods that don’t have a “green bin” trash pickup (i.e., they haven’t gotten with the composting program where you live yet), you can still make a big impact on your community by composting. If 1/3rd of all household waste is organic matter that could be composted, as has been estimated, then composting reduces by 1/3rd all the transportation fuel and pollution for all the transport of a communities garbage. It also obviously reduces by 1/3rd all the organic waste that goes into a landfill!

Even if you don’t have a garden you can make a trade of compost with your local green thumb gardener for fresh vegetables at harvest time or sell your compost to garden enthusiasts for profit– Composting turns your unwanted trash into pure gold in the eyes of the gardener!

The Green Home Bottom Line (what others may not tell you):

Composting is easy, and anyone can do it, but it really helps to get the temperature up! If what you want to compost is not hot enough, it smells bad, attracts pests, and takes too long to turn into compost.

In theory, anything that was alive can be composted. However, in practice, a typical backyard composting setup cannot do meat or bones. So while there’s nothing wrong with digging a hole in the ground and dumping all your food scraps in there, or building a box and doing the same thing, the secret to an intensely fulfilling composting experience is to get the heat going.

160 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temp, and it is achievable using one of our products. Then you can include meat or bones (or paper for that matter)! And the compost that you then get out of it is sweet!

More on How to Compost:

Creating Your Compost Heap: http://www.greenhome.com/info/articles/reduce_reuse_recycle/118/
Setting up A Worm Ranch: http://www.greenhome.com/info/articles/eating_well/28/
Urban Composting: http://earth911.com/blog/2009/04/13/adventures-in-urban-composting/

Once you set up your Compost Bin, you can use that compost to fertilize your new Eco-Friendly Garden and water it with water that you’ve saved from an economical Rainwater Harvesting System.

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