Save Your Scraps

Save Your Scraps

How to start composting

Words by Ashley Locke

It’s almost impossible to eat without food waste. But you can do better than sending your scraps to the landfill. Composting is good for the environment, and it’s not hard to get started—once you know the rules! 

Save your scraps. Pick out a sealable container in which to save your food scraps throughout the week. You can store it in the fridge or freezer to reduce odors. 

Do compost:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Tea leaves and coffee grounds
  • Eggshells
  • Rice
  • Flowers

Don’t compost:

  • Meat
  • Bones
  • Dairy
  • Oil
  • Butter

Pick a spot. Find an area in your yard to start your compost pile. You can do it in a large bin or trash can, or you can do it directly on the ground!

Know your layers. To make sure your compost pile breaks down properly, you have to layer your “greens” and “browns.” Greens are wet things such as fruits and veggies, fresh leaves, fresh grass, coffee grounds, and flowers. Browns are dry things such as twigs and sticks, newspapers, dried leaves, and sawdust. Start with browns, then layer greens, alternating until you run out of material. Make sure you have two parts browns to one part greens. This mixture will properly aerate the pile for decomposition.

Be patient. Compost piles can take awhile to fully break down—especially brand new ones. Agitate your mixture every week or so to keep the air moving around the pile. Once the mixture begins to break down, which could take a couple of months, it should smell earthy and have a fluffy texture.

Use it. Once the compost is done, it’s a perfect food for potted plants or a garden because it adds nutrients to the soil!