I recently ordered a large delivery of compost, to be mainly used in the guerrilla gardened space behind our house. Much of that soil is heavily depleted, and I wanted to give our fruit trees the fastest rate of growth this year.
Why order such a big pile? For the simple reason that it cost $51/m3 to buy in bulk (plus a delivery charge), compared to $9 (or more) per 40L bag if purchased at a garden centre (or Bunnings for that matter). And a it takes a lot of 40L bags to make up a cubic metre of compost. That’s a big saving!
This time around, I purchased the compost from Australian Native Landscapes, who have a nice range of recycled products.
We ordered “RE-CARB® ESSENSE”, which is described as:
Humus rich, 100% organic compost is specifically designed to build soild carbon levels and soil microbial activity. Apply 75mm and dig into tired, nutrient poor soils. Suitable for all plants, this compost is particulary beneficial for phosphorous sensitive Australian natives.
That matched exactly what we needed! In general, I really like the idea of using recycled coffee grounds, Sydney sewage, wood chips, etc to make compost. Much better than going into a tip…
As seen on the Madame Flavour teas website, describing how their special tea bags (“infuser pods”) can be recycled:
Put several used infuser pods in the bottom of a hanging basket or pot, then put the soil over them. When you water the plant, the water is stored in the pods, a natural form of water-storing granule, reducing the need to water.
The same thing for new garden beds – perfect for water restrictions. And the tea puts minerals back into the soil as it breaks down.
Use infuser pods to plant seeds in. It saves on compost and you can plant straight into the ground.
I usually chuck our used tea bags into the compost, but these ideas sound much more creative!
It’s been interesting to see how little rubbish we’re producing in our new house. Now we’re no zero rubbish fanatics, but this is how much our regular rubbish is down to:
- Red bin (normal rubbish): 1/4 full each week (we actually didn’t put it out at all last week)
- Yellow bin (recycling): 1/4 – 1/3 full each week
- Green bin (garden waste): barely used at all, except during initial removal of grass and for weeds
Our current shopping and eating practices have a lot to do with this:
- we buy our fruit and vegetables loose, either as part of a food box or at the local greengrocers
- our food waste all goes to the worm farm or compost bin (apparently this can be up to 1/3 of normal household rubbish)
- we cook most nights, from raw ingredients
- which means that we purchase very little pre-packaged food other than breakfast cereal
- we don’t eat take-away, except when we’re really lazy
This still leaves cartons of milk, orange juice and stock, jars of sauce, and plenty else. We’re not cutting back on the essentials or the nice-to-haves.We’re not buying in crazy bulk amounts, or shopping around for zero-packaging goods.
It just doesn’t seem to add up to much rubbish. This makes us happy.