Things you don't know can be composted | Choice

2021-11-13 07:50:47 By : Ms. Angela Chen

When we throw things in the trash can, we usually don't think about where they will end up. We only know that the garbage truck took them away-but where is the "take away"?

More than one-third of household waste is food. When it enters a landfill and begins to decompose, it produces methane, a greenhouse gas that causes global warming. 

We have tested to find the best.

Reducing the amount of food we waste is a difficult task, but an easy way to reduce our environmental impact is to move food waste from landfills through composting. Compost breaks down food in a way that does not produce methane, and provides you with beautiful, abundant compost that can be used in the garden-this is a win-win situation!

You might even find that setting up a composting system will open your eyes to the amount of wasted food and make you rethink your next shopping list and cooking style.

Read more: How to use kitchen utensils to reduce food waste 

So you have your food waste-now you just throw it in the compost bin, right? 

Well, not exactly. Composting is a great way to dispose of food waste, but if you just throw a pile of food scraps into the trash can, you will end up with a smelly, slimy mess (probably there will be cockroaches and rats). 

Generally, you need to keep the weight ratio of green to brown around 1:1

One of the keys to successful composting is a good balance of carbon and nitrogen. Sounds complicated, right? To be honest, this is easier than you think. 

In the composting world, this ratio is called a good balance of "green" (nitrogen) and "brown" (carbon). 

Green materials are things that contain nitrogen, such as:

Brown materials are things that contain carbon, such as: 

Normally, you need to keep the weight ratio of green to brown around 1:1. Calculated by volume, the ratio of green to brown is about 1:7.

Read more: How to start the composting system

Composting is not as simple as throwing kitchen and garden waste into a compost bin and hoping for the best results. In addition to ensuring a good balance of green and brown materials, you also need some other elements.  

A dry compost bin or pile will not break down-but adding water will help. Whenever you add compost, water it regularly. 

But keeping balance is important. Too much water will make you smelly and wet. "Damp but not wet" is a good rule of thumb. One way to test is to grab a handful and squeeze it-about a drop of liquid will flow out. 

Composting is an aerobic process, which means it needs air to work. The uninflated compost bin smells very unpleasant. 

To introduce air, use a garden fork or compost tool to turn the compost, or pass garden stakes or pipes through the compost to allow air in. 

One of the keys to successful composting is a good balance of carbon and nitrogen

Things like branches, leaves, and shredded paper will introduce air pockets in the compost, which will help aerate the mixture. It is especially important to add these to the bottom of the compost when you first start to allow air to flow. 

If you are just starting your composting journey, you need to add some fresh soil or compost to the mixture to start working. The soil and compost already contain microorganisms, so adding them to your compost bin will help start the composting process. 

Read more: Breville FoodCycler first-sight review

So now that you understand the basics, let's take a look at some weird and wonderful things you can compost at home. 

It should be noted that the home composting system is completely different from the industrial composting system. Industrial systems can handle all kinds of things that you would not normally put into your home composting system, such as meat, bones, and dairy products. (An experienced composter may be able to handle these ingredients, but it is not recommended for those who are not familiar with composting.)

Here are some products you may not have considered composting.

You can compost any kind of hair-humans and animals are the same.

You can add the hair of all members of the family-humans and animals! Therefore, once you finish grooming your pet, trimming your child's hair, or cleaning human hairbrushes, put your hair in the compost bin.

When it comes to alcohol, it’s easy to take the zero waste principle seriously, but if you happen to find that you have leftover beer or wine, you can pour it into your compost bin. Obviously, the yeast in these beverages can promote composting well. 

If you are passionate about home brewing, you can also compost waste grains. But this is not the task of a composting novice-if you are not careful, you may end up with a dirty and smelly compost bin. You need to add a lot of "brown" and have good ventilation. 

Don't worry-we don't recommend that you pour the litter box into the compost! 

