Posty is a compilation of all the information and resources we wished we'd had to start composting. Those things that make composting scary and overwhelming? Our goal is to take them away. Like the Costco of composting, we wanna be your one stop shop - with content specifically created for those in an urban environment. Just like you, we're still new to this space, so our initial focus is on vermicomposting (worms) and tumblers (hot composting), but if those aren’t your methods of choice, we still supply plenty of helpful tools. We hope you’ll join our community and Go Posty!
High-level, composting is the decomposition of organic matter. Basically the process of your food rotting. By composting you take control of that process to create a nutrient rich soil additive called Black Gold.
DYK: About 28% of food waste should actually be composted. If you chuck your scraps in the garbage, they'll end up in a landfill, emitting massive amounts of methane and acting as a major contributor to global warming. But (and here's our pitch) if you start composting, according to the EPA you'll be creating enriched soil, reducing the need for chemical fertilizer, lowering methane emissions all while decreasing your carbon footprint. For more on the benefits of composting follow our Instagram for #FunFactFriday.
Compost is NOT fertilizer. Fertilizer feeds plants; compost feeds soil.
Yes! Depending on the type of compost you're interested in it may require an outdoor space or a cool, dark spot indoors. Don't have access to either? No worries. There are still a lot of ways to participate in the composting process. Take the Find Your Dirt Bag quiz to learn more.
We get that figuring out which which method makes sense for you can be daunting and confusing. At least it was for us. That's why we created the Find Your Dirt Bag quiz. Answer a few simple questions and we'll help you find your perfect compost match.
Composting had customization before it was cool. And you know what that means? Just like your Instagram feed, workout routine and all the marketing emails chilling in your inbox, it’s tailor made for you. Depending on your environment you'll have the following options:
Hot Composting: This is for the outdoor lovers, or those of you lucky enough to have an outside space (backyard, patio, balcony, porch - they'll all do the trick). This method relies on bacteria that eat away at your scraps, as the organic matter decomposes it generates heat. Keep in mind this is not a hit it and quit it type of deal. You'll need to monitor the compost frequently, ensuring the proper balance of moisture and air. Like the name implies, things are gonna get hot, and by that we mean 130-140 degrees. So, add “thermometer” to that shopping list, you're gonna need it. Using this method you can have a finished compost in as little as four weeks.
Bokashi: This is an indoor form of composting, but you'll need an outdoor space. Intrigued? Originally created in Japan, this method is technically considered fermentation rather than traditional composting. Using the Bokashi approach, store your scraps in an airtight container. With each addition to the container you'll drain the items and sprinkle it with Bokashi powder (think magic bacteria dust). Once the bucket is filled, seal it up and let it sit for 10-14 days. When the time is up, you'll take that output and bury it in a backyard allowing for the final decomposition to occur.
Vermicomposting: Worms are here. Am I right? Ideal for urban environments, this method can be done inside or outside within a 60-80 degree temperature range. Using either a purchased or up-cycled bin, you'll feed your worms on a weekly basis. Just like everyone else in the world, it seems - these guys are also on a diet. Worms can eat their body weight in food (same with us and pasta), so you'll likely be feeding them 1-2 cups of scraps a week. The rest of your food will go into the freezer for storage. More than just weight watchers, worms are also selective eaters. We like to think of them as picky vegans.
You'll also need to give your worms bedding, no, not Egyptian cotton. These guys need a steady supply of carbon. Shredded newspapers (please, like you actually have a subscription to the Times) or, much more likely, Amazon boxes will do the trick. This is an ongoing process and in three months you'll be ready to start harvesting the black gold. Moral of the story - don't write off a chick with worms.
Maybe you're more of a gatherer than a hunter, and there's nothing wrong with that. This method is pretty straightforward. Rather than going through the actual composting process, you store all your scraps and have someone else do the composting for you. Usually this entails dropping them off at a designated location. Farmers' markets and community gardens are a great place to start. To help you on this journey, we've put together a list.
This will mainly depend on the method of composting you select, but in most cases you can repurpose items at no cost.
Things that aren't free:
Bokashi Powder - Runs about $5 a pound
Composting Worms - $30-$50 a pound
While we’re talking about money did you know you could save or even make money by composting?
Reducing your trash leads to less trash removal and the associated costs. The Urban Composter author Jeremy Bonnet estimates a potential of $240 in annual savings.
Play your cards right and you can even sell your finished compost. Worm castings retail for about a dollar a pound.
The good news is you can compost most things; some studies have shown about 50% of household waste should be composted. A lot of this depends on the method you select. Across the board, plastics or glossy papers are a no. That being said, rumor has it latex is fair game, for whatever that's worth. In general, it's easier to look at what you can't compost by the method of composting you're using:
Vermicomposting (worms) - We like to think of worms as picky eaters. Exactly the type of dinner guest you'd want to avoid. When vermicomposting, do not add meat, starch, citrus, seasonings, oil, or eggs to your compost. But for some reason egg shells are okay and limited coffee grinds. It's like, seriously Karen, do you even want to come over for dinner?
Hot Compost - A bit more flexibility here, you can technically compost meat and eggs with this method, though its not recommended as it attracts pests. Otherwise, citrus is okay in moderation and starches are welcome. Keeping oils away is still a good rule of thumb.
Bokashi - This is the guest your mom loves to have over. Bokashi is no stranger to the "You just come over anytime" line. Why? Because they will literally eat anything. You'd think being that much of a people pleaser would be exhausting and lead to major indigestion but that's what the magic bacteria powder is for?
This all depends on the method you select. Bokashi is the fastest method, taking about 14 days. Meanwhile worm composting takes the longest, ranging between 3-6 months.
A bad odor is an indication that something in the pile has gone awry. Just like you'd call your doctor to scope things out after emitting a funky smell, put your stethoscope and take a look. Usually the result of excess moisture, these smells can be quickly remedied and you can get your compost feeling fresh again.
Again, this really depends on which composting method you pursue. On average we'd expect to spend 30 minutes a week composting. A small price to pay for saving the world.
We know this isn't easy. But you got this. Let's save the world.