A Beginner’s Guide To Composting

In recent years, more and more people all around the world have been looking for ways to make their lifestyles more sustainable. From driving less to recycling more, there is a wide range of steps we can all take to help protect and care for our beautiful planet. But if you want the most bang for your buck, composting is the best way to go.

This one simple technique is extremely effective and sustainable. It allows you to reduce food waste by using it to create nutrient-rich soil. This soil is perfect for growing fresh vegetables or herbs at home, helping you to save money and fill your plate with delicious, organic foods. While we often think of composting as something that requires an extensive setup or a large garden to tend to, the fact of the matter is that this is a simple, sustainable practice you can implement no matter where you live. Whether you own a large piece of land, live in a house with a backyard, or are renting an apartment with a small balcony, there are methods you can use to make composting work for you.

If you’re new to the idea of composting, then you’re in the right place. Keep reading to find all the information you need to know to get started. 

Benefits of Composting

Technically speaking, composting is a “controlled aerobic process that converts organic material into a nutrient-rich soil amendment that is dark and earthy smelling”. In more simple terms, composting is a process that allows you to recycle natural materials like food scraps and yard debris by turning them into a fertilizer for your garden. How is this process possible? Well, while anything that grows naturally will decompose eventually, the process of composting speeds up this process by providing microorganisms like bacteria and fungi with an ideal environment to do their job of assisting with the decomposition process. 

So, why would you want to toss your organic food waste and yard clippings into a pile to decompose? Because it offers many benefits for you and the planet! Here are just a few. 

1) Greatly Reduces Landfill Waste

Food waste is one of the most common types of garbage in the world today. In fact, in America, a family of four can easily throw away about $150 of food and about 60 million tons of waste annually—that is a lot! If your food trash ends up at a landfill, it is mixed with other types of waste, which slows down the natural decomposition process. 

2) Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions

So what happens when the organic waste at a landfill does not go through the natural composting process? It causes biogas emissions which are a combination of methane and carbon dioxide, both of which are known to be harmful greenhouse gases. By composting at home, you can help protect the planet by reducing the number of harmful gases that are being released into our atmosphere.

3) Helps Create Healthy Soil for Your Garden

When creating a home garden or when taking care of green space in your yard, one of the most important components is the soil. Healthy, nutrient-rich soil helps provide the ideal environment for plants to grow. When you compost at home, the resulting fertilizer is rich in trace minerals like potassium and phosphorous, which give your soil more productivity and water retention capacity. Compost is a healthier and more sustainable option to costly, toxic chemical solutions.

4) Affordable Alternative to Purchased Fertilizers

Nowadays, everyone is looking to save money wherever possible. When starting a garden, we’re often looking for the most affordable yet effective things we can do to help it be fruitful, and creating your own fertilizer at home meets both of these criteria. It is not only cost-effective but also easy to do and is incredibly effective when it comes to providing your plants with all the nutrients they need to thrive. 

5) Water Conservation

Water is life, and we need to find ways to conserve it. In America alone, 80 percent of water use goes to agriculture or farming. Even efficient irrigation systems still consume a lot of water. Compost can help the soil in your garden retain water more efficiently, which means you won’t need to turn on the hose to water your garden as often. In fact, it’s estimated that using compost can help reduce outdoor watering by up to 25%! That’s a lot of water that we could all be conserving. 

Composting Methods

Ready to start composting but not sure where to start? The first thing you should do is pick one of these methods. 

Backyard Composting

The name itself gives a clue as to what this method of composting requires. For backyard composting, you simply need to set aside space in your backyard and place a bin there that is large enough to hold your food and yard waste. This is a quick and inexpensive process, and it’s one that allows you to choose between having an open or closed bin as your compost ripens. If you take care of your backyard compost by turning and adding waste like wood or greens–or even manure from livestock such as chickens and horses—it can be ready within three to five months. You’ll want to be mindful of where you set up your compost pile—it should be easy to access but have enough room in the surrounding area for the compost to breathe.


