Composting – Stop Throwing Away Gold – How to Compost

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composting kitchen scraps

how to compostI have the medium size, if you are an individual the small size will be great.

Benefits of The Jora Compost Tumbler:

  • The Jora Composter will take almost all kitchen waste. Because of the insulation feature it reaches such high temperatures that you can add things that most other composting methods can’t handle like citrus, meat, cooked foods, and even bones. See the full list below or here at for FAQ’s and troubleshooting tips
  • It Spins – this takes all the work out of composting so that you don’t have to turn your pile over and over so the microbes can multiply and aerate and eat away at the waste products you have there at the fastest rate possible.
  • It’s insulated – this means you can do it in both winter and summer and this makes the process from waste to compost faster.
  • It has 2 compartments so you can have one that you are currently filling, and one that is completing its decomposition or “cooking.”It’s durable as it is made of steel and will last in all climates.

For more tips on a Zero Waste lifestyle see my blog here

How to Compost:

– Save your food scraps in the kitchen in a small container,
– Then empty your compost bin or pile in your backyard.
– Dump it into the side of the Jora Composter that you’re currently using, and add at least the same amount of dry leaves from the yard. It is important to balance the green waste, or what is known as nitrogen, which is your kitchen scraps, with a carbon source or brown matter, an example of that is the dried leaves. For those of you that live somewhere that doesn’t have leaves or deadfall we recommend getting a bag of horse bedding pellets for your carbon source. But you can also use cardboard and shredded paper.

Horse bedding pellets are simply pine flakes and zeolite, which is very clean – and has good absorption properties. It’s really important to add a carbon source such as leaves with your kitchen scraps to balance the compost and break everything down.

– After dumping your kitchen waste into the bin, give it 2 or three spins. Keep filling it until one side is full, then latch it up while you start filling the other side. The composting process usually takes between 4 and 6 weeks – and what’s great about the Jora composter is that it is usually done and ready to empty by the time the other side is full. So you can have continuous composting.

how to compostIf you are using a pile rather than the tumbler then add about 10% dirt and 5 times the leaves or cut grass and mix it up and do this once a week. You should not add any meat to this as it will attract rodents. It is also helpful to cover it up to prevent birds and other rodents coming for it as well as too much moisture from the rain and blowing away from the wind. This can be done with a tarp, mesh and rocks to hold it down. You should also avoid bones, bread, pasta, nuts and citrus fruits in the compost pile.

And with the Jora or without you want to avoid pet or human feces, diseased plants, glossy paper or magazines.

All organic material will eventually decompose. The speed at which it decomposes depends on 6 factors:

  1. Carbon to nitrogen ratio of the material – most people don’t put enough dry leaves or deadfall. This can be as much as 30 times the amount of kitchen scraps to move quickly.
  2. Amount of surface area exposed – so if you have big items like a head of cabbage it will take longer so it’s best to cut and break up bigger items, especially whole vegetables, or egg shells, as you can just crunch those up or avocado pits but you can just put them through a second round if they are not done. Vegetable scraps from a juicer are perfect how it’s broken down, but you don’t have to go that far especially with the Jora composter.
  3. Another thing is Aeration or oxygen in the pile
  4. Also Moisture – you don’t want it too wet or too dry, best is about the moisture of a wrung out sponge is right.
  5. The Temperature in the composter or compost pile (needs to be warm for those microbes to do their job)
  6. And Outside temperatures

The Jora Composter will take care of almost all of those. The JORA is the number one way I’ve found to get compost working and happening fast. Because of the insulation the Jora creates heat – you will actually see steam coming off in the

If it’s too wet then add this brown matter like leaves, pine pellets, or even shredded cardboard or paper as that will soak up the additional moisture that is created with the quick breakdown of your food waste.

If something goes wrong you can always fix it, and has incredible customer service and will show you how to fix any issues with composting from your Jora tumbler. All you have to do is take a picture of what’s happening and they’ll tell you how to fix it, that’s another reason I love this company.

There is a list of frequently asked questions at and you can call them with more questions and you can see what to compost here

Call Melody at Jora composters in California at 888-567-2270 or email

See the compost guide at

Urban composting – Jora has been approved by the housing authority association in a few building already so ask yours if you can put one there.

If you want to get the compost out faster but you have big pieces of food waste in there, you can use a milk crate or wire mesh as a strainer to filter out any bigger pieces that have not been completely broken down like avocados.

Horse bedding –

Learn more about a Zero waste lifestyle – –

And many videos and information here on a zero waste lifestyle:


reuse coffee –

Amazing Ways to Recycle the 587 Million Cups of Coffee Consumed Per Day

TIPS for composting and Other Forms of Lowering your Carbon Footprint:

• Manure of any animal that eats meat should never be added. While herbivorous animals’ manure can be great for composting, but the manure of a pig, dog, cat, or other carnivore/omnivore can contaminate your compost and plants with food borne illnesses.

• If you need more to compost in a bigger yard or You want more go to a coffee shop or deli and ask them for their food scraps, yes, I’m suggesting you get other people involved cause this can change the world and that’s what we all want right?

• You can use corn husks just best to break them down into small pieces, you can put shredded paper just best with no print or bleached paper (better to recycle those) on it but not a whole lot is required. Citric fruits are okay. Moldy vegetables are great.

• Turn your pile as often as you can. Each time you turn it will speed up the process.

