Have a think about what goes in your bin.
According to Planet Ark, more than half the rubbish in there would be green waste and food scraps. In fact, we put more than 4.5m tonnes of food into landfill every year, which creates methane, a gas that contributes to climate change 25 times more than does carbon dioxide.
But there is a solution, or at least a way to reduce this impact: composting. If you don’t have a garden or room for a compost bin, think about a worm farm.
Worms not only munch through a lot of your food waste, but will also produce fertiliser that your plants will love.
Here are a few tips to get started:
- There are lots of worm farms on the market, so it is really about the size and style you want. For example, Compost Revolution is currently working with councils across Australia to offer affordable worm farms, compost bins and accessories. To see if your council is involved visit compostrevolution.com.au
- Choose a cool, shady spot for the farm.
- Put your farm together. There are usually three trays: food on the top, worms on the middle, and a liquid collection tray on the bottom, with a tap.
- Make a worm bed. A combination of coconut peat, pure compost, leaves and shredded newspaper is ideal.
- Feed your worms. Let them settle in for a week before feeding them and start slow. Almost all your chopped up scraps can go in there: vegetables and fruit, tea leaves and tea bags, crushed egg shells, coffee grounds, shredded wet paper/newspaper, vacuum cleaner dust, and hair (from your brush or comb). Go easy on the onions, garlic and citrus. Don’t feed meat or diary.
- Keep the compost slightly moist and only add more food once the worms have eaten everything. George Mingin from Kookaburra Worm Farms recommends you pick up a handful of worm bedding see if you can squeeze just a few drops of water out of it. If your worm bedding is too dry, spray water lightly. Too wet, add ‘brown’ material such as dry leaves and grass, ash, or shredded newspaper.
- Harvest the worm wee through the tap on the bottom tray and dilute it 1:4 with water before adding it to soil around your plants.
According to Kookaburra Worm Farms a properly fed worm bed should never smell. If it does, try adding more brown material. If you notice flies around the worm farm, you may have left too much food in there. Try buying it deeper into the compost or wrap it in newspaper.