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 Bring Your Trash To Life 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.
In today’s edition of Bring Your Trash To Life, Holly Rose of HollyRose.eco is sharing all about how she composts at home with her husband. Holly and I have worked together through our blogs and online spaces in the past, and I’ve been following her journey through ethical and sustainable living for quite some time.
Like me, she’s an advocate for soil health and seeks to teach us how regenerative gardening and living can make the planet a better place for all of us! Also, we’re on the same page about sharing our compost with wild animals. Maybe we shouldn’t be so stingy with our trash?
Let’s hear all about how she keeps the soil healthy where she lives!
Can you tell us a bit about yourself, where you live, your family, etc.. the Holly 101?
My name is Holly Rose. I’m a writer, soil advocate, and earth activist. I was born in Winnipeg, Canada, but I’ve been living in Europe for the past 15 years. I recently moved from Paris, France, to a seaside town in England. I write a blog about regenerative agriculture and regenerative lifestyle products … as well as the odd rant on sustainable subjects.
Tell us a little bit about why you decided to start composting?
We had been composting in our community garden back in Paris, but that consisted of just dumping our countertop compost into a compost managed by others. When we moved, we gained this beautiful big garden, and when my mother-in-law offered us a ‘housewarming gift’ I bought us a compost bin. We’ve been composting for 3 months now.
What method or methods of composting do you use or have you used?
We use aerobic composting in a bin. We basically just chuck our food scraps into the bin with some brown and green clippings and such, mix it about, and hope for the best.
If you had any methods that didn’t work for you, can you share what happened and why it wasn’t a good fit for you?
We are newbies, so I’m sure we’ll find some edits we need to make, but I think so far so good.
How do you store the scraps until they are taken to your compost pile?
We went from a 16 square metre studio apartment in Paris to a four-bedroom house in Hastings (paying the same price rent) so space is suddenly not an issue. We have plenty of space to store food scraps and things.
To hold the food scraps, we have a breadbin that came with our house. It is ceramic with a wood top. The wood top has waned due to the humidity from the compost, and when the compost gets full it lets us know. The smell is not at all contained. But we just take the scraps out if it starts to smell, and it’s not an issue.
Do you have any special tools, containers, or products that help make composting easier or more accessible for you?
We just have a black plastic container, and we use a pitchfork to mix it. We haven’t used any compost accelerators yet but are looking into it for the future. We still have a lot to learn.
Do you have any other supplies, like extra cardboard or brown materials, for example, that you store until you need to add them to your compost pile?
We have cardboard, but we’ve mostly just been using the leaves and branches from our forest garden. We use cardboard in our fireplace as well, so we simply store it all behind the couch. We have lots of nooks and crannies in this house, as its an old victorian thing, so we have had no storage issues thus far.
Have you had any issues with animals getting into your compost bins?
We have foxes and badgers who get into it. We recently bought a bottom for the compost bin. It’s made of such light plastic, they could just flip it and open the little flap at the bottom to climb in.
There are a lot of seagulls here, as we’re by the sea, so rodents don’t stand much of a chance it seems. We just seem to have larger animals that contend for our compost. Honestly, I don’t mind sharing with them… no insects yet as its too cold still!
How does your family feel about composting?
My husband is great at all things kitchen and garden, so he tends to take care of most of it. When my nieces and nephew visit, they get really involved as well. Kids love the act of doing.
Have you experienced any benefits from composting, especially ones that might have surprised you?
When you only take out one recycling bag every few weeks and it takes six months to fill up a garbage bag, that feels good. I really adore not wasting food and sending it to the landfill.
Anything else you’d like to share with readers about your composting practices, especially to help beginners gain confidence that they too can compost?
If you have a garden, there really isn’t any reason not to try. It’s an affordable and easy way to give a little gift back to the world for all she offers us. Reducing food waste is the third most effective way of reversing global heating. If everyone composted their food waste, we’d have less climate breakdown.
Where else can we find you and learn more about what you’re up to?
I have a blog hollyrose.eco and an Instagram account by the same name @hollyrose.eco. I also have Youtube, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter (but tend to use those less). You can find links to those on my blog.
Thanks Holly for sharing how you compost at home! If you’re looking for more information on composting, be sure to check out Everything To Know About Composting At Home.