Start a Worm Compost Bin for Food Scraps

Worm Composting, also known as vermiculture is an often overlooked composting method. It’s not just for city folks anymore! One advantage of worm composting is that it can be done indoors and outdoors, allowing for year round composting. It also provides those living in apartments with a means of composting. Worm compost is made in a container filled with moistened bedding (often shredded newspaper, or shredded fall leaves and a handful of sand or soil)

worm farm:

What Do Worms Eat – It all Depends on Where they Live

How to compost lawn and leaves:

Gather all grass clippings and green yard waste but be sure to mix with the “brown” materials like leaves and shredded paper to add carbon. You will need both, but if you only add grass clippings your pile will compact and start to stink.

Getting the right mixture of brown (carbon) materials, to green (nitrogenous) materials will make a huge difference. Adding too much brown material will result in a compost pile that takes a long time to break down. Adding too much green material will result in a compost pile that is slimy and smelly that doesn’t break down well.
in order to keep the bacteria working efficiently, we need to supply them with a mixture that is about 30 parts carbon to 1 part nitrogen.

Best to Avoid all pesticides and/or herbicide treated material.

If you add weeds to your pile make sure your pile is good and hot. It should be steaming hot, not just warm otherwise it may not kill the seeds.

Turn your pile as often as you can. Each time you turn it will speed up the process.

Many of the bacteria that break down your compost need air to survive. A week or two after the pile is made these bacteria will start to die off as they start to use up the available air in the pile. This drop in the amount of bacteria will result in the compost pile cooling off a bit from its peak temperature.

If you have the time, we suggest turning the pile every 14 days or so, or when you see the temperature fall from the next peak in temperature of about 110° – 120° F

Keep your compost damp but not wet. As you add material to your pile make sure that each layer is moist as it is added. During the summer your pile will dry out and the composting process will slow down.

If you can squeeze water out of it, it’s definitely too wet. If your pile is too wet adding some dry brown materials such as chopped leaves or hay should help dry it out.
If you live in a very dry climate, make an indentation in the top of the pile to collect rainwater and help keep the pile moist. If you’re in a rainy area cover the top of the pile with a tarp or other covering to keep it from becoming too wet.

If it becomes too wet just add more dry material like leaves. You can also add wood and ashes but those you might want to do separate since they will take longer to decompose.

1. Got too much material to compost? Make a second or third pile. Stop adding material to a pile that is underway and start a new pile. This will ensure you get a chance to use the compost this season.

2. Add compost to your garden a few weeks before you plant. Let the compost have a chance to work into the soil. Try to mix it in and let it sit before you plant.

3. Worms are great and most bugs are ok. No need to go crazy trying to keep bugs out of your compost.

4. Since the composting process works best at a temperature between 120 and 150 degrees composting in the warmer months is easier to do, if this is your first attempt at composting best to try in the summer.

If there is one secret to making compost faster, it is finely shredding the carbon rich ingredients such as leaves, hay, straw, paper, and cardboard. Soft succulent materials do not need to be shredded because they break down very quickly in the compost pile.

Sprinkle water over the pile regularly so it has the consistency of a damp sponge. Don’t add too much water — otherwise, the microorganisms in your pile will become waterlogged and drown. If this happens, your pile will rot instead of compost.
Check to see if your pile is decomposing by monitoring temperature. Check the temperature of the pile with a thermometer, or simply reach into the middle of the pile with your hand.

During the growing season, you should provide the pile with oxygen by turning it once a week with a garden fork. The best time to turn the compost is when the center of the pile feels warm or the thermometer reads between 130 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Stirring up the pile helps it cook faster and prevents material from becoming matted down and developing a bad odor. At this point, the layers have served their purpose of creating equal amounts of green and brown materials throughout the pile, so stir thoroughly.

When the compost no longer gives off heat and becomes dry, brown, and crumbly, it’s fully cooked and ready to feed to the garden.

Good Green Materials
1. Fruit scraps
2. Vegetable scraps
3. Eggshells
4. Coffee grounds
5. Grass and plant clippings

Good Brown Materials
1. Dry leaves
2. Finely chopped wood and bark chips
3. Shredded newspaper
4. Straw
5. Sawdust from untreated wood

Don’t Compost With:
1. Anything containing meat, oil, fat, or grease
2. Diseased plant materials
3. Sawdust or chips from pressure-treated wood
4. Dog or cat feces
5. Weeds that go to seed
6. Dairy products

Helpful and Practical Tips I Learned Using a Compost Tumbler

I have learned is that I purchased a 50-pound bag of sustained release azomite, which is a phenomenal rock powder that adds important minerals. I typically put ½ to 1 pound of azomite powder into my bin once a week. But the real secret is to use powdered charcoal that I saturate with some of the compost tea that I make every day. I fill a quart mason jar half full of the charcoal and put the tea into the top and stir it around until the charcoal is nice and wet; then I add that to the compost tumbler and turn it three times. I add the tea and charcoal once a week, and since I have been doing that I have unbelievable compost in about two short weeks that I can then use in the garden.

– Bokashi system – for meats dairy etc. – ,

The lack of an outdoor space shouldn’t stop you from composting. The Japanese bokashi system takes place entirely in a special sealed bin and simply requires sprinkling each layer of waste with bran dust that’s been inoculated with microorganisms that thrive without oxygen—that is, they decompose organic wastes through an anaerobic process. Strictly speaking, bokashi is fermentation, not composting; the end result smells sweet and pickled rather than sweet and earthy. Among its advantages, though, is that you can compost cooked foods, dairy, meat, and fish, and the process takes about two weeks instead of months. DIYers should check out the Compost Guy’s how-to advice. You can also buy a convenient kit at sources such as Bokashicycle.

Other Ways to Help The Environment

  1. Zero Waste lifestyle ideas  
  2. 10 Solutions to Microfibers in our Food Water & Air 


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