In honor of Earth Day, we're going to show you how you can experiment with compost at home. You can compost on a small scale like this, or expand to a yard composter when you're ready. Cuyahoga Recycles has great resources if you're interested in composting. You can even purchase composters at reduced prices from them!
This project is a good way to introduce composting to kids. And they can see the compost being made right before their eyes.
- Glass jar with lid
- Lawn debris (leaves, grass clippings)
- Paper (newspaper, printer paper, egg cartons)
- Kitchen scraps (peels, cores, coffee grounds, egg shells, NO dairy or meat)
- 1 cup of water
To begin, gather all of your ingredients. You'll also need to poke a few holes in the lid of your jar, to let oxygen react with the organic material inside.
Layer the materials from the bottom up - soil, paper, kitchen scraps, lawn debris and repeat until you reach the top of the jar. You need larger layers of soil and lawn debris, smaller layers of paper and kitchen scraps. We want to maintain the pH balance of the jar so the compost doesn't get too acidic. Add a cup of water (you can even collect rainwater prior to starting this experiment to use). When it's filled, be sure to mark the top of your materials with a permanent marker. As the organic materials begin to decompose, it will reduce in size. When all is done, compare where you started with where you ended up!
The compost you get will be a great addition to plants in your yard or a burgeoning garden.