Sustainable Student Living: Composting

By Angelo Balagtas, GLOBUS Correspondent

As a Global Sustainable Development student, I am constantly attempting to realise opportunities to become more sustainable. That, and with the onslaught of articles on the consequences of unsustainable practices, I am urged to take more steps. With the opportunity of having just moved into our new house in Leamington (complete with a back garden-ish space), I asked my flatmates if we could start an in-house compost bin. Fortunately, they agreed.  

Here are a few tips that I’d give to fellow students who would like to start as well: 

  1. Make sure everyone in the house is aware of it. By that, I mean, everyone verbally agrees. Sometimes, if you make a mistake, the compost might smell, and it’ll prevent any kind of animosity. 
  1. It helps to have a separate bag for food waste that’s near where you usually cut up your veggies. This way, you’ll remember to throw them there, instead of where you’d instinctively throw them (i.e. non-recyclables). 
  1. Have a DO NOT sign. There are specific foods that you are not encouraged to add in a beginner’s compost, such as onion peels and citrus fruits, so have a sign that specifies this.  

As I embarked on this journey, I found that my housemates became more conscious of their actions, and their consequences. In other words, there were more efforts into sustainable practices. They started to use less water when washing plates, and more hesitant to use plastic bags. It may also very well be due to the current ubiquity of the “we have to be more sustainable” narrative, but the compost served to initiate these kinds of practices unto the house, and a reminder to continue doing it.  

They might also be weary that there’s a GSD student in the house who might call them out. 

I found this specific video quite helpful when starting my composting journey. You may well too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGRunDez1j4 

Header Image: Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

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