I was at an American expat friend's place for group brunch recently and noticed that she puts a small bucket of food scraps for composting in the freezer. That led to think about this practice and why in Singapore, not many families do it or are even aware it.
Every household in Singapore throws away a lot of food scraps, just think of how much your mum or your helper cook at home. There is something useful about those "waste" and perhaps you can help your family members gain a new hobby while educating them about eco-living.
Compost is organic material that can be added to soil to help plants grow. It enriches soil, helps to retain moisture and suppress plant diseases and pests. It also reduces the need for chemical fertilisers which means you can grow your own organic herbs. Most importantly it reduces methane emissions from landfills and lowers your carbon footprint.
Here's how you can do composting at home:
1. Position your compost bin in a non-humid and shaded spot near a water source
2. Add brown (dead leaves, branches, twigs) and green materials (vegetable and fruit waste) as they are collected, making sure larger pieces are cut into smaller pieces Do not add anything with dairy, grains (rice, noodles, bread etc), oil or meat
3. Add water to dry materials as you add them
4. Once the compost pile is ready, throw in grass clippings and green waste into the pile and bury fruit and vegetable waste under 10 inches of compost material. Optional: Cover top of compost with a tarp to keep it moist. When the material at the bottom is dark and rich in color, your compost is ready to use. This usually takes anywhere between two months to two years.
5. If you do not have space for an outdoor compost pile, you can compost materials indoors using a special type of bin, which you can buy at a local hardware store, gardening supplies store, or make yourself. Remember to manage and tend your pile and keep track of what you throw in. Your compost should be ready in two to five weeks.