This is also known as worm composting because the main component is earthworms, which work alongside microorganisms to convert waste materials into compost. You can use this method indoors or outdoors with proper maintenance. For this, you also need a bin, food scraps, and bedding material like shredded newspaper. You have to have adequate space to place your bin and it should also have a tight-fitting lid. The main challenge with vermicomposting is that only 7 species of worms are used for the process, which means it can cost a little more to get started. Additionally, vermicomposting is more reliant on temperature regulation, with the ideal temperature of the area being between 59° and 77° F, which means it’s not the ideal option if you live in an area that gets cold.

Bokashi Composting

This is a process that was started in the 1980s. Bokashi means ‘fermented organic matter’ in Japanese. Bokashi composting requires organic waste to be layered with Bokashi inoculants like molasses to help speed up the composting process. The bucket usually has drainage at the bottom to get rid of any excess fluid, and it requires direct sunlight in order to work efficiently. With the proper setup, Bokashi composting can help you turn your food waste into fertilizer in as little as 10 days. While this method doesn’t require a lot of space, it does require specific equipment that you’ll need to purchase upfront.  

Which Method Is For You?

When choosing a composting method, you should think about the space you have available and the budget you are working with, and let that guide your decision. If you have some extra space in your backyard and don’t want to spend any extra money, then backyard composting is likely for you. If you don’t mind spending a little money to get started, then consider your space and give vermicomposting or Bokashi composting a try. If space and money aren’t a concern, then it may be better to choose a method based on how soon you want your compost to be ready instead.

How to Set Up Your Compost

Once you’ve chosen a method, then it’s time to get started! Follow these steps to get your composting system up and running. 

1) Location, Location, Location. Choose a location for your composting setup. When choosing an ideal spot, it’s usually best to keep it far away from your main living spaces. If done correctly, your compost pile should not give off an unpleasant smell, but it will have an earthy, soil rich-aroma. 

2) Buy or Build a Bin. Yes, you’ll need some kind of bin to put your scraps in. You can choose to purchase one of the many that are on the market or create one with items you already have at home. Some people find it helpful to have a smaller bin on their kitchen counter or under their sink where they can deposit table scraps, we suggest finding one with a lid!

3) Decide What to Compost. It is important to remember that there are scraps that can go into the compost heap and others that shouldn’t be added to the pile. The list of items you should or shouldn’t compost varies depending on the method you choose, but in general, it’s okay to compost things like shredded cardboard, dried leaves, wood chippings, grass clippings, eggshells, coffee filters, and fruit and vegetable scraps. 

4) Layer it Properly. When it comes to composting, layers matter. It’s best to start with wood chips and other brown waste to help absorb the liquid before adding a layer of green waste like food scraps. Add water as needed and continue alternating layers as you go. You then proceed to layer green and brown waste alternatively. You can add water if needed.

5) Maintenance. As we mentioned earlier, you must turn and monitor your compost regularly, generally every three to four days, to ensure that it gives you the best result. Patience and consistency are important here.  

6) Troubleshooting. There are a couple of things you can do to troubleshoot your heap if you feel like you aren’t getting the best results. For example, if you notice a strong stench, you may need to add more wood chippings and other brown waste to absorb the fluids. If it seems too dry, you can add a little water. 

7) Ready to Use. Your compost pile can be ready to use within 6 or so weeks, depending on the method you choose, as long as it has properly cured and shrunk to a fraction of its original size. While all scraps should decompose, sift through the pile to take out unwanted waste like clothes, sticks, wood, or fruit pits.

Live the #NewEarthLife

Sustainable living is now the order of the day, and composting is one way to live that eco-friendly #NewEarthLife. Improve your garden while protecting the environment with home composting today. Trust us, it’s definitely worth a try!

At New Earth we are on a mission to positively impact the health of every body and soul we come in contact with. We specialize in producing third-party certified, organic whole food supplements including a variety of probiotics, and digestive support. Our supplements feature a rare, yet highly nutritious superfood, Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA). Also known as organic Wild Microalgae®, AFA is a unique type of microalgae that is available in many forms including tablets, capsules, and powders all designed to help you on your journey to holistic wellness. The best part? We offer a 90-day money-back risk-free guarantee on all of our products. Visit our website to learn more.