I get really excited about composting. Here's why.
- It helps reduce our climate footprint. When organic material decomposes without oxygen (in landfill) it produces methane through anaerobic decomposition. Methane has a much more potent warming impact in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. When we decompose our organic material in our composter at home, it has access to oxygen so decomposes aerobically to produce carbon dioxide. Obviously this is not ideal either (although better than methane) and we ALWAYS prioritise reducing food waste before composting. For those things we really can't eat (you can actually eat eggshells by the way- although we're yet to try that..) we compost. Happy days. We don't eat much meat at all, which makes this system a lot easier too, because meat scraps can't be composted.
- It reduces our eutrophication potential. When those juicy juicy bin juices leach from landfill they are incredibly high in nutrients from our organic waste. When it reaches a water course this has a pretty good chance to do a lot of damage to the wildlife in that water course through eutrophication.
- It means we have dry bins and don't use bin bags- plastic free bins! We have three bins at the moment that works with our local collection. We have recyclables, non recyclable and our own plastic compost bin- that we empty into our composter! Because all organic materials go into the compost, we don't have anything wet going into landfill so both bins are dry!
- It saves us money and gives us compost! For gardeners, beyond the environment or saving plastic, the fact we are creating next years compost is a total obvious WIN. This year, we filled our small raised beds with last years compost, and it saved us about £10 in compost plus we knew exactly what was going in.
Swish compost bins are handy, and worth an investment if you can. We got ours second hand, but not everybody can afford this. If you have space, you can put your organic material in a pile and have a compost pile instead, that you can turn over. This CAN be an issue with animals, so make sure it's away from anything that may be conflicting (your house or veggie patch).
Our local library has 3 (modern) books on composting! I really recommend you take these out and have a read if you're' interested in composting for yourself. Finding out what you can and can't compost is really important to make sure it works, and that you don't attract animals that you may not want to!
Some local councils offer composting for free! Our local council is one of those (woo) and I really recommend you check if your local council offers this service and taking them up if they do!
By the way one of the biggest helpers in this process, for us, is TRULY plastic free tea bags. Without this, we'd use loose leaf (although I don't enjoy it as much) but if you don't have access to either it makes this all a bit trickier. We wouldn't want to compost tea bags with microfibres obviously- so they'd HAVE to go into landfill :( meaning our bins wouldn't be dry, undoing some of the benefits.