Garden, Home and Garden

How to Compost

how to compost

how to compost

Let’s talk about how to compost today.

Did you know that we Brits we throw an estimated 7.2 million tonnes of food and drink in the bin each year?  A staggering amount, I’m sure you’ll agree!

While undoubtedly the best way to reduce food waste is to plan your food shopping carefully and freezing leftovers , composting also has a vital role in reducing the amount of food sent to landfill.  Composting kitchen waste isn’t hard to do and, contrary to popular opinion, isn’t a smelly job if done correctly.  So I thought I’d show you how to compost at home, odour free!

1.  What You’ll Need in the Kitchen to Compost

First of all, you need a lidded kitchen caddy to hold your kitchen waste, like one of these (affiliate link).  If like me you have a tiny kitchen then you can even get one that hooks on to the wall or inside a cupboard.  You may also want some biodegradable bags to line your caddy.  I personally prefer to use the bags as it means you don’t have to wash your caddy every time you empty it – anything to avoid extra chores!

garden composter compost bin

2.  What You’ll Need in The Garden to Compost

Now you’ve got your kitchen set up, it’s time to think about your garden.  A garden composter is invaluable.  You can make your own, like the one pictured above, but we just have one of the black plastic ones, which we find is good for trapping heat and helping our food waste break down quickly.  The best place to site it is in a sunny spot on bare soil.  If you don’t have any bare soil and are placing your composter on slabs or tarmac then make sure you place a layer of paper and twigs at the bottom before you start emptying your compost in the composter.  This help creatures such as worms, essential for composting, to help colonise your composter.

what can you compost

3.  How to Compost

Now you’re all set up you can start composting your kitchen waste.  You can compost all sorts of kitchen scraps and waste – from fruit and vegetable peelings, fruit and vegetable scraps, salad leaves, tea bags, coffee grounds and filter papers, egg shells and more.

You don’t have to empty the caddy every day – just when it gets full.  In our household (of three) we find we empty our caddy into the composter every two to three days, and our kitchen is odour free.  If you live by yourself you may want to empty it before it gets full as you will likely be generating less waste.

Conveniently, you can add your garden waste too – add any flowers, spent plants from your garden, nettles, rhubarb leaves and grass cuttings to your composter. It’s also a very good idea to add cardboard, egg boxes, scrunched up paper/newspaper, fallen leaves, twigs, etc.  These are slower to rot, add carbon (essential for providing energy for the worms and other creatures in your composter) and create air pockets.  These pockets provide vital oxygen to your compost, and help stop your composter from smelling.  It’s particularly important to do this if you’ve added grass cuttings to help promote the flow of oxygen.

There are a few composting no no’s: meat, fish, cooked vegetables, dairy products, weeds with seed heads, dog and cat poo, and nappies (even the biodegradable ones).

real compost

In your composter your kitchen and garden waste can take anywhere between 3 and 12 months to produce garden-ready compost. Your compost will be fantastically nutrient rich and great in borders, vegetable and flower beds, for potting plants in, and for feeding shrubs and trees.  Your compost may have twiggy bits in it – you can sieve these out if you are particularly pernickity about your compost!

How you’ve found this guide on how to compost useful!  If you have any other questions on how to compost then do feel free to ask in the comments below!

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Fashion, Life & Style

Ethical Womens Underwear

where can I buy ladies ethical underwear uk

‘Where can I buy ethical womens underwear?’ is one of my most asked questions by Moral Fibres readers, so I thought I’d put together a roundup of some of the options out there today.  Guys, don’t feel left out, I have written a men’s ethical underwear post just for you!

When buying clothing I would normally always suggest buying secondhand where possible.  However, the thought of wearing secondhand undies makes me feel a little green (and NOT in the eco sense!), so it’s one area where you have my full consent to buy brand new.

The ethical underwear market sells more than just large, white granny pants, like you might imagine.  All of the ethical underwear featured here today is fun, modern and sexy, as well as practical.

Women’s Ethical Underwear

ethical ladies knickers ciel liberty print

Ciel sell the most beautiful Liberty print knickers, from £24.  With a rigorous ethical policy you can be sure that your pants are as ethical as they come.

stylish ethical bras

Saumarez make some really sexy underwear, which will challenge any preconceptions you may have of ethical underwear.  This Mya bra (left, £10) is both sexy and sophisticated, while this Nicola bra (right, £40) is full on fun.  They also have some great knickers.

2017 edit – Saumarez appear to have ceased trading.

ladies ethical knickers uk luva huva

Luva Huva have a great collection of fun and modern everyday ethical knickers.  A triple set of knickers is currently £28, including the bottom left pair.  The purple Juliet knickers are £14 and the cute frilly ones are £16.  They do sell bras but they are don’t seem to come in different sizes according to your back size, which for some might be a sticking point.

stylish sexy ethical knickers

Who Made Your Pants buy their fabric from lingerie companies at the end of the season – saving the fabric from landfill.  All pants are made in the UK – in Southampton – where all the makers are women who have come from troubled backgrounds.  They say that the first job new employees learn is how to make the pants.  They then hope that all jobs within the business can be filled by the women as they gain skills – if someone is interested in marketing or finance, they”ll arrange training, which I think is a fantastic business ethos.  Pants range from around £12.50 a pair, and Moral Fibres readers can get 10% with discount code ‘MORALFIBRES‘. 

2016 edit: sadly Who Made Your Pants have stopped trading.

Also worth mentioning are Thunderpants UK, who sell lovely big ethical pants.  Thunderpants say their pants will not go up your bum, which we all appreciate in a pant!

ethical nursing maternity bra

And finally, for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers Lorna Drew nursing bras, available from around £29, are practical and ethical, and expand over three cup sizes to accommodate your changing shape, making them great value too.

2017 edit – Lorna Drew appear to have ceased trading.

If you’re a DD+ cup size like me (thanks pregnancy and breastfeeding) then I am afraid I don’t think there is such a thing an ethical plus size bra.  Despite a lot of searching I have not found one yet, and my best advice is to spend as much money as you can afford on a well made comfortable bra, and get properly fitted for it by a professional to ensure the longevity of your purchase.  I buy all of mine from Marks and Spencer because I know they fit, are supportive and comfortable and last.  In my youth I tried cheaper bras from Topshop and inevitably they barely lasted a few months.  I also memorably bought one from Primark that lasted one wear as when I washed it the underwiring popped right out!


Main image from here.