In a world that is littered with landfills that are filling up with garbage at an alarming rate, it is become more and more important for individuals to manage their waste disposal conscientiously. Reducing one’s Carbon Footprint, if only a little bit is better than doing nothing at all.
Another great and honourable thing that you can do, is by teaching your children about the importance of proper waste disposal and help to shape them in to environmentally conscious individuals. After all, the world of tomorrow will be theirs to live in!
And their education doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, composting is one of the most fun and interactive ways of educating children about proper waste management. Sure, it might not sound like fun on paper, but we all know how much children love to get their hands dirty!
Best composting for kids
The best composting for kids can start off very basic. You don’t need an expensive and lavish composter for teaching children. It all depends on how seriously you would like to take it and what kind of setup you have.
For example, if you live in a house with a large garden and plenty of space, then a garbage can or a plastic bin at the bottom of the garden will suffice for getting your children started and interested in composting.
However, if you live in a condominium or apartment complex with a balcony (or not at all), then you’ll be far better off with an electric composter. Something like the Hass Food Waste Composter, which—due to its lightweight and compact nature—can be kept on your kitchen counter. This offers you the best way to compost at home!
How to Compost with your kids
Your children will gain more experience (and have more fun) if they have a composter of their own. Again, you don’t have to go all out on this if you don’t want to. If you settle on a garbage bin, drill at least 20 or 30 into the lid, bottom, and sides of the container in order to allow plenty of air circulation, including excess water drain-off.
For getting started though, you could simply rinse out a 2-litre soda bottle and repurpose that.
- Cut a third of the way up the bottle around in an almost full circle (this should create a nice ‘flip-top’ style lid).
- Place a layer of soil at the bottom
- Moisten if dry
- Add a thin layer of fruit & veggie scraps, a thin layer of dirt, and a pinch of fertiliser
- Continue adding layers until the bottle is almost full
- Tape the bottle flip lid to seal it
- Place in a hot place
Now your children can monitor their very own personal composter! If you notice the moisture build up, you can unseal the lid to let it air out. In contrast, if the materials in your makeshift composter seem a little too dry, give them a little spray of water.
Next, you need to teach your children about the perfect composting ‘recipe’, which is as follows:
- Dead plant materials from your garden (i.e., twigs and dry leaves).
- Household waste (e.g., veggie scraps, eggshells, shredded newspaper).
- A rich layer of soil (with earthworms and microorganisms that helps to break the other materials down).
Avoid adding meat or pet waste to your composter. This can tend to attract pests and harbour dangerous pathogens if your composter isn’t at a hot enough temperature.
That said, an electric composter such as the Hass Food Waste Composter is suitable for meat as it operates at a hot enough temperature to kill any pathogens.
Fast and easy composting of food waste
The fastest and easiest way to compost your food waste is using an electric composter. Easy composting means having to do as little as possible. With an electric composter, you don’t have to do much, besides adding the correct materials.
An electric composter works through 3 stages: drying, grinding, and cooling.
Simple composting – Drying
- Drying occurs at a temperature of between 120 – 170 ℉
- This is an ideal temperature as it kills seeds, diseases, and pathogens
- The aeration occurs via gentle turning of the grinding gears which ensures that the compost is entirely sterile and methane free
- The air is the vented out the back of the unit through a carbon filter
- This process reduces the food waste volume significantly
- This complicated process is done automatically – hence fast and easy composting
Simple composting – Grinding
- By this point, the food waste should have been reduced in size by 90%
- Next, the grinding phase begins. This is the technological equivalent of ‘turning’ a compost pile
- The gears grind (on average) one revolution per minute, keeping the compost constantly turning
- This process breaks the food waste down even further, often into a ‘powder’ form
- Now the compost is nearly ready to be incorporated into the soil (the broken-down food waste will combine with the soil easily and release important nutrients)
Simple composting – Cooling
- The third and final phase of the electric composter is cooling. This cycle simply returns the unit and the contents of the composter to room temperature
- Following that, your compost is now ready for application!
Simple composting at home
Simple composting at home for kids is a great way of disposing of your food waste more responsibly, whilst educating your children about the importance of being eco-friendly in your day to day lives. You can also get some brilliant compost from it to help you grow your own vegetables. It’s especially fun to have your children grow their own plants. You can even teach them some simple cooking recipes with their very own veggies that they grew themselves using their own personal composter!