Although around 30% of us already compost at home, there are lots more things we can all try.
About one third of all household waste could be composted. Composting is something practical which we can all do to reduce the amount of waste which ends up in landfill.
However you choose to get involved, there are plenty of things you can try, which will not only help the environment but also help your garden grow greener.
Even for households that are already composting, research shows that almost half of the food waste in their rubbish bins could have been composted.
Tea bags, kitchen peelings, cardboard and garden debris may all seem like rubbish but you can easily turn them into compost which can be used to enrich your borders or to give your potted plants and containers an extra boost.
Your compost is a nutrient-rich food product for your garden and will help improve soil structure, maintain moisture levels, and keep your soil’s PH balance in check, while helping to suppress plant disease. It will have everything your plants need including nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium and it will help buffer soils that are very acidic or alkaline. Compost improves your soil’s condition and your plants and flowers will love it.
The rules of composting are simple. Aim for a 50:50 mixture of greens and browns.
Greens are the wetter materials such as kitchen peelings, old plants and grass clippings. These materials break down quickly and are full of nitrogen. Browns are the drier materials such as twigs, leaves and cardboard. These materials break down more slowly and provide structure to your heap.
Composting at home for just one year can save global warming gases equivalent to all the CO2 your kettle produces annually, or your washing machine produces in three months.
When waste is sent to landfill, air cannot get to the organic waste. Therefore as the waste breaks down it creates a harmful greenhouse gas, methane, which damages the Earth’s atmosphere. However, when this same waste is composted above ground at home, oxygen helps the waste to decompose aerobically which means hardly any methane is produced, which is good news for the planet.
If you would like to start composting, Cheshire householders can purchase a discounted compost bin from £13.50, plus £5 delivery (offer ends March 31).
For more information on composting, log on to the website www.ccp.getcomposting.com.