Sustainable Living – Composting 

Sustainable Living – Composting 

Believe it or not, but composting is believed to be an effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In a global warming perspective you might consider if composting is something you would like to do. Composting reduces CO2 (carbon dioxide) and CH4 (methane) as well as N2O (nitrous oxide). 

Another benefit is the end product, the composed matter is a very valuable nutrient that can be reused in your garden. The compost will slowly release natural fertilizers providing plants and crops with nutrients to improve growth and better yields. 

GAGACO – is a Saigon based urban gardening center providing in-home gardening services. They help customize your deck, patio and garden with plants and herbs using best regenerative agriculture practices without the use of pesticides. And not only that, they are already running a few composting sites around the city, which is why we thought we would want to connect to collaborate. 

In general we have very little or really no waste with ByNature. What is not sold at the end of the day is given to our hard-working shippers or staff, sometimes they leave with a few carrots and a guava other times they leave with a few meals worth of vegetables. It truly is a win win for all – and we love win/win situations. That being said, we do have a bit of food scraps from our home cooking and thought you would too. 

Now, if you would like to take part in composting we have a great solution for you. GAGACO happens to be running their own compost and are happy to take your compost scraps. (Please see below for good compost options). Please contact Alex for drop off arrangements 0949963420 or better yet have the team come and support you in setting up your own private composter! 

Composting is based on true science – it is all about the microorganisms. Anything organic thrown in the bin will at some point decompose. However, if you take all our organic waste and make a composter that will speed up the natural process. According to the USDA “Composting is a process that works to speed up the natural decay of organic material by providing the ideal conditions for detritus-eating organisms to thrive”.

Microorganisms are found everywhere in the environment and are key to the composting process along with warm temperatures, nutrients, moisture and oxygen. 

In short there are three stages to composting: 

Stage 1) The microorganisms begin to break down due to the heat, this will typically happen the first few days. 

Stage 2) During the next few months, the organic material is broken into finer pieces and the proteins, fat and complex carbohydrates are also broken down due to the heat. It is important during this stage to monitor the heat levels, if the compost is getting too hot it may end up killing the useful microorganisms. Enough oxygen is also vital at this stage. 

Stage 3) During this final stage which can last several months, the temperature in the compost will start to drop allowing the remaining organic matter to break down completely leaving usable humus.  

What to compost:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Eggshells
  • Coffee grounds and filters
  • Tea bags
  • Nut shells
  • Shredded newspaper, paper and cardboard
  • Yard trimmings including grass, leaves, branches, and twigs
  • Houseplants
  • Hay and straw
  • Sawdust
  • Woodchips
  • Cotton and wool rags
  • Dryer and vacuum cleaner lint
  • Hair and fur
  • Fireplace ashes

(Note: The USDA recommends burying food waste if using an open-composting pile to deter unwanted pests looking for a free meal, such as flies, rodents and raccoons.)

What not to compost:

  • Certain types of tree leaves and twigs such as black walnut, as it releases substances that may be harmful to plants
  • Coal or coal ash, as they might contain substances that are harmful to plants
  • Dairy products, eggs, fats and oils, and meat or fish bones and scraps, due to potential odor problems that attract pests such as rodents and flies
  • Diseased or insect-infested plants, as the disease or insects may survive and be passed along to other plants
  • Pet waste (including dog and cat feces and used cat litter), as it might contain harmful parasites, bacteria or viruses
  • Yard trimmings treated with chemical pesticides; as the pesticides might kill composting organisms