Creating compost at home is fantastic for the garden, whether it is a big plot, small yard or an indoor array of house plants.

Using left over food waste, household items and other biodegradable content will not only help the environment, but will encourage your plants to thrive.

Laura Harnett, founder of Seep eco cleaning products, tells us exactly how to start: “It might sound complicated, but you need four elements to create compost: brown matter such as dried leaves, sawdust, straw and paper; green materials which include grass clippings, fruit and veg scraps and coffee grounds; moisture and air.

“Brown materials provide the carbon which creates the structure for your compost and green supplies nitrogen which allows the micro-organisms to break down your compost bin contents. Try to maintain a balance of three parts brown to one part green.

“Moisture levels need to be maintained at 50 – 60%, so if it was touched then it would feel like a damp sponge. If compost is being created indoors for house plants then use a plant mister to keep the contents damp.

“Whether inside or out, compost needs to be turned frequently to allow the contents to mix together nicely, allow air to circulate and help the micro-organisms get to work.

“Switch plastic kitchen sponges for Seep eco versions and these can also be added to the compost at the end of their lives. They’re a great way to bulk up the brown items. Unlike plastic sponges that stick around for years in our environment, Seep sponges are completely made from plants and break down without releasing harmful microplastics at the end of use. Seep also has compostable bin liners, eco sponge cloths, eco pop up sponge and bamboo washing up brush, all of which are great brown items.

A few common problems and how to solve them:

Laura says three common problems are: “Slimy or smelly compost which is caused by too much water and not enough air. Solve this by adding more brown materials and don’t add any more green until it’s better balanced. If the composter is outside, then make sure it’s covered so the rain can’t get in.

“On the flip side compost that’s too dry and won’t decompose needs water to be added and, if possible, add more green waste. Occasionally flies can be a problem, and fruit flies indoors, but if this happens then it suggests your compost is too wet, so add more brown matter and cover any kitchen waste with leaves, weeds or leaves from the garden.

Top five items to add to your compost bin:

Green matter

  • Banana skins – fantastic source of potassium, sulphur, calcium, sodium, magnesium and phosphates. Add all other fruit and veg peelings and salad waste too
  • Tea bags – just make sure that it’s a paper outer bag and not plastic or it won’t compost
  • Coffee grounds – add nitrogen to your compost
  • Veg peelings, fruit cores and skins, salad waste
  • Any garden waste – clippings, weeds, grass cuttings, it will all compost

Brown matter

Cardboard – rip it up roughly before adding your brown delivery boxes. Any other type of paper will work as well –  newspaper, napkins, writing paper, scrap paper, toilet roll and paper towel inner rolls

  • Egg shells – rinse them first if you have an open compost heap and crush them in your hand to start the decomposition 
  • Seep cleaning products – cut up your eco sponges, cloths and bin bags before adding 
  • Dry or twiggy garden waste – such as dry leaves, hedge cuttings. Pine needles and cones do compost but use sparingly as they take a long time
  • Ash from the fire – old BBQ remains, open fires or log stove ash and bonfire ash can all be added

Seep, the only B-Corp cleaning tools brand in Europe, aims to prevent 1Bn plastic cleaning items from ending up in landfill by 2030. The award winning start up brings a fantastic range of plastic free cleaning items to a dusty cleaning category, continuing to innovate and rethink traditional materials.

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