So, you just finished cooking and you have a pile of potato peels, stems and leaves. Instead of pulling out a plastic trash bag, why not dump these food scraps into your compost bin? Composting recycles organic materials that would otherwise end up in landfills, and is used to naturally fertilize gardens and farms.
In fact, composting is catching on so much that in 2009 San Francisco, California, passed legislation that makes composting mandatory for residents. Now, the city diverts 80% of its waste from the landfill, closing in on its zero waste goal by 2020.
Even if you don't live in San Francisco, you can still compost at home. Read these tips to get started.
How to compost:
First, purchase or build a compost bin in whichever size you want to use.
Next, make sure the bin has some ventilation or air holes, otherwise microbials that thrive without air will assemble, causing an unpleasant smell. In order to successfully compost and promote the growth of microbial organisms which decay the material, allow for them their essential needs: air, water and food. Proper moisture greatly affects the microorganisms, so make sure the pile remains slightly damp but never wet.
Finally, to provide proper food, make sure that there is a good mixture of live (green) materials and dead (brown) materials.
Dump the materials in your compost bin and continue to add to the container as needed. Because the compost on the bottom of the pile is the oldest and most decayed, this should be taken out for use first. For this reason, some opt for a compost bin that tumbles with the spin of a handle to avoid unevenly decayed compost. Finished compost should resemble soil and the vast majority of the individual ingredients should not be discernable.
What to compost:
What not to compost: