How our family uses composting for zero food waste

by | Oct 4, 2017 | Family Outdoors, In the Garden

The objective of a family compost is simple, to achieve composting for zero food waste. Cut down on waste and improve soil conditions by using the ultimate recycling process. What if I told you there is more than one way to compose and reduce your waste and footprint on this earth? You can even compost meat, dairy, bread, eggs & cooked food, but you need to use the right system. You can reduce your kitchen food waste to almost zero. If you have a dog that eats bones, then you’re now ticking all the sustainability boxes.

Reducing household food waste is an important part of working towards a more sustainable existence. So let’s take a look at what available and how they work.

Outdoor composting

Composting outdoors isn’t as hard as you might think. Your plants are going to love you for it, especially your veggie patch! There are a few basic rules in an outdoor composting system that utilises the awesome work of garden worms & microorganisms.

Check out our composting do’s and don’t’s here.

Composting outdoors is said to be more of a slower system, however, it does have its advantages. It caters to all your garden clippings and leaf litter and you can add in layers of soil. This type of composting is known as a ‘hot’ composting system.

Basically, you need both carbon & nitrogen ingredients to promote a ‘hot’ environment towards the centre of your compost and keep the pile aerated by turning it regularly. This will accelerate the composting process. This is when the worms and microorganisms do their thing!

Read more about outdoor composting for zero food waste here. Your end product will be rich organic compost to go directly into your garden beds and be mixed through the soil.


Worm farms

Operating on a smaller scale, worm farms are considered a ‘cool’ system that is easy to manage and makes good use of your kitchen waste. A worm farm, like this one, will have 3 layers. The two top trays are where the worms live and they can move freely between the layers, following the food trail. Usually, one of the trays will fill up with worm castings, and when it’s full remove that layer and you can use these directly on your garden and mixed into the soil.

The bottom layer, where the tap is, will be where the liquid collects from the worms. You should dilute this with water and use it directly on the plants as a liquid fertiliser.


Indoor bokashi composting

This is where you can compost more than veggie scraps in your kitchen and it fits underneath your kitchen sink. Bokashi is known as a ‘fast’ composting process. The way this composting system works is through a fermentation process that activates microbial activity to ferment organic waste.

In a way, the Bokashi system compliments the worm farm or outdoor composting options, as you can use this process for everything that worms don’t eat, such as acidic foods (citrus, onions, tomatoes, etc), recycling 100% of your kitchen waste.

All meat products, bread, and dairy can also be put into a Bokashi. All the Microbes in the Bokashi are naturally occurring and have a beneficial effect on the environment. The end result is a fermented food waste that can be placed directly into the soil and buried, turning into rich compost in just a few weeks.