Far from being “waste,” food scraps are actually a tremendous resource with all the ingredients for compost (aka free, super awesome organic food for your veggie garden). Compost is also a recipe for making a huge difference to climate change.
Every year Australia sends 4.5 million tonnes of food waste to landfill – weighing the equivalent of 900,000 adult elephants! Once there, it produces methane, which is 25 times more potent than CO2. Emissions from food waste – some 16.5 million tonnes a year – are so potent, they’re nearly on par with the entire civil aviation industry.
The numbers may be staggering but the solution is simple. With nearly half the average household rubbish bin consisting of food scraps, making compost at home is a magic bullet – and you don’t even have to have a garden.
Here are three of the most common ways to make compost at home:
For the balcony garden: Worm farming
Great for shaded and sheltered outdoor, patio, or even indoor spaces, worms are the new pets that just keep giving back. Give them a steady diet of food scraps and newspaper and they’ll be crawling all over each other to chow down on your waste. As they move through it, they poo and wee as all animals do, creating castings and worm wee. Siphon off wee from a tap on the bottom of the worm farm, dilute 10 to 1 with water, and you’ve got some of the best natural liquid fertiliser on Earth. Then, mix their castings into your soil every couple months for an added boost of fertility.
For the concrete jungle: Bokashi
Meaning ‘fermented organic matter’ in Japanese, bokashi is odourless anaerobic composting that you can do right from your kitchen, fermenting veggie and even meat scraps into nourishing liquid fertiliser and compost in weeks. Every time you add scraps, just mash them down below the water line, give it a spray of enzymatic accelerator spray, and off you go. A great option for apartments with no outdoor space for a composting bin or worm farm.
For the proper backyard: Composting
Set up your bin outdoors in a spot with good drainage and lots of sun and feed it a 50/50 mix of food scraps and gardens scraps. Help it breathe with a quick stir every couple days, add dry materials or water as needed to keep your compost moist, and within a few months you’ve got rich, healthy soil teeming with macronutrients and good bacteria.
What to do with compost
From the home to farms to industry, we’re finding more and more that compost has an astounding range of applications. Healthy compost means healthy soil; healthy soil means healthy food; healthy food means healthy people and animals. It all starts with compost, the very stuff of life itself.
Just by throwing your food scraps into one of these instead of the rubbish bin, each and every one of us can effectively take 192 kgs of greenhouse gas emissions out of the air every year while turbo boosting our veggies and pot plants. What’s not to love?
Now here’s where it gets really exciting. To make things really easy, Compost Revolution offers 30-100% discounts on composting gear to get you started, with online tutorials to keep you on track. Thanks to partnerships with over 40 local councils, 12,500 homes have started composting – and this is just the beginning. Together they’ve diverted a whopping 2.9 million kgs of waste from landfill, avoiding 4.6 million kgs of greenhouse gas emissions. Wherever you are, start your own revolution to turn scraps back into food.