How to Compost Using Only Things From Your Kitchen
Composting is a great way to reduce food waste and create nutrient-rich soil for your plants. With a bit of effort, you can compost using items found right in your kitchen! Here’s how to get started:
Gather Your Ingredients
Fruits and Vegetables
Your kitchen scraps are the base of your compost. Produce trimmings like apple cores, carrot peels, and broccoli stems are all great additions. You can also add moldy fruits and veggies that have gone bad.
Coffee Grounds and Filters
Used coffee grounds and filters are an excellent source of nitrogen for your compost. They break down quickly and help balance the carbon in your pile.
Crushed eggshells add valuable calcium and other minerals to your compost. They break down slowly, so be sure to crush them into small pieces.
Most tea bags are compostable, though some contain small amounts of plastic. Open the bags and empty out the tea leaves to ensure nothing artificial goes into your compost.
Paper Towels and Napkins
Plain paper towels and napkins can be composted without issue. Avoid any that are glossy or contain chemicals/cleaners.
Small amounts of wood ash from your fireplace or grill can raise the pH level and add potassium to your compost. Just a cup or two will do the trick.
Choose Your Compost System
To compost with kitchen scraps, you’ll need some type of enclosed compost system. Here are some options that work well for small spaces:
Compost Bucket or Bin
A lidded plastic bucket or bin is the simplest option. Drill holes in the bottom and sides for aeration. Add your scraps, keeping the bin in a shady spot. When full, empty it into an outdoor compost pile.
Composting with worms speeds decomposition. Red wigglers thrive in containers filled with moist bedding like shredded paper. Feed them your scraps and they’ll produce rich vermicompost.
Electric composters like the Vitamix FoodCycler quickly grind and dehydrate scraps into odorless compost in just hours. These systems keep odors and pests away.
Maintain Proper Conditions
To keep your compost healthy, monitor the following factors:
Turn or stir the compost weekly to circulate air. Proper aeration speeds decomposition.
The compost should always be moist like a wrung-out sponge. Add water if it gets too dry. Excess water can lead to foul odors.
Balance of Ingredients
Shoot for an even mix of green (nitrogen-rich) and brown (carbon-rich) materials. Adjust what you add based on what’s already in the compost.
Break or chop large pieces into smaller bits. This gives microorganisms more surface area to work on.
With the right ingredients and conditions, you can make nutrient-packed compost using just your kitchen scraps. Give it a try!