Did you know that over a third of the food we 'produce' is wasted? That's equal to about 1.3 Billion tons EVERY YEAR.
And all that wasted food contributes a whopping 8% of annual greenhouse gas emissions, and about 24% of landfill mass.
Put another way... if food waste was a 'country' it would be the third largest producer of carbon emissions in the world - after China and the USA.
So in addition to taking only what you need and eating what you take (in developed countries like ours, most waste occurs at the retail and consumer levels) we gotta start composting to REDUCE CARBON EMISSIONS.
But if - like me - you find the idea of composting a little overwhelming, here are:
5 SIMPLE STEPS TO START COMPOSTING TODAY!
1- Pick a Prime Spot 🌱 Find a cozy corner in your yard or even a small space on your balcony. Your compost pile needs to breathe, so make sure it's well-ventilated.
Pro tip: If you're in a tight space (like an apartment), grab a 5 gallon (20L) box, and get some worms or try a countertop 'food cycler' (note: this is not a 'composter', but rather a dehydrator and grinder that turns your scraps into a 'fertilizer' that you can mix into your garden or plants).
2- Gather the Goodies 🍌🍂 Collect food scraps like fruit peels, veggie scraps, coffee grounds, and eggshells. Don't forget yard waste like leaves and small twigs. Avoid meat, dairy, and anything that can't break down easily. It's all about the 'greens'.
Pro tip: kitchen scraps should be part of a deliberate layering process to speed up decomposition. There's a method for adding them to the pile so you'll want to store the scraps and add them over time, an old yogurt container in the freezer is a good option to keep out fruit flies and reduce the smell.
3- Mix it up with Greens & Browns 🍌🍂 Collect food scraps like fruit peels, veggie scraps, coffee grounds, and eggshells. Don't forget yard waste like leaves and small twigs. Avoid meat, dairy, and anything that can't break down easily.
Pro tip: layer browns (egg cartons, etee packing paper, newspaper, twigs and leaves) and greens (food scraps and grass clippings) like a multi-layered lasagna to allow for airflow - think of it like building a campfire.
4- Wait, Aerate and rotate 🎩✨ Composting is like a slow-cooked stew. It takes time. Hot climates could break it down in 2 months, cold climates could take 6 or more.
Pro Tip: With the right mix of greens and browns, you should only have to 'stir' or 'rotate' your compost pile every 7 - 10 days.
5- Spread the love! 🌻🌿 Spread your compost love on your garden, potted plants, or donate it to a local community garden. Your green thumbs will thank you, and Mother Earth will throw you a high-five from afar!
HOW TO COMPOST ETEE PRODUCTS AND PACKAGING
SOAP AND BEAUTY PODS: can be rinsed, broken up and blended into your compost pile or even a garden (potted plants are possible too, but you need to turn it over quite a bit). You can also put one pod at a time into a food cycler. Check your local municipality to see their rules on composting natural waxes.
FLOSS AND FLOSS PACKAGING: our floss can be 'backyard composted' or put in a food cycler. The cornstarch plastic bag needs to be 'commercially composted' or put in a food cycler.
CARDBOARD AND PACKING PAPER: Makes a great 'brown' for your compost pile and it can also be composted. It's best to recycle our 'printed' cardboard packaging.
LAUNDRY POUCHES: These can be broken up and backyard composted, but it'll take 6 months or more.. They can also be commercially composted. I've also tried breaking them up and putting them in a food cycler, and it seems effective there too.