So we hate greenhouse gas and we love greenhouses. It’s confusing. Recently, Ash in the Big Little Brush team built a small greenhouse that is warmed by his kitchen waste. His compost.
When it comes to a word being used a lot lately, it is hard to compete with the word COVID. That being said, there is another c word that is spreading too - compost. Whether you’ve noticed it on some packaging, discovered some new compostable baking paper or you’ve been wondering: can I compost my bamboo toothbrush?
Well before we move on, the short answer to that is... YES.
So what’s so cool about compost?
Put simply, it takes some pretty awful things like greenhouse gases and turns it into healthy soil. It's wild to think that around 50% of our garbage waste can be recycled in your backyard and turned into soil that helps regenerate the earth, reduce our greenhouse gases and suppress carbon (it’s a pretty good soldier fighting against climate change).
Here are some quick composting facts:
- If it once was a living thing, chances are you can compost it. That includes wood, your coffee grounds, egg shells or even your old cotton t shirt
- Compost releases rich nutrients into the soil and feeds all the life under our feet. It’s the perfect soil for your veggie patch, flower garden or even your lawn.
- It also helps suppress plant diseases and pests. Compost means you can look after your own health, the health of your soil and save some money by not needing gross poisons and chemical fertilisers
- Because it retains moisture, compost reduces the amount of water you need to use
- It also filters water runoff, protecting our streams from erosion and pollution
Okay, so after reading that, chances are you think composting is pretty cool too. For so many people though, it can seem like a tricky thing to get started with.
Do I need to go down to Bunnings and buy one of those fancy compost bins, do I get one that spins or can I just use something at home?
Well, you could buy a compost bin or you could just use an old container at home. That’s up to you. But either way, getting started with your home compost is actually super simple. Ash, who made that greenhouse with is compost describes it as “making a lasagne of your waste”
You can learn how to do it yourself in under four minutes.
Here is one final tip for your new compost
We talk about compost in two colours: green and brown.
- Green refers to things that are rich in nitrogen, like fresh leaves or vegetable scraps
- Brown refers to things that are rich in carbon, like dried leaves, tree branches or newspaper
A good home compost has a ratio of 60% green to 40% brown. That ratio should help you forage some waste and get started with your own compost. Remember to throw your toothbrush in their when you’re buying a new one.