In Metro Manila alone, about 2,175 tons of food scraps end up in trash bins on a daily basis. 52% of solid waste in the Philippines consists of biodegradables, food waste, and garden waste. 1.3 billion tons of food, enough to feed 3 billion people, is lost and wasted around the world annually. All these food lost and wasted end up polluting the earth—but they shouldn't be!
All these food lost and wasted could do so much good—if only we put them in the right place. Here's one way to do just that: compost it!
What is composting?
Composting is a way of recycling food waste. Instead of throwing food waste into landfills, they should be treated as a valuable resource because they are extremely beneficial to the soil in which our food come from!
There are plenty of methods of composting, and choosing which one to follow is up to personal preference; which one suits your lifestyle best? Maybe you've done a trial and error and figured out which one you're most comfortable with. What matters is that you make it a part of your daily life in order to keep food waste from polluting the Earth.
This method is most suitable for those who have backyards or large gardens since you'll have to bury your food waste and leave it for six months or so to fully decompose before it can be harvested.
In this method, you can include vegetable and fruit scraps, coffee grounds and filters, egg shells, and tea bags. But you cannot include meats or bones.
This method involves a certain species of earthworms. It's much like taking care of pets! You have to feed these worms right and make sure the environment (dark, moist) suits them. If neglected, they could die or get out of their bins.
Not all types of food wastes can be included when using this method. You cannot include citrus, meats, or dairy.
If worms are not your thing, there are still other methods to try!
Here at GreenSpace, we advocate the Bokashi Composting method
Bokashi composting is a fairly simple method. It's a method that makes use of Bokashi bran. There can be variations to the bokashi recipe; at GreenSpace our bokashi is made of rice bran fermented using EM1 microbial inoculant. It involves an anaerobic process of fermentation that helps with the decomposition of food waste.
It's simple, it's quick, and it's very effective!
In an air-tight composting bucket, collect your food waste and layer them with bokashi bran until it's full. You can add any solid and dry food waste in your bucket—from meats, to bones, to vegetable and fruit scraps, to dairy.
Once full, leave the bucket tightly sealed for two (2) weeks to let it ferment. By this time, you shouldn't need to open your bucket anymore! If you're curious about what might be going on inside the bucket during the anaerobic fermentation, not much change is visible to our eyes but the millions of microbes are definitely hard at work!
Mix your fermented food waste with soil to let the soil microbes finish the decomposition, and finally, after four weeks, your compost is ready!
One benefit of composting is that, by composting our food waste we are diverting them away from the landfills. When food rots in landfills, they produce methane gas, a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide.
Not only does composting prevent these negative effects; compost is a very good organic fertilizer! We continue the circle of life by returning nutrients back to the soil that bore the food that we eat.
With healthier soil comes healthier produce. With healthier produce, we sustain a healthier environment and maintain healthier bodies! Healthier soil and yield in farms also improves farmers' livelihoods!
How do I start?
Be our SOILMATE and purchase composting buckets and bokashi bran through our store! We also provide Soilmate manuals for you to use as your guide in composting.
You may also opt for DIY buckets—just remember to ensure that they are air-tight and it's best if there is a spigot and strainer in order to collect bokashi juice. And don't forget to buy high-quality bokashi bran to begin your composting journey!
Start composting today! Together, let's make the change from land fillers to LAND HEALERS.
[UPDATED ON 28 JUNE 2021]