A Guide On How To Compost For Beginners

  • Written by: Killingsworth Environmental
  • August 20, 2018

Composting 101

It’s getting harder and harder to deny that our environment is in trouble. From air, water, soil, and land pollution to climate change, ozone layer depletion, loss of endangered species, and loss of biodiversity, the list of current environmental concerns goes on and on.

You might feel like there is nothing you can do to stop these monstrous and inevitable environmental problems, like any changes you make won’t make a big enough difference, or like is too late–but we’re here to tell you that’s not true!

We can all make the world a better place! One way you can do so? Compost!   

How does composting help the environment?

One of the biggest environmental problems facing us today is an increase in waste. And one way to reduce the waste you produce is to compost!

Our garbage is made up of about 35% food and yard waste, 25% paper, 25% other mixed, 7% plastics, 5% metals, and 3% glass–30% of which could be composted.

Composting is a process of decomposition that’s fueled by millions of microscopic organisms who consume and recycle waste to produce a rich and nutritious soil that can then be used as a fertilizer.

Besides significantly reducing the amount of waste we produce every day, composting has a whole bunch of other environmental benefits:

    • Fertilizes better than anything else- Because it’s an entirely natural product, compost contains both macro and micro-nutrients. Nutrients that can’t be found in synthetic fertilizers sold in stores.
    • Encourages the best kind of plant growth- Compost aids in plant growth, acts as a soil conditioner, and a natural pesticide.
    • Increases worm count in your garden (yes, that’s a good thing)- Compost prevents soil from eroding and therefore stops the spread of plant diseases, increasing the presence of beneficial garden animals like worms!
    • Retains water- Compost improves the soil’s ability to retain water and therefore decreases runoff. (Runoff is what pollutes our water systems!)
      The composting process is natural, easy, fun, and essentially free. How can you pass up on the opportunity to help our environment?Not sure where to begin? We’ve created the guide below to help you become a compost master!

      Your Killingsworth Compost Guide

      To compost or not to compost

      Certain organic matter can be turned into compost, but not all. Good compostable items include fruit and vegetable remnants (like banana peels and apple cores), coffee grinds, egg shells, garden waste (like grass clippings and raked leaves), feathers, nuts, shells, and paper.

      While, non-compostable items include cat/dog/animal waste, meat, fat, oil, grease, bones, colored paper, ash/ coals, toxic materials and all non-biodegradable material.

      Check out this full list of compostable and non-compostable items.  

      Your role in the composting process

      There are things you can do to creating an optimal composting environment which will help speed up the entire process.

      1. Decide whether you’re going to use a small or large composting bin. Larger bins will compost more quickly because they self-generate heat, but they’ll require more turning. Smaller bins work only if they have solid sides and a lid to keep the heat in.
      2. Start with a layer of soil. Then mix in yard waste and food scraps (“green” materials) and dry materials like leaves and shredded paper (“brown” materials) to add carbon.
      3. Cut up any waste material before adding it to your pile as it will break down more quickly.
      4. Aerate your compost by turning it frequently because the microorganisms that live in your compost pile are working hard to complete the decomposition process and need oxygen.  
      5. Keep your compost damp–not wet though! If you’re composting outside and get a good amount of rain, consider covering your pile or else you’ll end up with a slimy and smelly mess.
      6. Add worms! Again, worms are good especially during composting as they speed up the process.

      Go and use your compost for good!

      Once your compost becomes a soft, smooth, black or dark brown, earthy smelling material, it’s ready for use! What you have on your hands is an incredibly rich and nutrient soil which can be used all over your yard from your vegetable garden to your flower beds, lawn, and more!

      For more lawn care tips download your copy of our Killingsworth Workbook for Lawn Care Tips, Tricks, and Checklists from our specialists.

      Not only will your yard benefit greatly from your magic compost, so will the environment. At Killingsworth we firmly believe in making the world a better place. From the chemicals we use to our humane wildlife control process, we commit to always be as environmentally friendly and conscious as possible.

      Composting can actually be a great way to get your kids excited about going green, we wrote a blog about it!  

       

       

 

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