Just a decade back, there was little or no awareness about kitchen waste management. However, in today's times, waste segregation and management is an all important task. Our Mother Earth is not a dumping ground. It is necessary we learn to reduce waste and recycle as much as possible. The kitchen is one area where a large amount of wet waste is generated daily.
Almost 35% of landfills are brimming with kitchen waste that includes scraps of food and grubby bits of paper (such as tissues). Think about all the edible food that is disposed of because we don't want to eat it. And then, we don't consume egg shells or chicken bones, do we? What happens to all this? It builds up the pile of kitchen waste in the trash outside your home. A large amount of garbage pile up releases the deadly methane that has a damaging effect on planet Earth.
Reduce Household Waste with Kitchen Waste Composting
The kitchen waste generated can be reduced and reused to a large extent with some modifications in our daily habits. So our leftovers are better utilized in a compost pile rather than buried in a landfill. So here is an easy method to manage your kitchen waste on a regular basis.
Creating compost at home is one of the natural ways of utilizing kitchen waste to the fullest. This compost is useful for gardens as it turns into a free fertilizer for your vegetables or flowering plants.
Make Compost at Home : Segregation
You need to create a right mixture to achieve the best compost through segregation. 50% of green compost matched with 50% of brown compost should get you the correct consistency.
Carrot pieces, coffee grounds, weeds, dried up leaves, vegetable peels from salads and such, will fall into the green category. Egg shells, straw, strands of hair, kitchen paper, nuts, sawdust, etc. will belong to the brown group. Avoid adding metal cans, plastic, bones, bottles, fish or meat, and other dry or reject waste to this compost.
Items of the green category breakdown quickly as compared to brown. Note: You must be careful to avoid adding bones or meat to your compost as this will only make the whole pile stink.
Now that the basics are cleared, let's begin to create the compost. We'll start with a simple procedure that can be carried out in any corner of a garden.
- Begin your compost on the soil to assist its aeration. Add a heap of straw on the selected area for an enhanced drainage system. Place your selected fertilizer ingredients (mentioned earlier). Ensure
- You keep the moist kitchen waste first and alternate it with dry materials. For, e.g., bits of food can be layered with dry materials such as straw. Pile it up with green manure. Green manure is specially grown to speed up the compost process. This is a type of grass that helps to improve the fertility of the soil.
- Once done, the compost needs to be moist – neither too wet, nor too dry. Occasional rains are a bonus, otherwise, water at regular intervals. This compost material also needs to be covered with a plastic sheet or a wooden plank. The pile needs to be remade every few weeks to mix the items together. Oxygen is vital for the quality of compost. This procedure keeps the compost pile well-aerated. It allows a right combination of air and moisture to assist the process. It also eliminates the possibility of an odor.
- Composting can also be done in a bin. Rotating containers are available easily and are useful to turn the mixture. Containers should be kept in a sunny area. This will keep the rodents and fruit flies away. Remember, your compost is not a dumping ground for your everyday kitchen waste.
- The compost will be ready in a few weeks or months. This is dependent upon the level of aeration. The mixture will slowly take on a dark brown shade. This indicates the compost is ready to be used as a fertilizer. If you do not have a large garden, there are many nurseries that will purchase the compost from you. You can even share the rich compost with your friends.
Initially, managing your kitchen waste will require some amount of practice. Once you grow into the attitude of doing it yourself, things will smoothen out eventually. With a little assistance, you can also try for vermicomposting (using earthworms) if space is not a constraint.
Tips to Reduce Food Waste
Try to reuse leftover food. Leftover food items in the kitchen can be used to create new recipes. Professional chefs over the world have shown the magic they can create with leftover food. They have also outlined its health benefits.
Avoid buying packaged items. Bottled water, packaged drinks, foods wrapped in plastic and such only add to the waste generated on a daily basis. Opt for fresh produce instead. Reduce usage of paper plates by unfolding takeout boxes and using it as a serving plate. When it comes to reducing your kitchen food waste, every little step counts. So, have you done your bit today?