Create a compost. Waste or west, home’s best !
It’s springtime! The perfect period to start gardening or if you don’t have any yard, the perfect time to clean up and get rid of bad habits. Isn’t it?
Did you know that it’s possible to combine gardening with getting rid of bad habits, and all this without necessarily needing a garden? To give you a clue, what do you think about caring for the planet? Giving new life to your organic waste? Have you ever thought about creating your compost?
If you’re tempted, in this article, WAO reveals all its secret, and explains to you how to do. All this with or without a garden!
What does 'create a compost' means?
To start with, compost is a fertilizer naturally formed by the fermentation of organic waste and debris obtained from biodegradable materials. Applying this technic is possible as well for organic household waste than for waste from animal husbandry or agriculture.
Obviously, in this article, we will only focus on household compost. However, the principle and the process of composting on a larger scale, particularly linked to agriculture and animal husbandry, remains the same.
In other words, compost is a fertile soil, obtained thanks to the action of oxygen, bacteria, fungi and other micro-organisms on your organic waste. Your waste thus fermented, will allow you to use its rich in mineral components and organic matter. Simply, once your waste are transformed and look like a ‘black-brownish matter’, resembling to soil, that means that your compost is ready to use!
Create a compost without garden, really possible ?
A lot of people often think, that it’s impossible to compost waste in an apartment or in a house without a garden. But don’t mistake yourselves, many solutions allow you to compost without a garden!
Indeed, for example, thanks to vermicomposting, you will be able to create your indoor compost according to the same principle as composting in open air. All you need, is a resealable plastic bin and compost worms, called surface worms. These worms are smaller than the worms usually found in garden composts.
The worms used in vermicomposts are called surface worms (epigeate worms) because in nature, they mainly live on the surface of ground and feed with decomposing organic, and vegetable matter. On the opposite side, other types of worms (endogenous and anemic) dig deep galleries and don’t live on the surface. They would therefore not be happy in a small tank, unlike surface worms, which are in paradise!
Thus, the epigeae feed on decomposing matter and are therefore very efficient at transforming your kitchen waste by feeding on them. Once the compost is ready, as garden compost, it will also have a brownish colour and a very soil-like appearance. You can then use this material for your houseplants.
Few essential steps to create your indoor compost.
Material and support
Make sure you have a plastic resealable bin, choose an opaque one. Worms are used to hiding from the sun and living in the earth where it’s dark. So, avoid exposing them to light.
Make four holes in the bottom of your box and several holes in its cover. Compost needs a lot of aeration. Make small holes under the bottom of your bin and on its lid. Remember to have supports, to raise your bin. Fousr mall wooden blocks will allow air to circulate freely from underneath, which will make a huge difference.
Lining and Filling
Build the litter of your worms. Take some newspaper, tear it up and place it on the bottom of your tray. Indeed, to add soil, isn’t necessary, newspapers are enough. If you don’t have a newspaper, use cardboard (toilet paper roll, egg cartons, etc.).
Then add grains of sand useful for worm digestion. Just as birds swallow gravel to help stir the food in their stomachs, worms without teeth swallow sand to crush the food during the digestion process. To make the sand stick to your newspaper, remember to moisten it before by pouring water over it. In this way, your worms evolve in a humid environment that is conducive to their development.
Start-up and maintenance.
After checking that your tray is neither too much nor not enough moisture. Add your worms to it. Close the bin and wait 2–3 days before feeding them with your organic waste.
Gradually feed your vermicompost. Cut your waste into small pieces so that the process can be easy. It’s advisable to start at the centre to make it easier to bury.
In the long term, think about burying your waste by digging and putting it as low as possible in the pile to avoid attracting flies and other animals and to limit unpleasant odours in your house or apartment.
Golden rules you can apply when creating a compost.
Thanks to compost, you will drastically be able to reduce the quantity of your waste. Indeed, you won’t throw them away again and avoid them from burning. Thus, by a simple ecological gesture, you will participate in reducing the pollution previously linked to the transport and incineration of this waste. But also, you will contribute, to a more sustainable world and to the preservation of the environment.
However, whether you choose to compost outdoors or indoors, you still have few golden rules to follow.
What materials are to be included in a compost?
You can put all your compostable waste in it: fruit and vegetable peelings, coffee grounds and their filters, tea bags and leaves, wilted flowers, crushed eggshells, leftovers from meals (pasta or rice), etc.
Also, you can include uncoloured paper, cardboard, tissues and litter from small herbivorous animals.
What materials should be prohibited in the creation of your compost?
If sprouted potatoes, walnut and hazelnut shells can be introduced, in very limited quantities as long as you fraction them and reduce them as much as possible.
Certain foods are to ban from your compost. This concern, meat, fish, dairy products and cheese. Indeed, although they’re degradable, they have no place in a compost because they could disrupt the whole composting process. So be careful with them.
The benefits of creating a compost.
The resulting compost is an excellent fertilizer for your indoor plants, and if you have a garden or vegetable garden on your roof, it’s an excellent fertilizer for your outdoor plants. So don’t hesitate to spoil your plants, vegetable gardens and other crops with it.
Last but not least little tips.
Take care of your compost every three weeks and if you go on a trip, overfeeding your compost is a bad idea, but don’t hesitate to add a good ration of newspapers to the surface of your vermicompost. The worms feed on it and this prevents, your excess organic waste from heating up and fermenting which could be harmful not only to your worms, but also to all the micro-organisms living in this ecosystem.
The only thing we can wish you is, good luck and, above all, have fun! We have been composting our waste in the We Are Open Coworking since the first day we opened our coworking and we also plan to use it for our future roof garden.
So don’t hesitate to ask for advice, whether you have a green thumb or not, we will always be there to give you the best advice, We Are Open!