Sebastian Cox reveals why composting is important – and how you can do it at home

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British furnishings designer, eco adept and Homes & Gardens columnist, Sebastian Cox charts the renovation of his home, 1 inspiring and innovatively eco-friendly thought astatine a time. Each month, helium digs heavy into the ways successful which we tin each marque a quality wrong our homes. 

Next up, Sebastian discusses how to marque compost, nutrient discarded and everything you request to cognize astir location composting. It whitethorn not dependable similar the astir glamorous taxable but it's surely 1 that volition marque a difference. How we dainty our ungraded yet determines the prime of nutrient we consume, truthful compost – and ungraded successful wide – is an important information for our aboriginal health. 

'May and June is specified an breathtaking clip of year, with the veg spot and plot accelerating successful growth. Many radical person discovered specified pleasance successful increasing astatine location successful the past fewer years. I anticipation they find joyousness excessively successful feeding it each with a dose of location made compost, for other earthly satisfaction.' says Sebastian. 

Here are immoderate things to see if you're looking to make a composter for your plot oregon outdoor space. 

Rubbish is our responsibility 

'In Margate it’s seagulls alternatively than foxes that bare bins and scatter the contents implicit the pavements. This is peculiarly distressing surviving adjacent to the oversea arsenic it lone takes a substance of hours earlier integrative tin beryllium breezed into the wash.' says Cox. 

'People blasted the gulls, but I leap to their defence – they are scavengers, doing what they’ve evolved to bash to survive. My effect is to question wherefore there’s thing successful a bin for seagulls to devour anyway? We person to instrumentality work for our rubbish, and much importantly than immoderate different class of our ‘waste’ is our nutrient waste.' 

'An astonishing 1 3rd of nutrient produced globally is wasted, much than capable to provender the undernourished radical of the world. The accumulation of nutrient is environmentally costly truthful cutting waste, arsenic always, is precedence fig one.' You tin adjacent use a wormery for compost.

Composting – what's the process? 

'When nutrient rots, it produces greenhouse gases. The conditions successful which this rotting occurs impact its planetary warming potential. Broadly, antithetic types of decomposition nutrient either c dioxide, oregon methane (a much potent greenhouse gas) successful antithetic ratios.' 

'The much oxygen contiguous during the rotting of integrated matter, the little methane released. So if nutrient discarded ends up successful a landfill site, it’s compressed with different rubbish, making a little oxygen situation for decomposition and much methane heating our planet.'

Walled plot  with plot  compost bin

(Image credit: Brogan Cox )

Start composting astatine home

'If your section authorization offers nutrient discarded collection, arsenic ours does, usage it. It volition beryllium decomposed decently and the nutrients recycled. Better still, larn to compost astatine location and turn immoderate plants with the compost. If you’re fortunate to person a ample plot with country for a compost heap, making 1 is simply a nary brainer – pallets tin beryllium utilized to marque immoderate sides, and mixing leafage litter with nutrient discarded volition dilatory marque a compost usable connected a garden.'

What bash we request to commencement composting? 

'The 2 products I use, aft overmuch research, are a ‘Hotbin (opens successful caller tab)’ and a ‘Subpod (opens successful caller tab)’. A Hotbin uses microbial enactment to interruption nutrient down, creating a blistery situation which tin sterilise pathogens, truthful that’s wherever the canine poo goes, and nutrient oregon bones tin too. It’s a achromatic polystyrene bin with a thermometer successful the top. If you support it topped up it volition nutrient usable compost successful 3 months, which you tin extract from the bottom.'

A Subpod chiefly uses worms to decompose the food. It’s a integrative container buried successful the crushed with perforated holes giving the worms entree to the ungraded around. These marvellous creatures not lone interruption down the integrated matter, but past generously administer it astir your plot successful their castings, earlier returning to the subpod to munch much food.

Wooden location  made compost bin for a garden

(Image credit: Getty)

What needs to hap next? 

Both person to beryllium fed successful conjunction with ‘dry carbon’, truthful get a inexpensive cardboard shredder and marque bully usage of that amazon packaging to guarantee your compost isn’t a bedewed rotting soup. Our food-frugal household of 4 produces capable nutrient trimmings to support some micro ecosystems live and thriving, arsenic good arsenic provender 2 bantam chickens higher worth discarded similar breadstuff crusts and uneaten Weetabix from our 2 young kids. In nutrient terms, we person eliminated discarded successful our tiny municipality garden, circulating our trimmings into invaluable nutrients for growing.