What is compost exactly? Great question! We love your curiosity. Compost is made by decomposing organic material into simpler organic and inorganic compounds through the process of composting. Composting recycles various organic materials like food scraps, paper products, and yard clippings that may otherwise be considered waste. Composting offers a great way to mindfully repurpose items that are usually tossed in the trash without any given thought.
Now, there are a variety of ways to create a compost bin at home, but one of the most popular ways is setting up an outdoor backyard compost pile. If you do not have access to an outdoor composting space, you may want to try indoor composting instead.
Step #1: Buy or Make a Compost Bin
First, you will want to get your DIY on and make a compost bin. If you prefer to skip the whole do-it-yourself part, you can always purchase one from your local gardening supply store or at a neighborhood hardware store. Hey, there is no shame in that game, we do not judge here.
When it comes to selecting a compost bin, there are a variety of options to choose from including larger balcony bins for a patio or smaller countertop bins, which are well suited for the kitchen. Always support local community businesses when you can, but you can also order an indoor compost bin online, like this one!
Step #2: Know What You Can and Cannot Compost
Once you have a compost bin set up, review what you can and cannot compost.
Avoid adding foods like bones, butter, and cooked foods containing dairy, fish, meat, and oil. These should all go straight to the trash and not in your compost bin.
Also, you may want to avoid adding a lot of foods that contain higher amounts of water, (think of things like onions and watermelon) as this may make the compost become too watered down. If you accidentally include one too many water-based foods, simply toss in some cardboard, newspaper, or shredded paper that has been broken up into smaller pieces. Easy fix!
Step #3: Use Your Compost
Once the items you have placed in your compost bin begin to break down and transform into a beautiful batch of homemade compost, you can use it. Some common ideas include utilizing it as a potting mix for your gardens or plants to help add a natural boost of nutrients that are found within the compost itself.
If you prefer not to use your compost, many communities usually offer a composting pickup service. There is usually a small monthly fee required for the use of a local composting service, so do your research and see what you find in your area.