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Thinking about adjusting your home to become a little bit greener? Composting is an easy way to start doing your part for the environment – did you know that about 40% of residential waste is compostable? You can easily start composting at home, reducing your family’s environmental impact, providing a free source of fertile nutrients for your garden’s soil, and improve plant growth better than chemical fertilizers.

Why you may want to start composting

Simply put, composting is a simple way to help keep waste out of landfills and improve the production of most plants in your garden simultaneously. Looking for a bit more information? Here is a more detailed list of reasons to compost:

  • Use fewer chemicals in your garden
  • Creates richer soil
  • Lowers your carbon footprint
  • Saves you money on fertilizer
  • Reduces the amount of food waste your household accumulates
  • Saves you trips to the store to buy fertilizer

How to start composting at home

To begin composting, you’ll need to know that you need three major components to compost successfully: Green materials, brown materials, and water. Green materials are the things you likely already have in your home – vegetable and fruit scraps, coffee grounds, and some expired leftovers. Brown materials can easily be gathered outside. These are things like twigs, dead leaves, bark, and branches. You’ll simply need to add the browns and greens equally into your compost pile and add some water to help break down the components. Do some quick research about what to add and what not to add to your compost heap.

You can start a compost heap outside by placing your compost bin or pile in a dry spot with shade and proximity to a water source. Just add your greens and browns as you collect them, but make sure to break up large chunks into smaller pieces and bury fruit and vegetable scraps about ten inches underneath the surface. You should also dampen any dry components before adding them to your heap. You can then cover your heap with a lid or a tarp to keep it moist. Your compost will be ready anywhere from a couple of months to a year or more, depending on what you add.

Composting can be done inside if you don’t have the outdoor space. While this may sound smelly, it doesn’t have to be. You can use a lidded ceramic or stainless steel container to compost indoors successfully without pests or major smells.