You are making great stries toward a zero-waste lifestyle. You try to not buy products with unnecessary packaging. You know how to recycle most of your waste. What‘s the next step? Organics. But you live in an apartment and don’t know quite how to deal with your organic waste? The good news is, you can start composting at home.

Home composting isn’t new, but many find it a little intimidating. Is it going to smell? Will I have worms crawling around my living room? Is it even worth the effort? The answer is, IT IS!

How to start?

The easiest way to start a compost at home is to buy a premade vermicomposter or worm farm, and enough worms to get started.

If you want to save money, you can actually make a vermicomposter yourself. Homemade options might not be as esthetically pleasing, but they can be perfectly functional.

How to make your own Vermicomposter?

You will need a plastic container with a lid. This will act as the main collection site. You will also need one additional container to catch the liquids that leak from the main colection container (worm tea).

Once you have the containers, drill holes in the lid, as well as the bottom of the main container to ensure ventilation. If you manage to keep the moisture at the right level, you will have no runaway worms.

Now you are ready to start filling up the container.

What goes into the vermicomposter?

First, you will need some bedding. It’s best to use some moist newspaper shreds or torn-up cardboard as this bottom layer.

On top of that, add in your worms. Worms should not cost a lot of money and can be easily found online.

Once you have the worms in, add a layer of garden soil and some more wet paper scraps on top of that.

What to feed your worms?

Now it’s time to feed your little workers. What can you give them? Worms love vegetable scraps, egg shells, coffee grounds, tea bags, dead leaves, etc. Be careful not to feed them dairy or meat scraps, nothing fatty. They also shouldn’t eat anything too acidic.

When adding to your compost, put a little amount of the waste under the top layer of paper scraps. You can do this once a week or adjust the frequency according to how fast it is being eaten.

Keep an eye on how quickly the waste level is going down. You don’t want to overfeed or starve your worms.

Isn’t it disgusting?

No, it’s not! A healthy worm farm should have no foul smells, mold or fruit flies. But a healthy compost will require some monitoring.

You want to keep an eye on the moisture. If it’s too moist, your compost will start to smell. Too dry and your worms will not grow and will eat slowly. The best way to regulate the moisture is with the paper scraps and “dryness” of the food you put there. If it gets too dry, you can add a bit of moisture using a spray bottle.

You’ll also want to make sure you have a secure lid and proper top layer of paper on the food waste. Any uncovered food waste is sure to attract fruit flies. If those little fellas start showing up around your compost, set up a fruit fly trap to get rid of them. How to reduce food waste?

Why should I compost?

First, by reducing the amount of organic waste in the landfills, you are reducing greenhouse gases. Second, by reducing what you throw away, you can potentially save money on waste disposal services. And finally, your house plants will love you.

House plants? Yes, you read that correctly. Having your own worm tea (the liquid that drains out of the compost) and compost, you can fertilize your indoor plants, or even your garden, and they will thrive. If you end up producing more compost than you can use, talk to your friends. They would surely love to make their plants happy, too.

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