CHOICE staff member Andrea shared with us her unusual way of using cat litter: "We use newspaper-made cat litter on the bottom of the parrot cage," she said. 

"When I cleaned it up, everything would go into our compost bin. The parrot dropped a lot of food, so it ended up with the same amount of cat litter, parrot pellets, vegetable scraps, and, uh, guano."

You can also compost the straw litter of other pets (such as rabbits, hamsters, etc.). 

Don't box your coffee grounds-your compost loves them.

As we have seen in the example above, some pet manure is suitable for composting. The manure of chickens, cows, sheep, rabbits, guinea pigs, etc. are all very suitable for composting. 

You can compost cat and dog manure, but it is best to use a special pet composting system-cat and dog manure contains parasites and pathogens that can make you sick. Ordinary household composting may not kill these nasty things. 

Yes, you can definitely make your compost caffeine! Just make sure you are using plastic-free tea bags and coffee filters-it's best to look for tea bags without staples. 

Read more: The best and worst environmentally friendly plastic wrap

It is a good practice to regularly remove the fluff from the dryer, but once you pull it out, what should you do? Compost it! 

Whether you are bagged or bagless, the dust, hair, and unrecognizable debris sucked from the floor are usually very suitable for your compost bin, just like the dust when sweeping the floor. 

Although you can compost the dryer lint and dust collected from the vacuum cleaner, you may not want to do this if the collected materials are synthetic materials

However, CHOICE TV expert Scott is cautious about adding dryer lint and vacuum cleaner dust to his compost. 

"Others suggested that we pour the vacuum cleaner bag into the compost, but considering that it must contain a lot of microplastics from synthetic clothing, carpets, etc., I never thought it was a good idea," he said. Say. 

As part of the "brown" component, sugar cane mulch is a good choice. CHOICE staff Kathleen uses it for a specific purpose: “I usually add an old sugar cane mulch to food scraps to prevent fruit flies from entering,” she said.

Read more: Use reusable food covers to reduce waste at home

Yes, you can compost paper towels.

Good old kitchen paper towels can be put in the compost (of course there are some precautions)-it is classified as brown garbage. 

A CHOICE community member said: "We compost the supermarket's regular (recycled) paper towels in the garden compost bin or compost toilet. They are indeed completely decomposed and have no obvious adverse effects on worms, slats, etc.". 

However, before throwing paper towels into the compost, think about what you do with it. If it is saturated with bacon fat, kerosene, paint, or harsh cleaning products, put it in a regular trash can. 

Once your potted plants are in the soil for a period of time, the nutrients in the soil will be depleted, and you should repot the fresh potting mix to help you keep your plants happy. 

So what can you do with the used potting mix? Put it in the compost, of course! After decomposition, you can use the compost again as a potting mix-a lovely way to close the loop. 

If the "wet" or "green" components in the compost (such as food waste) are used in excess, the nitrogen content will be too high, which will make the mixture acidic. 

Although garden lime and dolomite are well-known products that counteract acidity, the ashes from wood fires can also play a role. It can also save you from adding more waste to the landfill!

Read more: Which eco-friendly household products are really effective?

If you have joined the "booch" trend, you may find yourself having a large number of scoby (a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) babies. If you have given away as much as you can but are still beyond your knowledge, you can put them in your compost. 

Once you are bitten by a compost bug, you will never think about food waste in the same way again—including food scraps such as eggshells. 

You will be happy to know that eggshells are very welcome in your compost bin. However, they may take a while to decompose, so it is best to crush them before composting. 

If you want a waste-free way to eat eggs, you can also put the egg carton in the compost. Just tear them up a bit and they will decompose faster. 

Or you can donate them to someone who has chickens-and hope they can return a box of eggs as a thank you!

These things are also compostable:

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We at CHOICE recognize the Gadigal people, who are the traditional guardians of the land where we work, and we pay our respect to the indigenous people of this country. CHOICE supports the Uluru statement from the hearts of the indigenous people.