Rajkumari Sharma Tankha
Small children of Dhobni village in Maoist-hit Rajanandgaon district in Chhattisgarh have once again shown that children are the best harbingers of any change that we wish to see in society.
They have made their village free of open defecation by acting as conscious and cautious citizens personally requesting every single person whom they saw defecating in the open to not do so.
So kids, here we tell you another way in which you can keep your environment clean and also work towards bringing a positive change in your locality, where ever you are living. Let’s talk about how to convert kitchen waste into compost. This will not just reduce the trash reaching the garbage dumping stations but also give you environment-friendly manure which you can put in the pots at home thereby contributing towards family income. What’s more the compost made in this manner is far better than the chemical compost you buy from market.
Start with keeping your kitchen waste and the rest of the waste separately. Kitchen waste means vegetable peels, fruit peels, and any amounts of wasted cooked food or raw food (though try not to waste food).
- Collect dry organic matter (dried leaves, sawdust) in a small container.
- Those of you living in flats with no lawns, take a large earthen pot or a bucket and drill 4 – 5 holes around the container at different levels. These holes will keep the pot airy.
- Now put a layer of soil at the bottom of the pot.
- Put all your kitchen waste in it. You may put some water in the pot if the waste is predominantly dry.
- Cover this container with a plastic sheet or a plank of wood to help retain moisture and heat. And leave it aside. After a day or two shuffle the waste, upper layer should go to the bottom and vice versa.
- One could also use a tumbler made from industrial bin. It has a handle outside to rotate the drum.
- Neem oil and neem powder can be used during fermenting to expedite the process and to keep rodents away.
- Those who have the privilege of having lawns can dig a corner of it around 2 ft. deep and put vegetables, fruits and garden leaves and cover it. It will turn it into organic manure in around 10 days.
- The manure will be ready in 30-45 days. To speed up the process you can also put some earthworms in the container.
For those who don’t know about earthworms, let me tell you that these slender worms play an important role in decomposing dead organic matter. This is what the earthworms living in your compost bin will do. Decomposition releases nutrients locked up in the waste. Further, moving around these worms mix and aerate the soil. Darwin called earthworms as ‘nature’s ploughs’ because of this mixing. All this improves the fertility of the soil by allowing the organic matter to be dispersed through the soil and the nutrients held in it to become available to bacteria, fungi and plants.