Almost every sustainable living guide in existence will likely instruct you to start composting. And rightly so – composting organic waste keeps it out of landfill and magics it into a nutrient-dense resource that can grow more food. It’s Mother Nature at her finest, and composting is a really powerful action we can all take to significantly reduce our impact. However… when I mention the word compost, it’s often met with a glazed look. Reading between the lines, I think most of us get that composting is the right thing to do, but there are a whole lot of barriers that can get in the way of us starting.
Before you write off the idea of composting, here are a few ideas to help you ease into it:
- Create less: Before we even get to composting, the best thing we can do is to reduce the amount of food we’re wasting in the first place. From getting better at using our leftovers, sticking to our shopping list, or using our freezer, there are lots of ways we can make a significant dent in our food waste. Check out Love Food Hate Waste or this earlier blog for inspiration.
- Neighbours: Maybe your neighbours have a compost bin and are happy to take your scraps. Have a chat, and maybe you can feed their pet guinea pig when they’re away, lend them your bread-maker or bake them a cake in exchange. I know that I’m personally always stoked to take my neighbour’s compost – it creates a sense of connection, means I’m doubling down on my impact, and it just feels really good.
- Community: You may be pleasantly surprised at who else is composting in your area. There might be a community garden, a school, an urban farm… Ask around on local social media pages or check out the super handy Share Waste App which lists anyone willing to take food scraps in your area. If you’re wondering how to store your food waste between drop-offs – throwing it in the freezer is a great option.
- Outsource it: There are more and more compost services cropping up for homes and businesses – from collecting food scraps to renting worm farms. A quick internet search will help you see what’s on offer in your area.
- Get into it: Whether it’s a bokashi bin, a worm farm, or a compost bin – there are lots of ways to start composting at your place even if you don’t have a backyard! Head over to Compost Collective where you’ll find lots of amazing resources to get you started.
And remember that composting is not an all-or-nothing game. Do what you can with where you’re at and you might just be surprised at the difference you can make and how good it feels.
Photography: Sacha Kahaki