Are you waste conscious? Did you watch The War On Waste then immediately go and buy yourself a keep cup? It’s no secret, we Australian’s create an alarming amount of waste each year. It’s part and parcel of being one of the world’s biggest consumers. Thankfully, for those of us who are conscious of the amount of garbage we produce, there are three simple steps to bring down our numbers. They are, in no particular order –
This is an article about compost, so we’re mainly focusing on the first step mentioned above. But pump the brakes for just a second, food scraps are made up of organic matter, how does that contribute to the waste issue? Well, the food scraps we throw out end up in the same heaving ball of methane and carbon dioxide producing waste as everything else at the tip. The good news is that it’s very simple to reduce and reuse our waste by composting our food scraps.
We’re all familiar with a compost bin, it’s that big, smelly, green or black container out the back of the house. Although I personally have found that those of us living a nomadic or tiny lifestyle are generally waste conscious people, big and smelly containers don’t really fit the bill. The good news is that there’s more good news! It is now possible for nomads, tiny house owners and small space dwellers alike to reduce their waste by composting, with the introduction of the Bokashi One compost bucket.
The two main features that make the Bokashi One an ideal solution to small space composting are it’s size and it’s hygienic process. It’s a bucket, a bit smaller than the size of a standard 50 litre bucket, meaning it fits into small spaces like the cupboard under your sink, or even better, a custom made cupboard at the end of your bench. If you’re travelling in a van it could be tied onto the roof rack, although long periods of exposure to direct sunlight is not recommended.
Secondly, living in a small space with the Bokashi One is a pleasure as it emits no offensive odours. The bucket is air-tight and the compost ferments unlike regular compost bins which decompose.
Another huge advantage of the Bokashi One is that you can compost ALL of your kitchen waste. Because of its unique fermenting process, you can compost cooked and uncooked meats and fish, dairy products and prepared foods. The process is simple, all you need is a Bokashi One bucket and a bag of Bokashi Mix (this is supplied with the bucket). First, you place the grate in the bottom of the bucket and make sure the tap on the front is in the off position. You then make one layer of food scraps in the bucket and sprinkle a small amount of Bokashi Mix on top, just enough for a light coverage, then make the next layer of food scraps, sprinkle the mix and repeat until the bucket is full.
As the compost ferments, the Bokashi One also produces juice that can be diluted down and used as a fertiliser.
It is a good idea to have two buckets available, this way you can allow one bucket to ferment while you fill the second bucket. It generally takes my partner and I (cooking for two with occasional guests) around one month to completely fill one bucket. We then let that bucket sit for the next month while we fill the second bucket. The Bokashi Mix that is supplied with each bucket is good for around half a dozen buckets, if you purchase two buckets you won’t need to purchase more mix for 12 months. Once you’ve been using the Bokashi One compost bucket system for some time it’s quite common to start measuring everything in buckets, the whole concept of calendar months goes out the window. For example, my partner and I have now been together for 60 buckets.
But what should you do with all that fermented compost? If you don’t have a garden of your own, it’s always well received when donated to local community gardens, given to friends or family with veggie gardens or at a pinch you can just gift it to some local plants by burying it in the ground.