Written by Raghav Mathur, a grade 10 student
We all, when armed with the right information, can become fabulous at policing our family to check that lights are switched off, or that we’re up to scratch with the recycling. In this lockdown, we are watching our waste and composting big time! I have even been able to share lessons of Environmental Science ( EVS ) with my little brother while explaining it in a fun manner.
Personally, I do not like to waste kitchen waste and find great satisfaction and happiness in converting kitchen waste into manure. We use the organic manure for our small organic kitchen garden. By composting, we can reduce the amount of garbage we needlessly send to the landfills for disposal. It keeps our city clean, preserves the soil, prevents air pollution, and makes this earth a better place to live. As we all know it’s very important to have rich, organic soil for growing plants, let’s see how we make manure at home.
What is Composting?
Composting is a term that is used when someone controls the decomposition of natural waste & organic solid wastes. Usually composting is done in a bin or tub, where natural waste is allowed to mix and decompose into fertilizer.
Compost is an excellent natural fertilizer for our garden. You will know that the contents of your compost heap are ready to be used when they look kind of crumbly and smell like earth. When your compost heap is ready, you can layer the contents in the top-soil of garden beds, scatter them like mulch around the bottom of trees, plants, and shrubs, or mix it into the soil that you use in your potted plants. This rich fertilizer will help your flowers and plants be nourished and bloom more quickly and easily.
The first step to composting is the segregation of waste. We have two dustbins in my home.
One is for kitchen waste (vegetables, fruit scraps, peels, eggshells and other organic matters).
The other one is for toxic waste (glass, plastic, medicines, wrappers, used batteries, etc.).
Some important tips for composting-
1. BANANA PEELS: cut them into small pieces, dry them, and powder them in a food processor
2. EGGSHELLS: wash them, dry them, and powder them.
3. ONION PEELS: dry them and powder them.
4. EXPIRED MEDICINES TABLETS: powder them. 5. TEA BAGS /OR PLAIN TEA LEAVES: dry them,
6. YOUR OWN HAIR: this is also a great fertilizer, when you comb your hair, don’t throw it in the bin, keep it for the plants.
7. CURD AND MILK POUCHES: after these pouches are emptied, add water in them and put in the plants.
8. BOILED WATER OF EGGS, POTATOES: please do not throw this water, instead put them it your plants.
Add all the powdered peels etc to your soil to make it rich. All the powders mentioned above provide calcium, manganese, iron, copper, zinc, and nitrogen.
Nearly 60% or more of the daily waste generated in our households is made up of organic matter which can be easily converted into compost.
How to compost using a plastic bucket or a pot.
You will need
- : Any old plastic bucket or pot
- Kitchen waste, dry leaves and all of the items mentioned above
- Drill two or even three rows of holes on the sides and some holes on the bottom of the bucket. .
- Line the bottom of the bucket with a layer of soil. Now, add your kitchen waste and cover it with dry leaves.
- Mix the pile once or twice a week for aeration. If you find the pile dry, sprinkle some water and mix it well. It should not be too dry nor too wet. It will take about 45-50 days to fully compost depending on the temperature.
We are learning so much by sitting at home in the lockdown period and have actually started to enjoy gardening.
All our organic waste is now converted into nutritious manure for plants. We call this the “black gold”.