How To Start a Compost Bin at Home

August 10, 2020

As a nutritionist, presenter and sustainability advocate, Charlotte Mei has forged a healthy relationship with food. On her Youtube channel, the self-taught cook creates videos documenting thoughtful yet fuss-free recipes — from vegan-friendly dishes to fusion cuisine that pay tribute to her part-French, part-Asian heritage — and tips on living life sustainably in the city.

To further reduce food waste, Charlotte began composting leftover food and ingredients this year. She adopted the bokashi method, a gradual process which ferments organic matter — including fruits, vegetables, eggs, dairy, raw and cooked meat — using bacteria and yeast in an anaerobic environment. The resulting compost, or “pickle”, and liquid runoff is then mixed into soil and used as fertiliser for her home garden.

Early practices of composting were created to foster healthy, productive soil by recycling kitchen and garden waste. Traditionally, the process is conducted in a pit, where the input materials decompose, but that requires one to own a sizeable garden or backyard. In the land-starved, urban city of Singapore, where most Singaporeans reside in densely packed high-rise buildings, living spaces are spread almost entirely indoors. Here, composting is hardly practised.

But now, Charlotte demonstrates how she composts her kitchen scraps for our T at Home series entirely indoors using the Bokashi method. She creates a compost bin from her apartment, turning leftover food — otherwise discarded — into fertiliser for her home garden.

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