Composting can be confusing, with the never-ending options of components you can add to your pile. However, to balance the composition of your compost, you’ll need a good mix of nitrogen-rich wet greens, and carbon-rich dry browns. Here are some items you can easily obtain to add into your pile of compost.
A staple brown, newspapers will add carbon to your compost pile. Be sure to shred them first because a bundled mess of newspapers will hinder the necessary flow of oxygen.
This is another readily available item you can add to your compost pile, as we all know how quickly a household can go through a carton of eggs.
Adding eggshells to compost adds calcium to the makeup of your heap. This important nutrient, when added to soil, helps the plants to build cell walls and grow better and faster.
Wash them before adding into your compost so that you don’t attract any critters and reduces the risk of disease which raw eggs pose.
Another commonly used carbon-rich brown, dead leaves can be easily found around your house. However, you do need to shred them before adding them to your pile. Layer them with fresh grass clippings or other greens, and moistened with water.
Scraps like cores, peels, skins, and stalks from vegetables and fruits are some other things you can compost instead of simply disposing them. You should keep them buried deep in your compost heap to prevent pests from appearing.
Compared to loose tea leaves, tea bags are more complicated to compost because they can be made up of a variety of materials, and not all of them may be natural fibres.
If you drink Nilufer Tea's organic and pesticide-free herbal teas, you can empty the contents into your compost pile and discard the bag.
It is critical that all the cardboard you use for your compost is shredded into small pieces because large pieces take longer to decompose.
Remember to turn the pile every five days to speed up the decomposition. In six to eight months, the compost should be ready to use.
Compost in a DIY bin typically doesn't get hot enough to break down meat or bones. So if you do want to use plate scrapings in your compost pile, avoid these items.
If you’re the type who juices a lot, you can actually salvage the skins, peels and pulp for your compost pile. Not only does the fibrous pulp break down quickly, but it enriches your compost with a variety of nutrients too.
Paper towels and napkins are considered carbon-rich browns and can be used as a substitute for dried leaves. Make sure they’re not overly greasy so they can decompose quickly. This is because oil and grease reduces the amount of air in your compost, eventually leading to the growth of anaerobic bacteria, which creates an unpleasant stench.
Yes, you can actually compost hair! After all, it is simply protein filaments and thus, natural. Spread the hair out so that the larger surface area can help it to break down faster and easier. It’ll take a bit more than a month for it to break down enough before you can add it to your garden soil.
Most pencils are made from cedar, a wood that insects hate. Using pencil shavings in your compost pile and subsequently soil therefore, prevents pests from appearing.
Latex is a biodegradable material. So if you have tons of them lying around after a party, toss them in your pile – they’ll be gone within six months.
If you’re set on minimising your household’s waste output, you may want to try composting your pet’s droppings. However, if you do, remember never to use it in any garden that is growing edible vegetables and herbs. Let it compost for a long time so as to kill off as many harmful microorganisms as possible.
Composting doesn’t have to be a confounding process, so get to it, and you’ll be doing a great service to the environment!
A herbarium is a collection of preserved plant and herb specimens. These specimens are typically used for scientific study, but for the everyday collectors, a herbarium can just be a unique decoration in your house. I'll be honest, when researching, I initially thought a herbarium was like a terrarium but with herbs instead of usual plants like cacti. *cue laughter* Turns out it's a collection of herbs in frames. So if you were like me and you thought this article was an online terrarium workshop, it's time to learn something new! Life is all about surprises and spontaneity, isn't it?
To produce a comprehensive physical collection, there are a few facets that require your attention when creating your own herbarium. If you wish to create a simple one that requires minimal effort, it is a much simpler process but if you want to create a more sophisticated and professional looking herbarium, you may need to purchase a few items. Let us start with the simple one first; this is a great activity to do with your kids or nature-loving friends because it'll get you out of the house and into the sun where you will get that much needed vitamin D.
What you will need:
Many of these items can be found at your local book or stationery store and they are inexpensive so this fun little project definitely won't burn a hole in your pocket.
Not too hard, right? This is no doubt a fun and productive way to spend the weekend with your loved ones. Collecting is a good hobby to foster amongst children because studies have shown that it improves both creativity and pattern recognition in children. Seeing as collecting requires organisational skills, the hobby also allows them to improve their aptitude for recognizing everyday characteristics and being able to identify breaks in a pattern.
