Living in Maui, we want to do everything we can to better our environment. We are blessed to have such a tropical paradise in our backyard and we need to do everything we can to keep it that way. One great way to reduce garbage and help the environment is to compost. Backyard composting is quite a bit simpler than most people believe and every Maui resident can do their part.
What are the benefits of composting?
First of all, by composting, you are reducing waste that will go to the landfill. Not only does that reduce what is at the landfill, it also reduces the costs (both monetary and environmental) of having to pick up that waste and transport it to the landfill, along with the packaging involved to get it there. The impact of this can be huge, with reduced Carbon Dioxide emission both with the transportation and with the organic breakdown.
Second, the compost you create will be useful to you as a natural fertilizer for your garden. When you use a natural fertilizer you created, you will save money, as well as water usage, as compost helps your soil retain water. By not using chemical fertilizers, you reduce the chances of chemicals getting into the soil and waterways.
Generally, by composting in your backyard, you are doing yourself and the environment a huge favor.
How do I do it?
Start out by either making or buying a compost bin. Place it in an area in your yard where it is accessible, but far enough away from the home that it won’t bother you. You’ll simply place your organic materials into the bin and wait for them to turn to compost, adding more as you go. The process can take several months.
Greens and browns
Many experts recommend that you have a ratio of 50% greens to 50% browns in your compost bin for best results. Greens typically comprise:
- Vegetables and fruits
- Coffee grounds
- Tea bags
Browns typically comprise:
- Dry leaves
- Straw and hay
- Dry grass
- Shredded paper
- Egg and nut shells
- Hair and animal fur
There are different types of composting, so many people have different bins for the different types. Hot composting is the best type of composting for ensuring that you don’t get bugs or grow weeds. What this means is that the temperature inside your bins is very hot (over 130 degrees Fahrenheit), with the heap being quite high as well. You will then turn your compost on a regular basis, from the bottom up and the inside out. This method is also much quicker than the regular composting method, but requires some work and knowledge of what sort of materials should go into the hot compost.
What not to compost
There are a number of things you should not put in your compost, even though they are organic materials. These include:
- Synthetic tea bags
- Meat and fish
- Citrus peels and onions
- Glossy or coated paper
- Sawdust from treated wood
Composting is a rewarding and beneficial act that doesn’t take much effort but has a huge impact.