The earthy world of home composting explained

The earthy world of home composting explained

June 22, 2022

Easy guide: How to make a home compost


Do you want a home compost but are not sure where to start? This easy guide on how to make home compost will have you on your way to being a composting pro in no time.

Ahhh compost.

There’s nothing more satisfying than the smell and feel of that soft, sweet earth on your gardening gloves — knowing that as you plant new vegetables or flowers — you’re literally giving back to the earth.

Well, at least in our opinion.

Composting is a topic we’re very passionate about here at Pleasant State (in case you couldn’t tell). So much so, our products come in home compostable packaging. Friendly hint, the sooner you get these in your bin the better — this will give it ample time to compost.

Wait, back up — how to make home compost — you may be thinking.

In this article, we will cover the basics of composting including, why you should be doing it and how to get started.


The benefits of compost

For those unfamiliar with the earthy world of composting, we’re referring to the process of turning organic material into soil — or “black gold” — as gardeners like to call it.

Compost is the nutrient supplement of all supplements for your lawn and garden, but it also plays a much bigger role in helping the environment.

In short it:

Reduces waste
Keeps your garden healthy
Limits the need for chemical fertilisers.

Let’s dive a little deeper into this, shall we?

Studies have shown that composting can reduce as much as 30 per cent of food waste going into rubbish bins and landfills.

The household items that can be composted include:

Fruits and veggies
Eggshells
Coffee grounds
Tea bags
Nut shells
Newspaper
Cardboard
Paper
And home compostable packaging!

You can also compost garden waste including twigs, leaves and grass clippings.

Now, remember that black gold we were talking about?

When all the items mentioned above start to break down it should create a nice little soup of nitrogen and carbon; two elements needed for healthy soil.

If you’ve composted right, then the mixture you create can be used in lieu of commercial fertilisers, which prevents chemical run-off leaching into our soil and water-ways.


What does healthy compost look like?

Healthy compost needs more carbon matter than nitrogen. This will give the mixture a light, fluffy body, aiding soil drainage.

Carbon-rich materials include branches, stems, dried leaves, peels, bits of wood, bark dust, shredded brown paper bags, corn stalks, coffee filters, coffee grounds, eggshells, and straw.


How eco-companies are helping the compost fight

In a bid to be more environmentally-friendly many companies now offer home compostable packaging and home compostable bags with both their products and deliveries.

Compostable packing materials can include:

Plant-based packing peanuts
Compostable mailers
Bioplastics Mushroom packaging.

Now we should mention here there is some confusion around the term compostable as some companies will misleadingly state they are COMMERCIALLY compostable.

This is different to home compostable — and not for you. It means these items can only break down in a controlled environment, such as an industrial composting facility.

Before you ask, all Pleasant State refill bars come in home compostable packaging. So, once you’ve unwrapped your goodies they’re 100 per cent good to throw into your compost bin.

We’ve gone a step further than this though.

If you use a paper towel to wipe any Pleasant State product up, this too can be composted. This is because all components we use are “readily biodegradable”, meaning the bacteria and the environment found in a compost bin will happily biodegrade the surfactants and essential oils we use.

We have a sustainability page at Pleasant State if you want to know why we do what we do. Please, check it out here.


How to make home compost

If you’re interested in how to start a compost bin at home there are a few items you will need before you jump on in.

These are:

Gloves
Mask
Peat straw
Organic compost
Garden waste
Food scraps
A tumbler bin, or a compost bin; these come in many shapes and sizes. A tumbler bin can be turned via a handle. This produces compost faster.

Now, some Australian councils actually offer home composting services so you should check in with your LGA — they may offer things like bins and earthworms for free or at a discount.

The first thing you want to do is pick a nice shady spot for your bin as you don’t want your mixture to dry out.

Then mix in your organic compost and straw. This will give your compost the bones to get a-stewin.

Now, remember what we said above about needing to maintain a good carbon, nitrogen ratio? This refers to your garden and food waste people.

Aim to have one-third green materials (which is high in nitrogen) and two-thirds brown material (carbon).

If you don’t have a tumbler bin you will need to layer the waste types. If you have a tumbler bin you can chuck all the ingredients in. Just remember to turn it at least once a week.

Once your mixture looks like soil and smells like soil, then your home compost heap is ready to be used in the garden.

If you get stuck on any of the above, Bunnings and Earth Easy have great composting guides online.

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