Vegan Composting at Home

30 April 2020  |  HOTBIN Composting

More people are aware of veganism, but vegan composting not so much, with this in mind we were thinking about composting and how this process applies to veganism.

Like Dry January and Red January before, Veganuary is newer lifestyle choice growing in popularity, where people adopt a vegan diet for a month with the mindset to potentially ditch their carnivorous tendencies altogether.

Although there are many different types of compost available; peat free, loam based, organic, seed compost, wool compost, we have however struggled to find any mainstream vegan-friendly compost – mainstream being the key word. There is at least one certified by the Vegan society and approved by the soil association, but you will certainly struggle to find anything at your local garden centre and certainly no options for vegan-friendly specialist potting and seed composts.

Generally, unless you are making your own, it is almost impossible to know the exact ingredients of compost! For example, municipal compost can be produced from household food and garden waste that has been collected from the kerbside, which may include animal by-products and then it is also common for bagged compost to include fish, blood and bone meal and egg shells which traditionally create a fertiliser element to assist the growing process – which is not at all useful for veganism. Veganic gardeners state that adding in the likes of comfrey and nettles will provide some of the nutrients required for aiding the growing in vegan compost.

Compost brands may have a PAS 100 certification system which confirms compost adheres to a quality standard and is fit for its end use, there is nothing to reassure on the actual compost ingredients within. It is difficult to guarantee that shop bought compost is really free from animal by-products; in fact, ‘organic’ frequently means that poultry manure, fish emulsion or slaughterhouse by-products are included. If in any doubt we advise quizzing compost producers carefully or just making your own at home or on the allotment.

If you’ve chosen to go vegan, vegan composting is the next logical step to ensure that the compost you grow your own vegetables in is also vegan friendly. The only way to fully achieve that is to home compost and control what you put in your home composting system.

Once you have a compost bin the next logical step is to consider your vegan compost heaps ingredients in the same way as you do the ingredients you use when prepping and eating vegan meals. Making your own rich organic vegan compost at home and ensuring you are feeding your garden with a growing medium that reflects your concern for animal welfare and and the wider environment. This means composting without any animal products at all. Soil fertility is ultimately dependent on plants and minerals, most importantly these plants and minerals do not have passed through an animal in order to work.

Composting is a natural process and soil fertility can be maintained by natural vegetable and plant-based composts, mulches, crop rotations and any other method that is sustainable and not reliant on upon animals.

Weeds are a great compost ingredient and are not all bad as they contain nutrients that have been brought above ground via the roots. Don’t waste this valuable resource via your green council bin, annual weeds (even if they are seeding!) can be hot composted at over 40°C along with perennials which can also be chopped and added to water to make a liquid fertiliser.

Organic vegan compost made at home is as good if not better than any other purchased compost. It’s not just for fruit and veggies but ideal for indoor plants, flowers, shrubs and in fact pretty much any growing thing can be cultivated.

Do you want to read more?

Take a look at our post “10 Ways to Use HOTBIN Compost