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Food Waste Solutions For Everyone

Living a lower impact life and trying to tread lighter on this earth that we live on is never going to be the easier option. The reason we are killing the planet is because we want and expect everything to be convenient and fast and cheap and done for us. This way of living can’t go on. Being able to manage the majority of your food waste through composting or similar will drastically reduce your overall household waste overnight.

Firstly, below is a great site on how to minimise food waste in the first place. New Zealanders throw away 157,389 tonnes of food a year. Food that goes to waste instead of being eaten. All of this food is worth about $1.17 billion each year. lovefoodhatewaste.co.nz

Compost

I am no composting expert but these are my tips for how to get rid of your food waste (get a wee bin for your bench that you empty into your bigger bin everyday, or if you don't want to spend money just use a bowl)

WE COMPOST
Great if you don’t have a garden or are renting.

Don’t like the idea of composting yourself but want to save the planet!? Get the pros to do it for you. They facilitate everyone, large companies to small households. Look under ‘services’ a click on ‘domestic’ They can also take ‘commercially compostable only’ waste! wecompost.co.nz

BOKASHI BIN
Great for smaller homes and rentals (also great for larger homes as an extra way to handle waste)

Bokashi is another form of composting, it’s a type of fermentation process and that can handle food waste including some cooked waste. They can be kept inside, in the garage or on a small deck or patio so are great for homes with very little land. With Bokashi you put your food waste into the provided bin and add a special micro-organism mix. When the bin is full, bury the waste in a hole in your garden or pop it into your compost. You also get a type of ‘tea’ from the waste which you can just pour over the garden, or if you don’t have a garden pop it into your pot plants.

WORM BIN
Great for smaller properties and rentals (also great for larger homes as an extra way to handle waste)

If you don’t have a large garden another option is a worm farm. Worms will eat all vegetable and fruit scraps (I also give them shredded paper and cardboard sometimes as a treat), turning it into the most luxurious compost you have ever seen. Worm bins also create a type of ‘tea’ (essentially just excess liquid) that is nutrient dense and great for the garden.

TURNING COMPOST BIN
Great for smaller properties and rentals (also great for larger homes as an extra way to handle waste)

Turning compost bins are great! They are an easy way to start your composting obsession, they are easy to mix (you just turn the bin), they don’t attract pest, and when you move house you can take it with you. We have a big green turning bin but when we move I will also get the side by side bin so that once one side is full and ‘doing its thing’ you can continue to fill up the other side.

The perfect compost mix.  Make sure you keep up the brown matter or you will create sludge. Brown matter doesn’t have to be dried leaves - cardboard, paper, egg cartons, toilet rolls are all brown matter too – just rip it up small so it can break down.

Some compost bin options.
The Tumbleweed
Maze Tumbler
Earthmaker Compost Bin

HOME MADE COMPOST
Great if you want to keep costs down and have a bit of land that you call your own

If the prices of store brought compost bins make your eyeballs bulge then you can very easily make your own compost bin at home – and even better if you can make it from discarded materials like old wooden pallets and odd nails that are left lying around in the garage. More info on how to make you own bin can be found here. Make sure you turn the top layer regularly to get air in there and to mix everything all together.

For more information on which composting system would work for you, visit the lovely people at the Compost Collective And click here to learn more about all of the above methods 

CHICKENS
Great for medium - large properties

If you have the land then chickens are perfect little machines. You pop your fruit and veg scraps in one end of the chicken and out the other end of the chicken pops a perfectly formed breakfast! Not only do chickens eat your waste and make you food, but you can bake the egg shells and feed them back to your chickens when they need some added calcium. For all of your chickeny advice look here. Homestead & Chill is my go to website for nearly everything!

Chicken Lady

COMMERCIALLY COMPOSTABLE ONLY
For everyone

For all of your ‘commercially compostable only’ waste. See our commercial compost returns system which we have set up so you can send that waste to us and we can send it to a commercial facility. If you throw these ‘commercially compostable only’ items into the bin they act just like any plastic would in landfill.

Commercially Compostable Waste

SHARE WASTE

If you live in Auckland but don’t have the space to compost, check out Share Waste, a platform which connects people who have food scraps with people who have compost bins. WHAAAT! Awesome I know.

Compost Bin

Finally, thanks for getting to the end of this post, here are a few answers to issues raised in my composting questionnaire. I asked my lovely Instagram followers if they composted and if not, why not? A few people said it seemed a bit too much like hard work, it’s a bit yuck and they are having trouble convincing family and flatmates to get on board. Here are my replies. It is extra work yes, but it’s not hard work at all. And it’s definitely not yuck, just think of it like dirt. Do you know what is yuck? Landfill is yuck. Waste is yuck. Go on and try it, and just think about how much good you are doing. And if you have family and flatmates that don’t agree or don’t want to try then it’s up to you to carry on with your beautifully sustainable ways and lead by example. Show them that it can be done, don’t preach and scold as this will fall on deaf ears. If people ask, of course talk about composting and sustainability until the cows come home but until then, you continue to be the best version of yourself and know that your eco warrior spirit has a home and a community here.

One last thing! Did you know our makeup wipes are made from 100% natural fibers and are compostable at the end of their life?

Compostable and Reusable Makeup Wipes

Comments

Shayna Stalker

Awesome post! Thanks for the tips Shayna. I live in an apartment in Sydney and cringe at my food scraps that could be composted. I have looked at Share Waste before but put it in the too hard basket due to lack of time/lack of prioritising. You are inspiring me to do better in this space so I am going to try it out before the end of the month!

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