Ever since the beginning of the green revolution in the 1960s, many individuals have been doing their best to come up with ways that can potentially help out the environment. With gardening being part of the many ways to protect the environment, various composting techniques have been introduced to the community and family level to make it more accessible and sustainable for those who want to actually participate.
However, one of the main things stopping people from doing these kinds of activities would be the lack of access to resources and even information. Indeed, composting can sometimes be an intimidating activity, especially if you don't have any background knowledge in farming or whatnot. With this, the idea of kitchen waste composting was introduced so that people can utilize ways to achieve zero waste and obtain an environmental lifestyle.
Read further to learn more about kitchen waste composting, its common misconceptions and benefits, as well as how to make one for an environmental-friendly and sustainable lifestyle.
What is Kitchen Waste Composting?
Put simply, kitchen waste composting is the act of using your kitchen waste and food scraps, which are organic materials (greens and browns), to create compost beneficial for soil and for growing home plants and crops. Surprisingly, most people are not aware that food scraps are actually good sources of vitamins and minerals. These give the soil nutrients to become healthier, trickling down the minerals to the crops planted into it.
Composting kitchen waste is a highly sustainable method. In addition, when it comes to making kitchen waste compost, expert knowledge is not required. In fact, merely anyone can easily start making their own compost pit. This is because composting is not a specialized skill exclusive to only those with prior farming or agricultural experience.
If anything, you need to make sure you know the right kind of kitchen waste that can be used to make your own compost. For starters, you can use biodegradable food scraps and leftovers. You should also be aware of which certain types of kitchen leftovers are not allowed to be composted. This is not only for you to avoid wasting any items but also your time, energy and composting efforts
What are the Common Misconceptions About Kitchen Waste Composting?
If there's one misconception we have to debunk for you right now, it would be the fact that food scrap leftovers aren't the only ingredient you can use to create your kitchen waste compost.
These food scraps, which are also known as green composting materials, are high in a mineral called nitrogen. And to come up with compost, these nitrogen-induced items must be mixed with content high in carbon (also known as brown materials). Together, green and brown, you can come up with the right amount of nutrients that will help your kitchen compost.
Another thing you need to know is that there's an actual process in making compost from kitchen waste. You don't simply dump a banana peel into a pile of earth and expect it to be healthy for your soil just like that! Ensuring that this is appropriately processed can reap more benefits if done seriously and properly, which we'll discuss in the next section below.
How to Make Compost From Kitchen Waste Easily
Now that you've learned all about kitchen waste composting, it's time for you to create one. Making compost from kitchen waste may sound complicated, but it's actually simple. Here are some easy steps to help you get started:
- To start, choose nitrogen-rich (green) and carbon-rich (brown) materials to be mixed with your compost. Examples for the green items include banana peels, leftover vegetables and fruit peelings, and the like. On the other hand, the brown items could be sawdust, wood chips, dried leaves, shredded paper, cardboard, or hay particles.
- Make sure to cut your green materials into smaller pieces using scissors or a shredder if you have one at home. The composting process becomes faster if the particles are broken down into smaller bits, making it easier for the soil to break down and absorb their nutrients.
- Once you have your green and brown mixes ready, you can opt to try pit composting, where you have to dig a hole about 14 inches deep and bury your green and brown items altogether. It is highly recommended to put in the nitrogen-rich materials before the carbon-rich ones first since it helps speed the breaking down of nutrients.
- After burying, expect that bacteria will slowly decompose the items altogether. And if you have the resources, including earthworms, you can hasten the process as well.
- The waiting time for homemade kitchen waste compost usually ranges from three weeks to three months. In this period, all you need to do is wait. Once you see that the food particles are gone and that the materials have already decomposed, you have two options: (1) Is to dig up that soil and use it as a fertilizer for the plants in your backyard; (2) or grow a crop directly on top of the compost pile.
What Types of Kitchen Waste can be Composted?
Even though it's easy to find items for your kitchen waste compost, mistaking some food scraps for usable compost items can be tricky as well. Yes, greens are a must, but not all kitchen items are appropriate for kitchen waste composting.
For your reference, here are some of the following items you can add to your kitchen waste compost:
- Dried leaves
- Herbs and spices
- Fruit peelings (e.g., banana, apples, oranges, etc.)
- Grass and brush trimmings
- Bread, cereal, wheat crumbs
- Coffee grounds
- Teabags or tea leaves
- House dust
- Old and stale animal food (e.g., cat or dog food)
- Shredded paper or cardboard
- Hay, straw, or pet bedding
- Organic manure (e.g., cow manure)
- Toilet rolls or egg cartons (with no oil)
But be wary NOT to include the following in your compost pile:
- All kinds of fresh meat
- Animal products (e.g., fat, skin, gristle, bones, etc.)
- Dairy products (e.g., Milk, yogurt, cheese, etc.)
- All types of cooking oil
- All kinds of oily products (e.g., grease from food)
- Tissue papers or any other paper products that have oil
- Twigs or branches
- Animal feces (e.g., dog, cat, etc.)
- Fish products (and skin)
It's essential to note these items so that you won't have a smelly compost pit that ends up decomposing for too long. With this list of items in mind, we hope that you'll be able to come up with the perfect combination for your kitchen waste compost with easy to find materials or waste products in the safety of your hom
What are the Benefits of Composting Kitchen Waste?
Composting will help you reduce food waste and turn your kitchen scraps back into a valuable resource. But that's not all there is to it. We've listed down all the benefits composting kitchen waste has to offer:
1. Get rid of your house waste
Making compost from kitchen waste means you'll have lesser garbage than ever, and fewer plastic trash bags are being used. Plus, you can practice kitchen waste management and food waste management without spending too much money.
2. Discover more food waste solutions
Food waste recycling is a problem in almost every household, especially families of 3-4 people. Kitchen waste composting can resolve this issue, so you won't have to feel bad the next time you feel like your food will just end up getting spoiled.
3. Lessen gardening costs
Home gardeners usually spend money to invest in healthy soil and fertilizers. However, the use of composts can help you lessen the costs of buying them. This is because composting not only enriches the soil and retains moisture but also helps in preventing pests and plant diseases.
4. Practice an Eco-Friendly Lifestyle
People say that genuinely partaking in an eco-friendly lifestyle doesn't happen overnight. To be successful in it, you have to be committed and consistent for it to become a part of your lifestyle eventually. Kitchen waste composting can help you become more sustainable, patient, and even detail-oriented in nitpicking ingredients, etc. It also helps lower your carbon footprint.
5. Farm to Table Solutions
In relation to lessening gardening costs, the wonders of kitchen waste composting can lead you to be more familiar with the farm to table movement, which is a big sustainable step for many individuals. The farm to table practice is where you get to plant your own crops and harvest them directly from your backyard or garden so that it can be used in your daily food. This is a phenomenal way to reduce carbon emissions from buying food outside and reduce trips to the groceries.
Now that we have discussed everything you need to know about kitchen waste composting, we hope you'll feel more encouraged to take on the challenge. It's simple and sustainable and lets you reap many long and short-term benefits along the way.