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Eye on Green: How to Start a Compost

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Compost

Composting is nature’s way of recycling and since most homes waste is 1/3 compostable, composting makes sense. By helping out the earth, you will also be turning “waste” into great soil.  Click more to find out how you can start one.

By: Teal Betty

To start composting, you do not need special equipment, just a little bit of information that you can find out here. It takes a small bit of effort at the beginning but once you have begun, it is easy to maintain. The first step in starting a compost is understanding how and why composting works. The organic waste you put in compost naturally degrades with the help of fungi, bacteria, and other microorganisms that live off the waste. Water and air are also important factors in helping the compost process from waste, to nutrient rich soil. The entire process takes about 6-9 months. The second step in starting a compost is either buying or making a compost bin. Simple starter compost can be made by drilling holes in a garbage can and setting it up on bricks or wood to keep it off the ground. If you plan to put large amounts of yard trimmings in it, you might require a larger one. If you enjoy building things and are wiling to invest some hands on time in to building, then why not build a wooden bin yourself? You can find out what you need and step-by-step building instructions on the internet such as http://www.lowes.co. And of course buying a compost bin is an option as well. The price range of buying a compost bin is about $70-$300 depending on the material and build. No matter what option you choose, having an empty bucket next to your garbage can for temporary composting will save you many trips to the yard! The third step in starting to compost is deciding a good place for it. An ideal place would be in a spot that will receive some sun and some shade during the day. The act of composting itself generates heat, but heat helps the food break down faster but on the other hand, to much sun will dry it out. Another thing to think about when choosing a location is making sure your hose can reach. Not because composting is messy but in case your compost is drying out and you need to add some extra moisture. Lastly, knowing what you can and cannot compost is essential to getting compost up and running. Here are list of what to put in and what to keep out of you compost: IN – Coffee grounds – Egg shells – Tea bags – Pure cotton articles (cut up) – Grass Clippings (thin layers 3-4 cm) – Fruit and vegetable scraps – Cut up prunings – Citrus fruit (cut up) – Weeds without seed head – Pizza and egg cartons – Onions – Blood and bone – Shredded newspaper – Animal fur – Small amounts of wood ash – vacuum cleaner dust – Sour milk and yogurt OUT – Fish – Big woody prunings – Meat – Bulbous weeds – Cat and dog feces – Weeds with runners e.g. couch grass – Bleached or glossy office paper So now you know how composting works, where to put a bin, and what to put in it! It may seem like more work than just throwing compostable waste in the garbage, but this is the attitude that is sending tones of unnecessary waste to landfills. Talk to anybody who owns compost and they will most likely tell you the same thing, simply, it is worth it.

For more information on how to live the green life and to win cool prizes, visit us at http://cbsradiobaltimore.com/eyeongreen

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