Compost 101

I started to compost about a year ago and I've learned so much since I started. Every time I share about compost I get messages asking me how they should start, so I thought I'd share a couple basics to get people started and some resources if you want to dig deeper.
WHERE DO I GET STARTED? Composting can be as simple or as complex as you want to make it. I always tell me friends to grab a small bin for your kitchen and identify an outdoor spot that you'll dump the food waste.

WHAT CAN I COMPOST? This is where it can get complex if you really want to get into it and different sources say different things. There are many different ratios of Green vs Brown compost, but if there are too many 'browns' then it will decompose at a much slower rate, and if there is too many 'greens' the compost will be too acidic.

I am on the more simple composting end of the spectrum. I looked at a list of green and brown materials and made sure I'm adding things from both sides and hope the ratio works itself out in the end. Right now, we only compost veggie scraps (green), eggshells (green), grass clippings (green), paper (brown), and leaves (brown).

DOES IT SMELL OR ATTRACT CRITTERS? Mostly no. Sometimes the bin in our kitchen will smell when I open it if I haven't emptied it enough... if that happens, I empty, clean it out and it is back to normal. Sidenote: I have seen people put their compost in a ziploc in their freezer if they can't empty it often enough or if they use a composting service.

The outdoor bin never smells. If you don't already have critters, this will not attract them... If you do already have critters, then you should build a more enclosed outdoor bin.

WHAT PRODUCTS DO I NEED? The great thing about compost is you can start with what you already have! We use an old butter tub in the kitchen for scraps and started out just making a pile in our backyard. I currently have a wire compost bin that I fill up for a couple months then move it over to let the pile really decompose. I've also been keeping my eye out for good deals on a tumbling composter or a cuter countertop compost bin, but I 100% encourage trying out compost with no upfront costs to really figure out if it's something you'll be able to keep with.

I'll continue to add to the post as I learn more information, but really my biggest tip is just get started where you are and build on your knowledge and setup from there.

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