A Guide to Composting



By Robyn at Holistica

Composting is a brilliant way to give back to the earth. If you consider the huge volume of landfills in the world it should be a primary concern for all of us to dispose of our waste responsibility.

Week after week we mindlessly put our rubbish bags on the pavement when we could so easily reduce the amount of waste to almost nothing. Here’s what you can compost, and a few pointers on how easy it can be.


  • Cardboard, newspaper and clean paper
  • Coffee grounds
  • Crumbs, eggshells and nutshells
  • Cotton and wool rags
  • Dryer and vacuum lint
  • Flowers, leaves, plants and pine needles
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Hair and fur
  • Sawdust and wood chips
  • Tea bags
  • Grass and trimmings
  • Hay and straw

“Week after week we mindlessly put our rubbish bags on the pavement when we could so easily reduce the amount of waste to almost nothing.”


Compost is organic matter that’s broken down into material used as plant fertiliser. It’s also called Gardener’s Gold or Black Gold. When you put a whole lot of organic matter together it attracts bacteria that create carbon dioxide and heat. This transforms waste into nutrient rich soil. Creepies and crawlies like worms, slugs and insects also digest the decomposing matter, turning it into compost as they eat and poop it out. Secretions from the worms and insects bind the small particles into bigger bits. This improves the texture of the compost.


1.You can compost on the open ground or you can compost in a big plastic, wooden or metal bin or container. If you’re doing it on the open ground, find an empty piece of ground in your garden. This will give access to the organisms so they can start their job.

2.Start throwing all your organic waste onto the pile. Make sure you have a good mixture of old food and leaves. If you shred your leaves you will get a much faster result. This will aerate the pile and allow for quicker decomposition.

3.Add some nitrogen. Hay and kitchen scraps are good sources of nitrogen and manure is the best. If you layer your nitrogen source with your leaves and garden waste you will get a great result.

4.Turn your compost every three days to give it more air.

Plastic is a huge global problem at the moment – check out this related article on plastic waste solutions.

South African Reforestation: Platbos Indigenous Forest

South African Reforestation: Platbos Indigenous Forest 24 APRIL, 2017 By Ivy Pepin Once a year in the Platbos indigenous forest, a group of impassioned people comes together for a unique South African reforestation project. But it’s more than just a project. It’s a...

What is Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR)?

What is Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration? 29 MARCH 2017 By Reini Marissens Make yourself comfortable with a nice cup of coffee or tea, while reading this blog post. It's a seven minute read - just enough to finish your cup and continue your day. With climate change...

Help us plant trees, grow gardens and educate for action across Southern Africa.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share The Love

Share this post with your friends!

Subscribe to our newsletter

for people who want to change their world.

Every two weeks, you will receive our compilation of fresh green news and ways to get active (not anxious) for the environment. And, every so often, we will send you invitations to our awesome green events. We hope you dig it! 

You have Successfully Subscribed!