Wednesday, 9 December 2015


Garbage should be thrown into the bin, where it belongs to keep the environment clean.

Moral education since childhood.

Then one day, I came across the fact that:
  • 80% of our household waste is biodegradable.
  • The biodegradable trash in landfill sites doesn't break down at all.

... There is a misconception that biodegradable trash will break down naturally while it's in the landfill, and that the landfill site will eventually be "emptied" some day. But the truth is, it doesn't.

The scientific explanation (it's not advanced biology, don't worry):
  1. In landfills, waste tends to be compacted very tightly so as to reduce the space they occupy.
  2. As a result, there is not much oxygen in a landfill site.
  3. Also, a landfill site often lacks dirt and useful microorganisms.
  4. Therefore, we can all make the simple conclusion: Nearly nothing breaks down in a landfill site. 

This is a worrying fact. No doubt. Like so many other facts that we actually all know. But for this problem, we don't have to wait for some new green technology to be invented. We can do something about this. Those trash came from our homes, and we have the responsibility to think twice before dumping things into the garbage bin.

Nope, the solution isn't Reduce, Reuse or Recycle - it's impossible to apply these common Go-Green tips on dried weeds, fruit peels or pieces of wilting vegetables.

Personally, I feel that the method is even satisfying and easier than sending a stack of old newspapers to the recycling centre because:
  • you can do it by yourself
  • you can actually see the outcome
As suggested by the title, the answer is: Composting.

- - -

I began composting about a year ago. Once I got into it, I came to realize how much stuff I had been throwing away:
  • tea bags and egg shells from morning's breakfast
  • vegetable roots and fruit peels (Well, our little Jup would eat them if we aren't looking!)
  • fruit pulp from the juicer
  • dry leaves, weeds and twigs from the garden 
... The list goes on and on. 

I'm using a medium-sized flowerpot as the "compost bin". I filled it with some soil, and began to toss most of my daily kitchen scraps into the pot.

When I first started out, it looked as though the kitchen scraps were non-biodegradable. It was quite amusing, really. Each morning I'd turn the pile over to aerate it, then I'd spot a carrot top I threw into the pot two days ago looking as fresh as ever.

Ah, but time was all my trusty compost pot needed. The decomposition rate gradually sped up - those microorganisms are working like nobody's business now!

How to Compost
The details and many facts of composting can make up a whole website, but basically it's simply about:

  1. Dumping biodegradable household trash into a container.
  2. Ensuring it breaks down. 
That's the core of composting! 

Here are some points you do need to take note of:
  • To give your compost pile a start-up, add some garden soil. The soil contains the microorganisms essential for decomposition to take place.
  • The compost bin should be placed in a sunny location. A higher temperature speeds up decomposition. 
  • To ensure that your compost pile doesn't smell like a sour garbage heap, maintain a balance of brown and green materials, about 2 : 1.
    • Examples of brown materials: twigs, dry leaves, shredded paper 
    • Examples of green materials: pieces of unwanted vegetables, fruit peels.
  • Chop larger materials into smaller ones. Again, this helps speed up decomposition.
  • Use a garden fork to turn the pile every few days or so for aeration purposes. Decomposition can't take place without oxygen!
  • Do not throw meat or bones into your compost pile.

We may not be 100%-environmentally-friendly, but for now, we should incorporate such green practices (All. Hail. Composting.) into our lives and do as much as we can.

This is how we should all keep the environment clean. 

- - -


If you happen to be a cheapskate (Ahh, you know who you are) who loves gardening, have you ever calculated how much money you spent on buying "high quality" commercial soil and fertilizers when you can be making both for FREE?

... And that also, you actually know what it's in the dirt you're using for your herbs and plants?

Recently, I came across this picture on Facebook. Food for thought. 

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