A Sustainable Chat with Matt and Helen from Composty
When did you start your sustainable journey?
Our lovely firstborn daughter arrived in 2016. As many people know, that moment shifts a lot of things in new parents’ lives. For us, it included our appreciation for the delicate world around us. It dawned on us that our planet is on a journey and it would make the earth less beautiful for our child than it is now. An appreciation of the damage that has already occurred shocked us. There was a moment… And it shifted our outlook on the things we do.
We started supporting tree planting charities, we are passionate about this and it’s why every product we will sell, will get a tree planted by us in Madagascar, Mozambique or Honduras.
What changes did you make to live more sustainably?
Oh my word, initially we went composting mad. Money was tight with our maternity pay situation, but turning waste products into something precious for our garden and reducing waste to landfill seemed like a simple step to take. Let’s just say, we got hooked. We’d not long moved into our new home and the garden, while being nice and big, was a concrete jungle. Over the next 12-18 months, our yard was turned into a garden, with 200 square meters of lawn, herbaceous borders and lots of ways to encourage wonderful wildlife back in. The garden is flourishing now, our kids love it (now 2 beautiful daughters) and we’ve used over 500 litres of compost that we created ourselves – the real reason for the lushness of our garden.
One frustration we did have though, was buying products that said they were compostable but had little bits of non-compostable and often plastic parts used. We look into things we do deeply and we were shocked to find things we’d been putting into the composter were not 100% plastic-free. Especially the sponges we were using that were branded as such. This is why we created Composty… and fully compostable sponges and packaging are our first product, launching in the new year.
We also find that somethings that are branded eco, are just not as affordable as they should be. We must make these things affordable to the masses to make a real change to the world.
What are your favourite eco-friendly household products?
We love our Swedish dishcloths. We haven’t bought any kitchen roll for months and months. They are super absorbent, reusable and compostable. Frustratingly the first pack we bought had plastic wrapping….why do companies do it? Look out for our range arriving in 2021.
What advice do you have for people who want to start composting?
Start small. Composting is simple but can become overwhelming and tough if you take on too much at once. Our first pile was a steep learning curve. We cut down the overgrown weeds from the borders in our new home and made a massive pile, mixed with kitchen waste. It took a lot of effort. The best thing you can do is start small, manage it well, and learn how to troubleshoot. Then, you will gain success.
Composting is supposed to be easy, it’s just nature, but somethings can go wrong.
How should people be composting their Christmas leftovers?
Many people, like us, will compost their real Christmas trees. There are a few things to remember:
- Thick branches and trunks do not compost well. Pop them through a wood chipper first. Chop the rest of the tree up into small pieces, 20cm in length max.
- The tree is brown waste. You need to balance out your compost pile with green and brown waste. Leftover, uncooked, vegetables are great to do this with. Just be sure to mix them all well. Discarded peelings from your Christmas dinner are a brilliant thing to use.
- Not done a proper last cut of the lawn yet? During a dry spell, take the very end off your lawn and mix this lovely green waste with your tree.
We are producing a composting newsletter to give you all the info you need. Pop to Composty to sign up to our newsletter to keep up to date with the news about our launch and importantly, many composting tips. If you use the promo code “TREE” we will plant a tree on your behalf.