The Dirt on Composting for Beginners

There’s no denying that I’ve learned quite a bit about waste over the last few years, whether it be garbage, recycling, or composting! These were topics that were typically pretty foreign to me but once I scratched the surface it sort of snowballed from there, and I’m honestly so proud of how much I’ve soaked in… and to be honest, it didn’t take me TOO long to learn!

I mean, I know that these topics (especially garbage and recycling!) can seem a bit daunting and overwhelming, but I promise they’re less intimidating once you start doing research and checking out how your municipality runs! All you have to do is call them up and they’ll guide you to all of the info you need, and more!

Today, I’m going to share a few composting tips with you that I have learned (so far!). Don’t get me wrong, I’m by no means an expert on this topic so if you’re a composting Queen (or King!!) make sure to share your tips and tricks in the comments section below.

Jillian Harris The Dirt on Composting for Beginners
Jillian Harris The Dirt on Composting for Beginners

I’m going to kick this off by saying that composting is AWESOME. It’s frickin GOLD in my eyes… especially if you have a veggie or flower garden! Compost is going to be your best friend… and I mean, why buy this stuff when you can make it yourself?? Not only does it provide amazing organic matter and natural nutrients for your veggie and flower gardens, but it also helps you reduce the amount of organic waste you’re contributing to your local landfill.

I was blown away by some of the information Easton received after her visit to our local landfill here in Kelowna— such as the fact that landfill gas is produced from the bacteria that breaks down the organic wastes that are in the landfill! This is made up of around 95% of methane and carbon dioxide! Both of these are greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming! Another reason to keep your organic matter out of your garbage and ultimately, out of the landfill!

4 Things To Keep In Mind When Composting

  1. Add a scoop or two of fresh dirt for every bucket of compost you put in.
  2. You want to mix your compost as much as you can!
  3. Remember to spray your compost down with water every time you add to it. This helps it breakdown!
  4. A compost activator helps your compost breakdown quicker – try to add this in when you mix your compost!
Jillian Harris The Dirt on Composting for Beginners
Jillian Harris The Dirt on Composting for Beginners

When I first started my composting journey I was SO EXCITED to compost anything and everything I could, and ultimately I was oblivious to the fact that even though some of your everyday items say they’re compostable doesn’t mean they can actually go in YOUR compost! These items include things like compostable cutlery, garbage bags, takeout containers, etc. These items actually have to be composted at a commercial compost. If you have compostable items like these that are not organic matter you can place them in your garbage, but don’t put them in a plastic bag so they have the opportunity to breakdown more efficiently.

There is also LOTS of confusion around the difference between biodegradable and compostable items— just to be clear, these are two different things. Compostable is organic matter that will decompose into the earth. Biodegradable means it WILL break down but there may be microplastics leftover.

In some communities, they will actually take these compostable items along with your organic matter to a commercial compost and do the work for you. Our local company is Spa Hills Compost. They pickup from businesses and restaurants around Kelowna, and have community-drop off points for compostable materials that are available at a few specific locations. Check out everything that can be included (and not included) here! Unfortunately, at this time, we don’t have pickups directly from our homes here in Kelowna like we do with our garbage and recycling, but I know it’s something they’re looking into as there has been so much demand for it! I LOVE that!

What You Can Add to Your Veggie or Flower Garden Compost

  • Fruits
  • Veggies
  • Eggshells
  • Clippings
  • Dirt from your yard
  • Coffee grounds

What You Don’t Want to Add to Your Veggie or Flower Garden Compost

  • Cut flowers from the florist (these have chemicals on them!)
  • Meat
  • Cheese
  • Bread

What You Can Add to Your Commercial Compost

Jillian Harris The Dirt on Composting for Beginners

photo credit

There you have it! I hope you have found this info helpful! If you have any composting tips or tricks, make sure to mention them in the comments section below!



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  1. Hello Team Jilly! Great post! I’ve been composting for 2 years now that I have a veggie garden in my new home but prior to this, we lived in a condo and had this counter top composter from and it is fantastic! Perhaps useful info to your followers. Best, Valérie

  2. This might be a silly question but does it smell? I live just outside of MB on acreage with no fencing and don’t want to attract any bears or other wildlife!

  3. This might be a silly question but does it smell? I live on acreage just outside of MB and don’t want to attract any wildlife!

  4. I LOVE THIS POST!!!! We’re about to start our composting journey this fall and I’ve been reading and researching and these are great tips (especially about the compostable cutlery and plates!!). Thanks, team!

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