Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Compost your kitchen wastes at home and produce free manure

The title could have been “be a miser and make your own manure”.

I am one of those vague self proclaimed naturalists, green activist asking people at home and outside to switch lights and fans off when they are not needed even if it’s for a mini macro nano second. I ensure CFL’s are used instead of bulbs and tube lights, even at the cost of reading in dim light (kidding there are real bright cfl’s). I ensure I give the dirty stare to drivers of polluting vehicles at the cost of them looking back at me with the same look that they would give to a stray dog. That’s the risk of belonging to the rare pedigree of these self proclaimed saintly beings. Before I forget I also relocate many earthworms that get their gps bearings wrong and enter the concrete jungle called human civilization, I will soon try to break the no of centuries that Sachin has hit in his international career.

I see the kitchen wastes going to the bin every day and my ‘sleeping inner do good’ component wakes up and says I will make sure I am going to reduce global warming. My rationale behind that statement was not that I will stop cows worldwide from belching or f**ting, but that these vegetable wastes would end up in a landfill, decompose and release CH4 (methane if CH4 isn’t methane please scream at the educational system: watch 3 idiots movie) and increase the temperature. I go searching for a container for making compost and end up buying a bucket with a lid (thanks goodness for the lid). I come and ask the head of the kitchen a.k.a my wife to keep a separate bag and fill it with the cooking, vegetable and edible waste regularly and in return I get this look which in plain English means “oh no not again, you and your crazy antics when will you ever stop doing all this and bothering others”. Then slowly my bucket starts getting filled up but also with that complaints start flowing from my neighbors that the smell is too good and needs to be relocated immediately (so that others can get lucky and experience the heavenly smell). Strangely the dogs in my neighborhood have been avoiding roaming anywhere close to the vicinity and even if they have the guts to get close they have this curious look not knowing what’s wrong (guys didn’t I surprise you for all the peeing that you do on the gate post/pillar). Time for the James Bond secret arsenal - the lid, close it with such ferocity that the buckets vibrates exactly two times - odour under control operation back on track. Now I wait and wait for more than 4-5 weeks see that the waste is very slowly disintegrating into unrecognizable forms which is good but is giving out too much water, time for the internet and google “how to make compost at home” and the search returns 3,210,000 pages enough to last a life time’s of good read.

There are two types of aeration that is needed, one open and one closed, you will need closed ones for home waste due to the smell that is generated. The excess water that is generated can be absorbed by shredding newspaper into small bits and throwing them into the bucket. You can also add some excess soil, mud of sand to aid in the entire process. And if you have access to saw dust it is very good for absorbing water.

Did all of this and finally attended a green stall and bought something called compost accelerator (http://www.dailydump.org/ ) which accelerates the entire process.
Now I wait patiently for the waste to turn into a sludgy compost and then start using it in my garden and get some nice tasty organic pesticide free veggies.

Till then it is Monish signing off and planning for my next green project. Any tips and advice is not welcomed but free manure …YES!

Some useful links
What? http://www.dailydump.org/composting
Why? http://www.dailydump.org/why
How? http://www.dailydump.org/how


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