You might be interested to know that in this group of Enviro Champs there is actually very little food waste in your collective bin audits, so a huge shout out to you! For those participants who do have a little food lurking in their bin bag, let’s get it out of landfill and into the earth. I’m talking about:
~ Compost ~
Over half of all Australians compost, so come on down! You might be surprised at what you can and can’t compost, even if you have an existing compost bin, so take a look at the list of compostable and non compostable items on the Clean Up Australia website. It explains how to make a compost that doesn’t smell or attract flies (been there, done that) and includes an Environmental Impact fact sheet that details the environmental effects of organic waste and the benefits of composting.
Why do you do it?
Apart from the obvious choice of being eco-friendly, I do it because I’ve lived in several sharehouses where there has been a compost bin in the garden, so now it’s become a habit. Throwing food in the bin just feels wrong, like putting recyclables in a general waste bin. By creating a habit it becomes second nature, and you don’t need to be convinced or motivated, you just do it. Other advantages that I’ve discovered are that without food waste my rubbish bin never smells, I don’t have to clean the inside of the bin and my bag never leaks when I transport the rubbish to the bin for collection.
What if I don’t have a garden?
Since I recently moved into a small flat, it has become more challenging, because I no longer have a compost bin or a garden to put scraps directly into. I do have a friend who lives nearby and is happy for me to wander into their backyard and add to their compost, so I’ve just re-purposed an ice cream tub and drop it off weekly when I ride home from work. It’s easy, it’s on my way home, I don’t have to change my routine to make it work and if I’m lucky I get to see my friend and talk compost. Win!
What are my options?
If you’re in the market for a compost bin, even if you don’t have a garden there are still quite a few options available, including the Australian made urban composter that purports to compost meat and dairy. Take a look at the options listed on the Compost Revolution site. They’re currently offering a 70% discount off composting products to Hume residents and they’ll be featuring on the War on Waste three part series (starting tonight at 8:30pm on ABC).
If you’re a Moreland resident you can get a 25% discount on their products, or you can also take your compost to a community composting hub: by signing up to Moreland City Council’s composting hub initiative, you also get a free compost caddy to transport your compost there – not encouraging you to acquire it if you don’t already have a similar container you could repurpose, just mentioning that it’s out there in case it meets your needs.
I should add that I am in no way affiliated with any of these initiatives, just passing on the information. I’m sure that some of the participants who are seasoned composters would have recommendations regarding the different types of composting available, too.
I already compost – what now?
How about recommending a bin or making a sample tub for a friend, family member, or your workplace? This is a fun way to get people to try composting at no cost or effort to them. Make it user friendly by clearly labelling what goes in, adding some dry leaves or scrap paper to soak up any compost juice so it doesn’t leak when you transport it, and empty it regularly – I empty mine once a week. You want your compost bin to stay clean and fresh so that people enjoy using it.
Alternatively, if there’s no community composting hub in your area and you think there’s a need for one, how about identifying some unused land in your neighbourhood and applying to your council to start one up?
That’s it for today’s compost challenge. I hope you got some new compost ideas or freshened up old ones, and for all the compost champions out there, feel free to share your expertise below!