A Quick Guide To Composting At Home
Photo by Ben Kerckx (Pixabay) https://pixabay.com/photos/green-waste-compost-compost-bin-513609/

A Quick Guide To Composting At Home

Guest Post by Kevin Hilton

Around the house, there’s a lot of potential to waste food and food scraps. However, did you know you can help the environment, sustain your garden, reduce food waste and save money gardening all at once through composting?

What is composting? It is a natural process that turns organic matter to compost or “humus”. It is all about microbial activity. When your food and garden waste are put together, the bacteria present in the soil will break down the matter, turning it into compost. This can then be used as a fertiliser giving rich nutrients to your plants and condition the soil for planting.

Poor soil can hinder or prevent plant growth so it’s always best to have an idea of the kind of soil you have in your garden. If you’re not sure, you might want to give soil testing a try, either using a kit or a DIY method. These tests can also reveal what kind of pH your soil is, which also has a big effect on whether your plants will grow or not.

Compost can be used to improve your soil quality, and if you do it at home you’ll get compost for free instead of having to buy it from a shop.

Composting is satisfying because, not only will it help you in terms of cultivation, it will also help you in reducing food waste that ends up in landfill. You’ll be doing your bit to fight the pollution problem.

Composting at home may sound daunting, and many assume it to be dirty or smelly, but this doesn’t have to be the case if you manage your compost pile properly.

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Extinction Rebellion

As people of all ages, backgrounds and origins have joined together as the Extinction Rebellion in London as a “wake-up call” to the UK and Parliament – climate breakdown and ecological collapse threaten our existence – this is a good time to reflect on what we are doing, and how our actions are disabling the climate for future generations.

As part of the Extinction Rebellion, and unable to protest in London myself, I have actively followed and supported those in protest.

Greta Thunberg

Yesterday, I watched Greta Thunberg address the European Parliament committee on environment, with genuine fear for the planet and her future and the future of all today’s children.

This morning, I watched the live-stream of a group of under 17s (XR Youth) holding a banner reading “ARE WE THE LAST GENERATION?” on the pavement outside Heathrow. Heavy police presence stopped the children standing on the road.

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Product Review: Faith in Nature Soap – Coconut

I have used Faith in Nature's Coconut Soap for some years - it is lovely to use: very gentle with a good lather and it does not leave my skin dry, and has a lovely smell. I had no allergic reaction - I actually use it in the shower occasionally! This is available from many shops, including Oxfam, but I have only found it on amazon without plastic wrapping (in packs of 18). Given the plastic packaging, I will not be ordering this again, but the product itself is very good! Additional Attributes 100% Natural FragranceWith Essential OilsFree from Parabens and SLSIngredients are vegetable derived, organic and are certified sustainable in origin

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Product Review: Reusable Sanitary Products

Periods: not the most pleasant thing to write about, but a monthly occurrence which, for the majority of UK women, results in repeated purchases of sanitary towels and/or tampons. This included me until this week.

I had ordered a number of sanitary towels (and a menstrual cup) from Peace With The Wild to be delivered (and they arrived just as my period came). Such a colourful array of colours! I was quite excited opening the package!

I received:

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Loose Tea vs Teabags

I never gave tea-types much thought, until I lived in Hamburg, Germany (2000-2007). Tea was something that automatically came in teabags – I popped it in a teapot or cup, added hot water and let it brew. For me, varieties of tea (up to the year 2000) consisted of Tetleys, PG Tips and herbal (mostly chamomile) and ALWAYS came in a bag!

Lemon Verbena

When I moved to Germany, a whole new world opened: Tea shops are common in towns and cities, and Hamburg, being the largest port in Germany, had more than its fair share (in fact, a quick search on google showed me well over 100)! With more tea varieties than I had ever seen before in my life! And very few in bags! Rows and rows of large jars adorn these shops, and you can ask about the origin or flavours of any of them – and/or have a sniff! Every time I return, I come back with kilos of it! From whole leaf Lemon Verbena, to mixes of loose teas with roses…. It is part of my life and routine now (although I admit, I am more of a coffee drinker!)

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Bamboo Toothbrushes

I have bought a variety of Bamboo Toothbrushes over the past 6-9 months, all of them wear well, do the job, are nice to hold, and I can dispose of them in good conscience. I have to admit, though, my favourite so far has been the Bamboo Toothbrush with Charcoal Bristles by TEVRA - my teeth feel a lot cleaner with the charcoal bristles! Additional Attributes Plastic-freeZero waste - ie packed in all recyclable material!Dentist Approved: Not only is this toothbrush excellent for the environment, but it is also good for you. The toothbrushes all feature high-quality dental grade bristles, just like your plastic toothbrush at home. You will get the same clean, healthy teeth without any of the waste.Medium Bristles: They are stronger but gentle enough to not to cause enamel damage while delivering plenty of polishing power. GUARANTEED – If you do not like this toothbrush, TEVRA will refund the full purchase price - basically, you have no excuse not to try it! They also have their own Vegan Dental Floss and Refill Pack! This will be reviewed later! EDIT: I have recently read that the toothbrushes which I bought most, and favoured, from Tevra are "BPA-free Charcoal" - tested with a flame, and they melt rather than burn, so I suspect that there is some polyester in them. So, It is sadly it is not 100% compostable - despite what is openly advertised . I did, however, find a blog post on this subject which may be…

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TerraCycle® – The First European Pet Food Recycling Programme

Whilst looking at my rubbish this week, and figuring whether or not it would be possible to recycle James Wellbeloved dry dog food bags, or even upcycle them, I discovered that James Wellbeloved already had a strategy in place!

They have partnered with TerraCycle® and Whiskas to launch the Pet Food Recycling Programme, a free recycling programme for your empty pet food pouches and for other flexible plastic dry food and treat packaging. In order to ensure that the packaging for your pets delicious products can be recycled into new products in order to prevent them to from ending up in landfill!

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Product Review: Koh

Whats all the hype about?

I became aware of Koh at the end of 2018, when I saw an advertisement, with the below video, on Facebook. I watched it – how could I not be interested?!

“The Koh Universal Cleaner replaces over 20 household products and brings a much needed calm to cleaning”

https://youtu.be/xk08DoWLXjY
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Shredded Paper

Shredded Paper…. urgh… a pain to produce, and even more of a pain to dispose of… luckily both my parents actively make and use their own compost (CWC does not seem to like shredded paper in the recycling!? But, it is a source confusion for many…. so here is some information and tips to help you!

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