How to Start Composting at Home

If you’re looking to reduce your food waste at home and live a more environmentally conscious lifestyle, composting is for you! Easily done at home, composting helps give items you would typically throw out in the garbage a new life.  

What is Composting?

Composting is the natural process of recycling organic matter and turning it into a beneficial fertilizer to help enrich your soil and help plants grow. The composting process involves putting items such as food scraps, paper waste, and yard waste into a bin or pile where worms and microorganisms can break down the scraps and turn them into nutrients. 

How Can I Start Composting at Home?

Are you ready to start composting? Here’s how to get started:

  • Select your food scraps and be ready to store them – Think about what foods you eat and cook with and what scraps you’ll have available. When composting, you’ll learn that there is a decomposition time frame that requires you to layer your scraps over time rather than throw it all together at once. So, gather some containers and make space in your fridge and freezer to store these scraps.
  • Choose the right location for your compost – Depending on your space available, you’ll want to decide if a compost bin or pile is right for you. Luckily, both options work great! Determine which part of your home or backyard you’d like to keep your compost.
  • Make your mix – Start making your compost mix with both green and brown organic material. The green would be considered food scraps, while the brown would be paper or yard waste. Ideally, you want to layer the browns on the bottom with the greens on top.
  • Wait and aerate – The decomposition time varies based on the temperature. If it’s hot, it can be as short as two months. Another crucial part of composting is allowing air to flow throughout, so turning your compost every seven to ten days will bring you success.

What Items Can and Can’t be Composted?

There are plenty of different items from your home that can be composted that you would normally throw away. This includes: 

  • Vegetable scraps
  • Fruit scraps
  • Cooked food without oil, dairy, or meat
  • Coffee grounds
  • Teabags
  • Eggshells
  • Grass clippings
  • Flowers
  • Tree leaves
  • Wood shavings or sawdust
  • Black and white newspaper clippings
  • Printed paper

Be sure not to add these items to your compost:

  • Oils and butter
  • Dairy
  • Meat and fish
  • Bones
  • Diseased yard waste


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