All about Home-composting!

#What is home-composting ?

Home-composting means the controlled decomposition of organic material such as yard-trimmings, shavings of wood, kitchen waste, paper etc. It is a means of recovery of organic matter into compost which can be used for soil improvement or as an alternative to chemical fertilizers. 

#Why home-composting ?

  • Composting can divert upto 30% of  household waste from your garbage bins.
  • It is important because when the organic garbage is thrown away in landfills, it breaks down in the absence of oxygen and emits harmful methane gas, increasing the rate of global warming.
  • Home-composting also acts as a replacement to the chemical fertilisers you use in your garden, lawns and plants.
  • It is an important step in following 3R’s.

#Compost Pile : What all things makes the compost healthy and for best use

A healthy compost should have much more carbon than nitrogen i.e. 1/3rd green and 2/3rd of brown materials. 

Carbon-rich matter includes :- stems, dried leaves, peels, bark dust, shredded paper bags, corn stalks, coffee grounds, egg shells, tea grounds, wooden ash etc.

Nitrogen-rich matter includes :- kitchen waste, green leaves, manures, food scraps etc.

home composting

#Things which should'nt be used for composting:

  • Meat, bones, fish scraps as they will lead to pests, also we can use them if you are using a composter specially designed for it. 
  • No pet manures should be used.
  • Banana peels may contain pesticide residues, so it should be first soaked in water for sometime and then can be used.

#Composters:

  • You can DIY a compost bin at your home.
  • You can purchase standard composters – bins/digesters.
  • Food waste digester is also a good option but that is useful when used at a big level.
  • Earthern Pots ( make holes for aeration ).
  • Tumblers.
composter
home composting

#Steps for Home-composting :-

  1. Add dry and moist materials in layers and put them in alternate layers. Dry materials include: leaves, wood ashes, sand etc. Moist materials include: tea bags, food scraps etc.
  2. Activate your manure from time to time i.e. put green manure or yogurt + water mixture so that the process speeds up.
  3. Keep your compost moist by watering it ocasionally.
  4. Keep mixing the compost with a shovel or pitch-fork as it requires oxygen to break down. Also, once the compost starts developing, you can add in new materials.
  5. The compost will be ready by 2-4 months or maybe 6 months depending upon climate and quantity.

#Signs that the compost is ready:-

  • There are no food scraps left in the composter.
  • It should turn grainy/sandy.
  • The bad adour should turn into a nice earthy smell.
3Rs

Note: You can also make your compost in your garden, if you have one. That will take less time for preparation of compost and no composter will be required for the same.

Recycling Plastic – One Step Towards Plastic Free Earth

Why Recycling plastic is so important? Plastic waste is found at almost every place, whether it is at our home, at our office, when we go for shopping and even if we go out for a holiday. About 30 million tons of plastic is disposed off every year. And the worst part of plastic disposal is that it is simply thrown away in landfills, infact we are now running out of landfilll space. Apart from this plastic is also thrown in oceans which harm the eco system. Around 90% of waste floating on the surface of sea is plastic. In all, around 7-9% of plastic waste is recycled annually.

Now the question arises, what we should do with the plastic waste generated at home, offices and different places.

First of all, we should try and minimize the use of single-use plastic. We should think of different alternatives which can replace plastic to the maximum. For example :-  by using paper, cloth bags, using bamboo toothbrushes, carrying your own water bottles everywhere etc. 

3R's

Separate and collect every bit of plastic at your place of work, home. You can make these plastic waste reach different centres. One of the recycling plastic centre in Delhi is located in central market, Lajpat Nagar-2. Here you can deposit your waste and will get a cloth bag for every 1 kg of plastic. 

recycling plastic

If you cannot go to certain centres, you can contact agencies which collect plastic from your doorstep. One such agency is “One Step Greener”. They provide services in more than 13 colonies across Delhi (ncr) which includes vasant vihar, shanti niketan, west-end, Greater kailash 1, Defence colony, Maharani Bagh, Nfc, Sultanpur and many more. They offer monthly pickup of dry waste from homes, offices, restaurants and schools. The collected waste is then sent to certified recyclers and factories for reprocessing and recycling plastic. This eliminates plastic from going into landfill and oceans. Also, You can drop your waste at A-47, VASANT MARG, VASANT VIHAR if they can’t reach your place between 10am-5pm from monday to saturday. 

