One of the most important things you can do to dramatically cut down on your contribution to your surrounding environment is to compost. I only began composting last year and I’ve managed to do it at home (Bangalore) and at school (Rishi Valley)–both an urban and a rural setting.
At home, we have a khumba pot from Daily Dump which is a terrific way to turn your organic waste into gorgeous soil in a short time. It requires a few more items that you must purchase to keep it going using this system, but if you can swing the cost it’s an excellent and easy way to compost.
First, you need the set of three-tiered terra cotta pots. Then some of the remix soil, neem to keep the unwanted bugs at bay, and some form of microorganisms like EM (effective microorganisms). Then you just dump your organic matter (including nails, dust sweepings, and hair) into the pot each night, cover it with a bit of remix soil and cover it up. Once a week you stir it and when it’s full you rotate the pots. The bottom one will have gorgeous smelling soil within a couple of weeks.
At school we do it a bit differently. We dig a pit–1 metre by 1 metre–and then we fill it up with our organic matter. We have containers with lids in our house to keep the organic waste for a few days to a week (often covering with remix soil to keep the smell out). Then we dump it in the pit once a week, stir it–being sure to get the bottom most soil to the top and vive versa. After stirring we add some EM and some slurry (cow dung mixed with water, which we get from our estate). Finally, we put a layer of dry leaves on top. In no time we have wonderful soil ready to use in our garden.
Below is an assembly that my students did to share our composting process at school. I hope it will inspire you to get started!