Now, if you would like to make a bigger herbarium, your mounting process will differ slightly from the previous set of instructions. It will also cost slightly more to put together but it will come out looking like something from a museum. The only thing that changes would be the mounting process. Instead of putting your sheets into a plastic protector, purchase a plastic screen to paste on top of your sheet, and then frame it in a glass frame instead of a binder. Your frames will go nicely as a decoration over your bed or dining room. Nothing like a little splash of green hues to brighten up your day. Not to mention it is great for that mid-work eye break. As you add more to your collection and you find yourself without any more space, they make great gifts as well. Nothing shows love quite like a handmade gift!
For the adventurous craftsmen out there, you can make your very own flower press as well. Pressed flowers can be used in other crafts projects too; like jewelry and decor.
What you will need:
You could even decorate your flower press while waiting for the flowers to dry. A word of caution, make sure you leave the flowers to dry for the aforementioned period of time before opening the press to peek! The flowers might rip or crumble if they are not completely dried.
So there you have it, the tips and how-to to make your very own herbarium. It isn't exactly the easiest art project but it isn't the hardest either. If you have a great appreciation for plants and you would like it to manifest into something most tangible for decorative purposes, then this is the project for you.
We at Nilufer would love to see some of your creations! Do tag us on instagram of the pictures of your herbariums! Enjoy crafting!
We have officially reached the month of December! Aka the Christmas month (no seriously it is Christmas every single day in December. Google it, it's the era of awesomeness.) You'll hear jingle bells, 'Santa baby's, 'All I Want for Christmas is You's and of course the iconic Mean Girls video that is bound to be recreated by many groups of people (myself included *winks*) Enjoy lovely strolls down Orchard Road with the beautiful Christmas lights and decorations and eat all the yummy goodies to your hearts' content! It's been a hard year, and we all deserve a nice break. December is also a reminder that 2017 is coming to an end, and 2018 is coming soon! Over the year if you've accumulated a lot of things from your online shopping, then I'm sure you are in dire need to tidy up your house before the new year starts. What better way to welcome a new year with a neat and clean house! A clean house is a happy house and a happy house makes a happy person.
If you feel overwhelmed, anxious, and defeated around the idea of decluttering your homes, don't be! There are so many benefits of a clean tidy house: you have less to clean, less debt, less to organize, less stress, more money and energy for your greatest passions. And of course a neat house is pleasing to the eye and perhaps even the soul. However, looking at the disastrous state of your home may leave you wondering: how in the world should I even begin?! Fret not, your girl has your back!
Take 5-1o minutes to walk around your house and mentally decide what things you definitely need or don't need. Keep in mind that you should declutter room by room for maximum efficiency.
Grab a ton of boxes or bags to place all the unwanted items. (bonus points if you separate your items into recyclables, donations, resell and trash) A lot of us are guilty of impulse buying and sometimes these things are hardly used, so why not give it to someone else who could make great use of it? You are doing a great deed and you can clean your house at the same time, killing two birds with one stone. You could also recycle them or even start a garage sale to sell a few valuable items and earn back some of the money you spent.
Commit to your goal of decluttering, as it might take a few days (Rome wasn't built in a day you know!) So set mental goals for yourself, give deadlines for each room and it'll become a more tangible goal with minimal risk of procrastination.
Before I give you some tips to declutter each room, let me share some of the usual pitfalls in decluttering as well as how to overcome them.
Sunk costs are costs that have already been incurred and cannot be recovered. Many of the things in our houses are sunk costs except for rare instances where the value of an item increases over time (like gold). A lot of people tend to fixate on the money they spent on their belongings and can't bear to get rid of them. Over time your things will accumulate and you'll get closer and closer to being a hoarder. *gasps* So, since you can't get your money back, you should only think about the value that thing can add to your life in the future. If it doesn't add much value, toss it. Understanding this concept of sunk costs can help you make more rational decisions about what to keep and what you should toss as well as a means to control your impulse spending in the future.
We generally only wear 20% of the clothes we own, 80% of the time. (The comfy loose t-shirts, sweatpants and shorts) And this rule applies to other items too, like bags, games, CDs, etc. Your mission is to figure out what the 80% of things that you only use 20% of the time are and toss them appropriately.
There you have it, some great tips and guidelines to help you reel in the new year with a clean, clutter-free house. Everything mentioned is most definitely doable so put your mind to it and get cracking!