recycling plastic

It is our responsibility to recycle even a bottle of coke we buy while shopping. For this NDMC has installed smart vending machines at Connaught place and India gate. 4 machines have been installed across CP (2 in Pallika Bazaar) and 1 in India gate. The machine gives monetary rewards to those who dispose waste like glass bottles, plastic, paper. Anyone who disposes glass bottles, plastic bottles and paper will get Rs 2, Re 1 and Re 1 respectively. For plastic bags they will get Re 1 and for bigger bottles Rs 3. While disposing off, the person needs to register with their e-wallet which hardly takes two minutes and the money will be transferred to it. They have additional features like people can buy movie tickets, DTC bus tickets, Recharge sim cards, pay bills using the amount in their e-wallets. 

plastic vending machine

3Rs : How to apply it in our daily lives!

3Rs - Reuse.Reduce.Recycle.

Why 3Rs? The declining resources of earth has forced us to live a life where there is no wastage, where we reuse almost everything and recycle every bit of paper and plastic. Not just as our duty, but we should adopt certain practices so that we can contribute just a little to our mother earth

What starts at home, paves a path to a wide road. Thus, we should first carry out these very-easy and simple methods at our houses and then spread the same to the community. The 3Rs save land and money which communities often use to dispose off waste in landfills.

3Rs

#Reducewaste, instead prepare your own compost.

Composting can divert upto 30% of  household waste from your garbage bins. It is important because when the organic garbage is thrown away in landfills, it breaks down in the absence of oxygen and emits harmful methane gas, increasing the rate of global warming.

Home-composting also acts as a replacement to the chemical fertilisers you use in your garden, lawns and plants. It is an important step in following 3R’s.

What all you can use for compost :-  tea leaves, dried flowers, leaves, fruit and vegetable peels, egg shells, coffee grounds, chicken manure, dry sand and all the organic waste from your kitchen. 

You can either use earthen pots or enclosed bins as a composter. You need to activate your compost by putting some water + Yogurt mixture from time to time. In about 4-6 months when your compost will turn grainy/sandy, it will be ready.

home composting
3Rs

#Reuse mango seeds to grow plants.

In summers the most loved fruit is “mango”. Everyone of us love mangoes and we can show our affection towards it by re-using the mango seeds to grow indoor mango plants and replanting it outdoors after it begins to sprout. Also, it is the best time to grow a mango tree and is a major step in following 3Rs.

What you have to do :- Just after you eat a mango, wash the seed and keep it in a dry place. Let it dry for sometime and then sow it in a pot or re-used tin half-covered with sand. Pour some water time to time, whenever you see that sand is dry. However, mangoes don’t require lots of water. Just within few weeks you will see sprouts coming over. Re-plant it when it grows strong enough or what you can do is directly sow the seed in a garden and keep a watch over it. 

mango seed in a pot

#Recycle every bit of plastic waste.

Only 20% of plastic waste gets recycled and the other 80% either gets discarded or incinerated. 

The discarded plastic goes into ocean, landfills, drains and harms the animal and even us in many ways. You know what? You’re drinking plastic, I am drinking plastic, We all are drinking plastic. So, we should try our best and prevent plastic from entering oceans and landfills. 

What you can do :-  Collect every bit of plastic waste at your home and separate it. We can give this waste for recycling at different “plastic collection centres” like one in Lajpat Nagar, Central Market. Here you even get a cloth bag for every one kg of plastic. Also, you can contact different agencies which collect plastic waste from your doorstep. One of them is “One Step Greener” in vasant kunj. One step greener is continuously trying to make people follow 3Rs.  Also, E-vending machines have been installed in certain areas like India gate and connaught place, where you can dump plastic bottles, cans, paper and people will get money and vouchers worth Rs1 to Rs 100 depending upon your weight of plastic waste.

plastic waste
3R's
plastic vending machine