Composting at Home

from http://www.flickr.com/photos/29278394@N00/2457055952/

Compost is decaying organic material, such as food scraps and dead leaves, which can be added to soil to help fertilize plants. It is an excellent addition to home gardens and flower beds. According to the EPA, methane (a greenhouse gas) is released when compostable materials end up in a landfill. About 20 – 30% of our garbage is typically compostable.

To make compost, a balanced mixture of water, “brown” materials (leaves, branches, and twigs), and “green” materials (food scraps, coffee grounds, and lawn trimmings) are required. It is best to place them in alternating layers. You can compost at home using several methods. Indoor and outdoor compost bins can be purchased at a hardware store, or alternatively, you can make one yourself. It is important that the bin has proper insulation so that it doesn’t freeze in the winter, and also so it is protected from insects and rodents. It can take anywhere from two months to two years to create usable compost.

Materials that cannot be composted include meat bones, dairy, eggs, cat litter, and dog waste. For more information, click the above link or go here: http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/8799.html, or here: http://howtocompost.org/

 

Written by Melissa Kullman, class of 2014
photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/29278394@N00/2457055952/, image was cropped

 

One Comment on “Composting at Home

  1. Hi Kathy,I’m planning on buinlidg a sustainable home and wondered if you could give me any guidance as to how to get started in this venture. I hear a lot about green and sustainability all over the web these days and a lot of hype about LEED, etc. What steps would you recommend that I follow or what direction could you point me toward? Is it worth it financially? I know it’s the right thing to do but at what level and for what costs?

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