While there’s no uniformly accepted definition of “sustainable gardening,” what it roughly means is that the practices used in gardening should be non-polluting, less wasteful, and more conscious about preserving natural resources.
One of these practices is composting kitchen waste to be used for your plants.
Many of us live in small apartments without the luxury of garden space, but that does not mean that we cannot compost kitchen waste at home.
Many companies in India have begun to manufacture home compost bins that can be kept in our balconies, and we can safely compost our kitchen waste without worrying about malodors or pests.
Here is how much waste we produce per day, categorized by city. Note that 40%-62% of this waste is compostable! (Imagine how much waste is going “waste!”)
There’s plenty of information online about how to compost kitchen waste, so I won’t re-hash the first 10 Google search results.
In this post, I’ll be doing a roundup of some home compost bins available in India.
Founded by “compostwali” Poonam Bir Kasturi, Daily Dump has the honor of being the first to bring home composting to India.
Their “kambha” or stack composter is their most recognizable product–even I know about it and I am yet to start composting kitchen waste at home.
They even have a little one for kids, called “Nano Kambha” to help them connect with nature and experience composting first-hand.
If you’re wondering what to do with the compost when you don’t have a garden or even plants in your balcony, Poonam mentions (in the video below) that you can sprinkle it on the trees in your neighborhood.
Here’s a quick video where Poonam shows you how to use the kambha:
I noticed that YourStory has featured them several times, most recently in this article. The website also has an interesting article where Poonam offers practical tips to manage household waste and reduce the amount of waste we generate.
Daily Dump has an impressive composting resources section called “Learn,” where they educate us about the environmental impact of our activities and how we can make small, but significant eco-friendly choices every day.
Everything is explained using animated creatives that will make you want to click through all the way.
Daily Dump’s Twitter page is a treasure trove of information about organic gardening.
As you can tell, I’m quite impressed by the way Daily Dump is communicating its vision to consumers.
Headquartered in Bengaluru, EcoBin was one of the 13 startups to graduate from Bosch India’s DNA Accelerator Programme in 2016.
EcoBin offers two types of composters – Bokashi and Aerobic.
Bokashi composting makes use of anaerobic bacteria that work in the absence of oxygen, whereas aerobic composting involves the use of aerobic bacteria to decompose organic waste.
The Bokashi method is different from traditional composting methods because:
- It doesn’t require ratio monitoring or turning and can make use of kitchen wastes like meat, oil, and dairy.
- It takes only 10-15 days to convert organic material into compost.
- It has greater nutritive value than compost produced by traditional methods.
However, compost produced by the Bokashi method isn’t the same as that produced by traditional methods, so it has be buried under the ground to be broken down further or be added to a traditional compost heap.
So in reality, it takes longer than 10-15 days for the compost to become usable.
Watch how the indoor Bokashi EcoBin can be set up and used:
The Better India reported Vijay Satish, head of business operations at EcoBin, as saying
“Composting requires favourable weather conditions, and the Bokashi process is temperature-controlled. The Bokashi juice derived from the composting process enhances soil conditions greatly. Most of our users are organic farming enthusiasts.”
You can shop at the EcoBin store for waste segregation products, aerobic and Bokashi home composting kits, and various other accessories.
They also have small composters for children that can be used to encourage an environment-conscious mindset and a love for gardening.
I first heard about Orbin and Anjana Iyer in this 2019 YourStory article about women leading waste management companies, all of them in Bengaluru!
Orbin’s composters are made of fibre-reinforced plastic, designed to last around 8 years. They are meant to treat wet waste at source i.e. individual homes, apartment complexes, and small offices.
Since the composters are meant to make composting easy for busy people, they don’t need turning or cutting. They have wheels for easy moving around and do not require electricity.
Sounds like a win-win to me!
They’re not particularly active on Twitter, but until 2018 they were putting out useful (and humorous) content around waste management and composting:
Watch how the Orbin Stax works, which is described as the “world’s first ever multi-stage aerated vertical composter to treat large scale/bulk waste designed to offer residential complexes, communities, restaurants & eateries, large office canteens, etc. an opportunity to convert organic wet waste into compost that is generated at source.”
Look for Orbin’s products here or on Amazon India.
School to Learn Composting: SwachaGraha
Did you know there’s a whole-ass school to learn composting?
They have a One Week Composting Challenge, wherein you start composting kitchen waste and pledge to keep one week’s worth of organic waste away from the landfills.
They also ask you to take the pledge to start 3 Green Spots in your home – Compost, Grow, and Cook.
They have plenty of resources for individual composting, community composting, and volunteers.
You have the choice to make a DIY composter or purchase one from a list they’ve given, which features products from Eco Bin, Nitya Jaivika, Reap Benefit, Bio Clean, Soil and Health, StoneSoup, Spintech, Greenon, and Quantum Leap Guru.
So many choices–pick the one that suits your situation the best.
Talk to Me
With the wealth of resources at hand, there’s no excuse for not setting up a kitchen compost bin for your home.
If you’re already composting kitchen waste at home, I would like to hear about your experience and if you have any tips.