Composting, in which organic material is enabled to decompose into nutrient-rich soil mix, is growing in popularity as more people are becoming aware of its many benefits. One of the top benefits of composting is reducing waste sent to landfills. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, food makes up more than 20% of the waste in our landfills. By significantly reducing the amount of food waste that we throw away, composting helps to lower methane gases emitted from landfills into the atmosphere. Composting also helps produce rich, natural fertilizer that can be used to improve soil and plants without contaminating groundwater with chemicals.
There are many methods to choose from when it comes to composting. The compost bin planter—the option I selected since I live in an apartment—is aesthetically pleasing, which means I can leave it on my balcony without distracting my neighbors or breaking any of the property management’s rules. It also doubles as an herb garden. The excess liquid from the bin, known as “compost tea,” remains in the soil around the container and does not require any cleaning and removal as it would in a traditional compost bin. The compost tea is rich in nutrients and helps with growing herbs and many other plants right inside the planter.
The compost bin planter is easy to make yourself. In this video, I explain how:
Depending on how much food waste your household produces, you may want to create two or three of these compost bin planters. I have three compost bin planters on my balcony, each one at a different stage of composting. Once the first container was full, I moved onto the second, and then the third. The goal is for the first container to be finished composting by the time the third container is filled up to continue the rotation cycle.
Composting my food waste has been one of my goals for a long time, but I was always hesitant to start because of the property management’s requirements of what can and cannot be on a balcony. This compost planter helps me achieve my goals of reducing my trash tremendously. It’s also nice to know that my food waste is turning into rich organic fertilizer that I can use or share with friends and family to replace commercial fertilizers that contain harmful chemicals.
At the end of the day, whatever method of composting you find that fits your needs is better than sending your food scraps to the landfill.