Almost as eagerly awaited as Christmas, International Compost Awareness Week is 7th – 13th May 2017.
Compost might not be top of your mind a lot of the time but it’s hugely essential to our lives (think growing delicious food) and can help reduce the amount of waste you produce by up to 30%. Food waste is a hot topic right now and, forgetting about waste when buying, cooking and eating for now (although if you’re interested, check out how you can save £60 a month by being more savvy with your food), how you dispose of your uneaten and inedible food can make a big difference to your bin and the planet.
Setting up your own compost bin is super simple. All you need is the bin, somewhere to put it and your uncooked food scraps. Think vegetable peelings, egg shells and tea bags. You can even add shredded paper, flowers and leaves, and grass cuttings. Just don’t add anything cooked or any meat, fish, diary products or bones. These can attract pests and don’t break down like raw vegetables do.
It takes around nine months to a year for your scraps to turn into nutritious compost. When it’s ready you can add it to your garden, pot plants and vegetable patch to give your greens a growing boost. Compost improves the quality of your soil and adds nutrients, making it easier for things to grow. It also lets your soil retain more water, meaning less watering is needed and less dry, sad looking plants.
So whether you’re growing greens, producing pot plants or just want a lusher lawn, your salad scraps and egg shells could be the simple (and money saving) answer.
Don’t have anywhere to spread your compost? Offer it to neighbours, local schools and allotments using websites like Freecycle and StreetBank. You’ll be surprised at how many people will want to get their green fingers on your composted potato peelings.
If you live in Havering, there are two free interactive composting workshops at the Walled Garden, Bedfords Park, Havering-atte-Bower on Saturday 13th May. Participants will not only learn about composting and the Havering compost bin offer (£5.99 for a 330L compost bin, 5L kitchen caddy and delivery) or how to improve the compost they already produce, but will also be able make a mini composter in a bottle to take away. This is a nice activity for families to do together. Places need to be booked in advance as there is limited availability. Workshops will run 10.30 – 12noon and 1 – 2.30pm. To book your place, click here.
In Redbridge, some schools will be promoting composting and teaching the kids how it works and why it’s good.
For more information about composting – the benefits and how to get started, have a look at Recycle Now.