Tell us a bit about yourself.
My Name is Jazz, i’m 25 years of age and currently an outdoor instructor. My partner Matt and I have brought land in Hokitika and using the next two years in Auckland to earn money and educate ourselves on how to live an off-grid, sustainable lifestyle before we move down.
Which composting methods do you use?
We use an open compost pit just because it is really easy for dumping a huge volume of lawn clippings.
We have built an outside composting toilet and empty our buckets into our compost pile and cover with straw. Our initial reason was an experimental one but it makes total sense! Most households pay for water that has been cleaned with added chemicals just to be flushed down with human waste and sit in a massive pond where more chemicals are added. Humanure creates beautiful soil for the garden – no waste!
When did you start composting?
I started composting young, growing up with an open bottom bin that my Mother started however we weren’t well-educated and just put food scraps and green grass clippings in it. Wasn’t until around 16 that I started to learn about the carbon balance with my grandfather living in Timaru who was a serious composter (even bagged it up to sell) who taught me more about the composting process.
Why do you do it?
I do it to reduce waste going into the landfill and to return nutrients back to the earth.
What do you love about it?
I love composting as I feel like I am giving back to the earth what I have taken, as if I have borrowed the nutrients from the soil to grow a vegetable and then returned once eaten or scraps removed. It also saves money on buying compost for the garden and I would never throw food in the garbage if I could compost instead. Anything to reduce my carbon footprint and increase my green one!
How do you think we can encourage more Aucklanders to compost?
I think Compost Collective is doing a great job so far. If people are educated on what composting is and the benefits from it (like save money from less waste, nutrients for the soil) they are more likely to do it. I think the biggest put off for the average household is that compost does require a little more time! But the benefits certainly outweigh the cons.
Making it accessible for people with small gardens i.e bokashi. Somehow make it easy for everyone to do it with minimal problems like ‘it smells’ or ‘it is too expensive’. Make it cool! Educate on social media and TV.
The Compost Collective runs free composting workshops all across Auckland. Participants get a $40 discount voucher to use on a compost system that suits them.