Embrace your waste

Embrace your waste

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Hi there, are you up for getting a bit dirty and smelly with HU?
Both this week and the next we have some waste-treats for you … So please don’t run away just yet, we want to show you a great way to turn waste into something useful – and by useful we mean compost!

So why talk about composting?

Spring is just around the corner and we are super excited for all things growing to pop up once again. In our opinion there’s nothing quite like the sensation of seeing the first flowers on our daily walks, or setting our teeth into that first spring vegetable. Since we still have a few more weeks to go before Lund once again turns into a green oasis, we thought we could share some information on how to turn food waste into compost. This way you can prepare for spring and be ready with some brown gold to plant all the greens that you would like to see during the warmer months!

To the basics first,
what is compost and how does one go about composting? 

Source: Compost by NPR / Julia Simon for NPR

Composting is a natural process that breaks down organic matter into nutrient dense matter, also known as hummus (just not the kind that you would have on toast). There are different types of composting techniques, the most common ones are aerobic, anaerobic and Vermicomposting. 

If you are completely new to composting, we would suggest doing aerobic because it is really simple and does not need much of your time and space!

So what does one need? 

All you need is an old container, a bit of food waste, some dry brown matter and air! 

That doesn’t sound too bad, right? 

Remember each item has its own rate of decomposition. As long as it is natural and not man-made it will eventually decompose under the right conditions!

Compost usually needs a proper ratio of Nitrogen and carbon to work successfully.

But from where do we get this?

The food waste acts as the source of nitrogen needed by the microbes and the dry leaves or soil, that you add to it to maintain the moisture and pH levels of the compost, acts as the carbon, which is the energy source needed for decomposition.

But compost STINKS!?

Well… Too much nitrogen leads to the formation of ammonia, leading to a foul smell, which is one of the main reasons why people are scared to try out composting in the first place. Whereas too much carbon could slow down the decomposition process. The ideal ratio of Nitrogen: Carbon is 1:3. 

So, if your compost is soggy→ add dry material

Too dry? → add more food waste

And don’t forget to mix it so that it gets enough air!

It might sound complicated, but we assure you that it’s not. Good luck and let us know how you get along with the process!

Next week we’ll discuss recycling and trash with one of our amazing working groups: Collect & Affect.

Please comment if you have any questions on composting or any tips that we’ve forgotten to include in this post. 

Have a great weekend!


A few last thoughts…

Here are some useful links to get you started: 

https://greenspire.se/hur-funkar-kompost/ (Swedish) 

https://www.npr.org/2020/04/07/828918397/how-to-compost-at-home?t=1614331026392 (English) 

For some inspiration on one of the more advanced methods, check out this video by TED-ed on vermicomposting

The featured image is an illustration by June Le, Minneapolis College of Art and Design

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