Did you know that composting can transform your trash into new life? And that new life, in the form of microbes, fungi, earthworms, and more, provides the foundation for much of all other healthy life on Earth.
Composting is a great way to create healthy soil to support our people and our planet. Healthy soil is also a magical carbon sink that absorbs carbon from our atmosphere and helps cool the planet. While dead dirt has few living organisms, a teaspoon of healthy soil has more living organisms in it than the entire population of humans on Planet Earth!(1)
We need the world to compost!
Don’t think you can compost? We’ve got a whole set of resources on Everything To Know About Composting At Home, including more You Can Make Dirt interviews. All of this information about composting at home will hopefully prove that just about anyone can make space and find a system to turn their food scraps into nutrient-rich compost to enrich our soil, feed our food cycle, and limit the food waste that ends up in landfills.
This series highlights families in various circumstances who have all found a way that composting works for their lifestyle. Hopefully, you can be inspired to give it a go and help our planet stay a little healthier.
Today I’m back with another edition of one of my favorite series all about composting. I’ve only been composting for a couple of years and still have plenty to learn.
Leo, however, is a composting guru with twenty years of experience! Not only does
Can you tell us a bit about yourself, where you live, your family, etc.. the Leo 101?
I living in Turnhout, Belgium. I have been married for 34 years, and I am a father of 3 children and 4 grandchildren. I work for a company that builds sewage treatment plants and collectors, performing an
Tell us a little bit about why you decided to start composting?
Twenty years ago, an appeal was made for a composting course through the environmental department of our city. The objective of this course was to promote composting to the city fellows. Ever since then, we have been meeting every third Saturday from March to October at the urban farm of our city. We show participants how to compost and give tips to all those interested.
What method or methods of composting do you use or have you used?
At home, I use an open compost bin. This is easy to use, and if there is a problem, it is immediately noticeable. I make sure we have the proper ratio of green and brown and keep the compost heap sufficiently moist and airy.
How do you store the compost materials before they are added to your compost bin?
I primarily compost things from our garden. I have 4 compost bins and 1 bin just for fallen leaves. I put wood chips in one compost bin so they can be mixed with the green components whenever I need extra brown materials. With this storage, I can compost the entire year, and we have no issues with bad smells. Everything takes about 5 square meters (or 1 square meter per compost bin).
Do you have any special tools, containers, or products that you use?
We have our compost bins, a compost sieve, a prong, and a chopper. The compost bins are made from recycled material (a mix of paper, metal and beverage cartons). The compost sieve is made of aluminum. We don’t need
How does your family feel about composting?
My family is 100% behind me. Even my grandparents participate. Sometimes people laugh at it, but it is always with a positive note.
Have you experienced any benefits from composting, especially ones that might have surprised you?
The biggest advantage is that I reduce my own organic waste myself. The residue from composting goes back into the garden and vegetable garden and is used as fertilizer.
Anything else you’d like to share with readers about your composting practices, especially to help beginners gain confidence that they too can compost?
The compost master in our city only has 1 slogan. Composting can be learned by anyone.
Where else can we find you and learn more about what you’re up to
(1) According to the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the United States Department of Agriculture.