The Basics of Composting

The Basics of Composting

Sweta Doshi, Jianna Alvarez, Gina Hamadey

 

Sustainability is a key pillar of the Bubbsi brand ethos. We try to keep our packaging as low-waste as possible, from our refillable bottles to our minimal shipping materials. At home, we are always seeking out new ways to lower our carbon footprint. We know you care about the planet, too, and pound for pound, there’s no better way to go green than composting. And it’s way less time-consuming that you might imagine. It’s just one of many misconceptions around composting. The Bubbsi crew is here to walk you through the basics. 

 

 1) What is Composting?

Compost is an umbrella term used to describe recycling organic material as well as the product of organic material being recycled. Simply put, compost is organic matter (fruit, food leftovers, etc.) decomposing correctly. 

Composting takes a long time in nature, but with the ideal environment, compostable materials compost more efficiently. When you combine the right amount of carbon rich materials (browns) and nitrogen rich materials (greens) with lots of air and water, you give this waste the opportunity to become something beautiful: a nutrient-rich, useful material. 

 

hand holding brown soil

2) Why is Composting Important?

According to researchers from Common Ground Composting, one-third of landfill waste is made up of compostable materials. Throwing that apple or banana peel in the garbage is actually harmful because it doesn’t receive proper aeration to decompose, so it creates harmful methane gas that aids global warming and climate change  You're actually much better tossing that apple in the backyard or, even better, composting it. Composting diverts 30% or more of household waste away from landfills and gifts it back to the soil as nutrients. 

When you mix compost with soil, you are mixing in important nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorous) and introducing healthy microorganisms and bacteria. This makes for healthier soil to grow healthier plants that are more resistant to diseases and pests. 

 

3) How Can I Start Composting?

Where you live dictates how you should compost. If you have a backyard or garden you can put food scraps directly into the soil using the dig and drop method. If you don’t have outside real estate you should start by collecting your food scraps and other compostables—perhaps in a compost bin or in a bag stashed in the freezer, more on that below—and then finding a place to drop them off. Many areas have local compost donation centers, and some farmer’s markets accept compostable materials. Other areas offer curbside pickup, so it is worth taking the time to investigate the options near you. If you’re a NYC mama, check out our friends from Common Ground Composting, who make it easy to understand your composting options.  

 

group of people shopping at an NYC local market

4) What Can (and Can’t) I Compost? 

It’s best to contact your composting source before composting things like meat, bones, dairy. They’ll also be able to give you a rundown of the regulations in your area.

There are generally two types of compostable materials: “brown” and “green.” For at-home composting, a proper balance between these two ingredients is key to compost success.


Brown: Materials rich in carbon; these compost materials work as an energy source and basic building block for microbial cells within your compost.

Example:

  • Fallen leaves
  • Used paper napkins, towels, newspaper 
  • Nut shells (except walnut shells)
  • Stale cereal

Green: Nitrogen-rich materials provide the necessary proteins and amino acids for cell growth.

Example:  

  • Fruit and vegetable scraps
  • Coffee grounds (considered “green” for their carbon-to-nitrogen ratio)
  • Egg shells
  • Cooked rice, pasta, stale bread
  • Bubbsi packaging peanuts!
    • Our biodegradable, dissolvable peanuts are made of cornstarch and can be composted, or put straight into planters!
varied vegetables on white marble countertop

5) How Should I Store My Compost? 

Generally speaking, there are two ways to store your compost: in the freezer or in an open space within a sealed container. 


Many people like keeping compost in the freezer to cut back on any odor. You can reuse plastic grocery bags or compostable bags for easy transport. You could also keep your compost bin right in the freezer and line that with a bag. 


When storing your compost in an open space like a counter, it is best to store it in a sealed container. There are lots of options specially made for this task, with built-in filters to prevent odor from seeping out of the container. We like this stylish compost bin; others include these Compost Crocks or Compost Pails. You could even use a simple resealable containers. 




Looking for other ways to reduce waste? 
Check out Bubbsi's clean coconut oil skincare trio in refillable silicone bottles - good for your skin and the Earth!