Take Upcycling To A New Level: Here Are A Few Do's And Don'ts for Leftovers with Alan Chan (Plant Jungle) & Soulara
Food is fuel for you and your plants!

Gone should be old habits of tossing out food scraps! Aligned with Earth Day (April 22), we’re suggesting bringing back the mighty compost bin to help reduce human waste and make sure our little green friends are getting the fuel they need, too.

Composting is one of the easiest zero-waste habits to adopt in your own home, and a great way to kickstart your journey to sustainable living. Simply upcycling your veggies and eggshell scraps from the bin to the garden bed will provide endless nutrients to your seeds and soil.

New to eco-life? ‘Plantfluencer’ Alan Chan (Plant Jungle) has teamed up with plant-based meal delivery service Soulara to compile a list of ‘do’s and ‘don’t’s when it comes to making the most out of your scraps.

Soulara is a plant-based, ready-made meal delivery company, swapping animal protein for plant produce such as beans, legumes, tofu, tempeh, and TVP. The in-house chefs at Soulara take inspiration from all over the globe to bring veggie lovers new and exciting meals each week, already balanced and portioned.

As well as being 100% plant-based, Soulara steers clear of preservatives and artificial flavours, using atmosphere-modified packaging to keep the meals as nutritious and delicious as the day they were cooked.

The Plant Jungle guide to making the most out of food leftovers:

1. What you can and can’t compost

You’d be surprised to find out how much of your scraps are actually compostable. Fruit and veggie scraps are the more traditional culprits, but it turns out we’ve all been sleeping on coffee grounds, newspaper shreds, eggshells, and even tea bags as a source of soil sustenance.

Some things to avoid adding to the pile include onion, garlic, or citrus as these can discourage earthworms, which are a key component in helping to break down organic waste properly. Things like dairy products, grease, or animal bones should also be left out of your compost, as these can create odour problems and attract rodents or flies (no, thank you!).

2. Clean food waste as you go

As you’re cooking or prepping, it’s a good idea to have a big scrap bowl ready for all cuts offs and shavings, making it more efficient to transfer straight to your indoor or outdoor compost bin.

This also develops a conscious habit of hanging on to waste instead of mindlessly tossing it in the garbage.

3. Keep the pieces small

When preparing your compostable goodness, make sure you’re cutting pieces up as small as possible. Although it may take that extra ounce of effort, this step is crucial if you want the decomposition to begin as fast as possible. The smaller the substance, the quicker the plant-feeding process.

4. Keep it sealed

Between meals or bouts of cooking, ensure your home compost system is airtight. Having a strongly sealed container means the organic waste will break down quickly with the help of Bokashi bacteria, activating the fermentation process.

You don’t even need to rush out and buy a specific compost bin – a container with a lid or a sealed garbage bag will also do the trick!

5. Don’t let it dry out

Like any regular source of life, your compost needs water and oxygen to survive. Make sure you’re keeping your compost moist, but not saturated.

Compost that gets too dry or too wet means the decomposition process will slow down. You’ll know when the compost is ready to be used throughout your garden when it begins to generate that earthy smell and resembles a wrung-out sponge.

Adopting the art of composting is a very minimal-effort way to get eco-friendly. You're creating a sustainable habit that is perfect for those who want to reduce their waste and spread a little more love to their foliage friends.

Take this knowledge and run with it – your garden and your garbage will thank you!

Do you want to learn more about composting? Check out our feature: Simple Steps To Help You Reduce Food Waste.

Belen Arce

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Take Upcycling To A New Level: Here Are A Few Do's And Don'ts for Leftovers with Alan Chan (Plant Jungle) & Soulara