Composting: Proof of Life After Death!
Did you know that the average household’s bin is made up around 40% organic matter?
That is a lot! And it would make a huge difference in our landfill waste if that 40% was recycled/composted instead. You’d be surprised at how many odd household items you can compost.. such as vacuum dust, pet hair, eggs shells, coffee grounds and even newspaper.
Not only is composting great for our environment, it’s FUN too! Here at the Ethical Brand Co headquarters we have our own composting bin where we not only deposit our left-over lunch scraps, but also bring our food scraps from home. An easy and satisfying habit to introduce to contribute to sustainability and recycling.
Composting isn’t just good for plants, it’s good for the planet too. Reducing food waste is one of the most important ways to help combat global warming and divert organic waste from landfill. In a time of excessive food production and consumption, composting offers a solution for recouping some benefit from our masses of food waste.
Interesting fact: in The Netherlands, separating vegetable, fruit and garden waste from the general waste has been the norm for the last two decades, with councils collecting compostable waste like they do plastics, glass, paper and general waste.
Many municipalities also offer free collection of the composted food waste to use in your garden. Everyone gets involved in composting and reducing landfill waste and using the compost collection points to fertilise their (veggie) gardens, it can’t get more full circle than that!
The compost cycle of life is the ultimate way to reuse and recycle, turning the unwanted into black gold.
There are many different ways to compost:
- Compost binning, where you use a bin with 2/3 dry matter like dried leaves, newspaper or mulch to assist in breaking down the food.
- Worm farming, where worms are used to eat your food waste (with each worm eating up to 4kg each week!) and their worm poo is the liquid gold.
- Bokashi binning, is great for people who live in small spaces with no backyard. It is an anaerobic composting method that requires no oxygen and food scraps are placed into the little bin and ferment/breakdown over a period of weeks, creating a nitrogen rich mixture. and the little kitchen compost bin.
The idea of “rotting food” may sound a bit icky and smelly at first, but composting is anything but that. It has been used for many years to create a luscious natural fertiliser and to reduce landfill waste and produce mineral rich fertiliser.
The benefits of compost are many: it recycles organic materials and reduces waste, replenishes deleted soils and improves soil health.
It is actually really satisfying to have your own composting project on the go, watching your food scraps transform into this amazingly nutrient rich compost over time and then getting to use it on your plants and gardens!
There are several different composting initiatives in Australia too, such as the Cultivating Community in Victoria with their Community Composting Club. This is a community-based education and composting group that operates within their existing Public Housing Community Gardens program for public housing tenants as well as their school food gardens program, where they educate kids on how to grow and prepare food, reduce food waste (through composting) and act sustainably.
Gardeners learn all about composting and worm farming techniques, helping to create an ongoing supply of compost and worm castings for the garden while diverting food waste from landfill. It brings people together from all cultures, lifestyles and socioeconomic backgrounds, creating an inclusive gathering experience.
Then there is Compost Connect, an organisation that leaves nothing to waste! Helping Australians access composting services for their compostable food packaging and food waste. By connecting packaging and food service businesses with the organic waste industry, Compost Connect helps to grow access to organic recycling and instigate widespread change, making a global impact, by making changes at the local level.
Without a national composting infrastructure in Australia, this is a much needed and great local solution for the food waste recycling crisis.
Excited to start composting? Choose the most suitable option for yourself and start making your own “black gold”, it is that easy!