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DIY Compost For Sustainable Living

Blog

DIY Compost For Sustainable Living

Hilda Chang

The practice of sustainable living has been a growing trend these past few years. The idea behind this movement is simply to help reduce waste and live as efficiently and naturally as possible. The transition to sustainable living can be a difficult adjustment, but Enji is here to help with tips and tricks for how to start living sustainably. We previously talked about growing your own sustainable food from scraps and today we want to help you start your sustainable compost.

 

Location

It is super important to decided where your compost will be placed in your home. The closer it is to where you use it the more likely you will remember to use it. If you have a yard or garden that produces a lot of organic waste, maybe think about placing it next to your garden. If you mainly have kitchen scraps think about placing it close to the kitchen. It is helpful to also keep compost where it can get a couple of hours of sun light and near a hose to help with the decomposing process. If you create a compost pile on the ground instead of a bin remember to keep it away from trees as their roots will seek out the nutrients and quickly kill your compost.

 

Building

If you live in a house or building with access to your own plot of land consider building a compost pile directly on the earth. Find a nice location with access to sunlight and water. The best places have grass and will make for a great foundation. Start by digging a few inches deep and about 3 feet wide to prevent grass from growing.

 

You will then require enough materials to make your pile at least 3 feet high. Any smaller and the pile will not generate enough heat to break down materials any taller and there will not be enough oxygen for the process. You will need organic material such as branches, twigs, leaves, grass clippings, and hay. The important part is to choose organic material with different sizes to help ventilate the pile. Pile all the organic material to form a 3 foot pile and water slightly. Turn your pile twice a week and keep moist.

 

It is important to only put organic materials in the pile and avoid plastics, bone, meat products, and fats.

 

Other Options

Enji understands that a compost pile might not be the most attractive ornament on your lawn, but you can form a wood fencing around the pile for a better visual appeal and cover to help with heat generation.

 

If you don’t want to dig and want a better-looking compost. Consider decorating an old metal trash can. It’s size and shape are perfect for composting. After decorating, punch holes on the bottom with a hammer and nail. Place the modified trash can on top of brick to provide ventilation. Fill your new compost bin with three inches of each: garden soil, kitchen scraps, shredded newspaper and leave/ grass clippings, in that order.  Keep the lid on the can, and continually building more layers until the can is full. Within about three months, the compost will be cooked to perfection, all without turning or watering.

 

There are also several other bins being sold online and in stores if you do not want to make one. It is important to read the benefits of each bin and plan accordingly to your space and needs.

 

Sources:

http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/outdoors/gardening/how-to-compost-and-the-different-types-of-compost-bins

http://www.hgtv.com/design/outdoor-design/landscaping-and-hardscaping/how-to-compost-indoors

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/care-compost-pile-24779.html