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A Step-By-Step Guide to Bokashi Composting for Urban City Dwellers – Part I

A Step-By-Step Guide to Bokashi Composting for Apartment & Urban Dwellers
Written by Jennifer Nini

This is a two-part series exploring Bokashi Composting specifically for people seeking to live sustainable lifestyles in the city or urban environment. This post focusses on how to compost in your home. Part two will focus on how to bury the waste and also use the fermented Bokashi juice.

Urbanites and apartment dwellers seeking to live more sustainably have no more excuses when it comes to composting and dealing with green waste. The Bokashi Composting system makes an urban green lifestyle highly possible.

But first things first…

What is Bokashi?

Type in What is Bokashi? in any search engine it will inevitably spit out search results that read the same thing: ‘The term Bokashi is a Japanese word that means “fermented organic matter.”

Fair enough. Happy to go along with that if it’ll save me an hour of research at the library.

At the Eco Warrior Princess office, we are now using a Bokashi One™ Kitchen Composting System for the first time ever. A gift from Bokashi Composting Australia as part of our sponsored ad campaign, it is already proving itself useful in the five days we’ve been using it in the office.

Prior to receiving this composting system, I was saving all my food scraps in reusable plastic tubs at the office – sometimes three or four at a time – which I would then cart back with me to the farm each weekend.

The Bokashi composting system means I don’t have to do any of this extra work. It’s a practical and convenient way to deal with food waste and kitchen scraps, perfect for busy green entrepreneurs like myself and suitable for people living in apartments, units and homes where there is little available space.

A Basic Step by Step Guide to Bokashi Composting for Apartment & Urban Dwellers

How does Bokashi Composting work?

Composting is super simple with The Bokashi One™ Kitchen Composting system as everything you need is delivered to you.

It comes with all the components that you need and an information guide, but one look at the system and it’s all pretty intuitive really, especially if you’re already familiar with how composting works.

But if you’re not, basically the way you use this particular Bokashi composting system is that you layer your food scraps – fruit and vegetable peels, seeds, meat and dairy – in the special Bokashi One™ bucket provided. You then add the Bokashi One™ mix innoculant over the layer of food waste. The mix consists of micro-organisms that helps to break down the waste which accelerates the composting process. It also helps minimise the odour of decaying food.

Visual Step-by-Step Guide to Bokashi Composting

To help you understand how it works, we’ve created this visual step-by-step guide:

Visual Step-by-Step Guide to Bokashi Composting

Step 1.

Remove the plastic lid. Then place the plastic grate at the bottom of the bucket with the knob facing upwards. Make sure the tap is closed.

A Step-By-Step Guide to Bokashi Composting for Apartment & Urban Dwellers - Pic 1

Step 2.

Pour your kitchen waste into the bucket. You can include food scraps like cooked and uncooked meat, fish, eggs, tea bags and even coffee grind. Just don’t include large bones and too much liquid.

For every layer of waste put into the Bokashi Bucket, sprinkle some Bokashi One™ Mix over the top. This will help to accelerate its breakdown and also help minimise food waste odour.

Note: As recommended by Bokashi Composting Australia, use one tablespoon of mix for every cup of waste. Use more Bokashi One Mix when adding food containing high protein such as eggs, fish, cheese and meats.

A Step-By-Step Guide to Bokashi Composting for Apartment & Urban Dwellers - Pics

Visual Step-by-Step Guide to Bokashi Composting pics

Visual Step-by-Step Guide to Bokashi Composting photos

Step 3.

Ensure the lid is always tightly closed and regularly drain the ‘Bokashi juice’ using the tap at the bottom of the bucket. This juice contains nutrients and is alive with micro-organisms which makes a brilliant fertiliser for your garden.

(Note: In part two of this Bokashi Composting post series, we will show you how you can use this fermented Bokashi juice in your home and gardens.)

A Step-By-Step Guide to Bokashi Composting for Apartment & Urban Dwellers - Pic 3

A Step-By-Step Guide to Bokashi Composting for Apartment & Urban Dwellers - Pic 2

Step 4.

Rinse and repeat. Complete Steps 2, 3 and 4, repeating the layering process until the Bokashi bucket is full.

A Step-By-Step Guide to Bokashi Composting for Apartment & Urban Dwellers - Pic 6

Visual Step-by-Step Guide to Bokashi Composting image

Step 5.

When the bucket is full, the waste is then ready to be buried. The waste does not break down in the bucket, complete breakdown occurs when the waste is buried so if you don’t have a backyard because you live in an apartment, why not strike up an arrangement with a local community garden or a neighbour that has a backyard. It’s a good way to foster community spirit too!

Step 6.

Make sure to wash the Bokashi bucket after each use.

If you have two Bokashi buckets the process can be restarted in the second bucket whilst the waste in the first ferments more.

Like this Bokashi kitchen composting system or need to purchase Bokashi mix refills? You can get yours here today.

A Guide to Bokashi Composting for Apartment & Urban Dwellers - black colour

A quick note about making your own Bokashi bucket & mix…

You can of course make your own Bokashi bucket and even Bokashi mix if you’re looking to save money. If you’re handy with a drill and have the time to purchase and mix all the ingredients for your Bokashi mix (it can contain bran, rice, wheat mill run, dried leaves and sawdust), then by all means do so. I’m all for anyone up-cycling an old unused bucket or using dried leaves and sawdust waste that you have around your home.

As you know, for the purposes of this article, we’ve kept it super simple as we assume that if you’re reading this you want to save time, have the money to spend on a composting system, and/or don’t really want to have to learn how to make a special Bokashi bucket or create a mix yourself. It’s why I’m using this pre-prepared Bokashi Composting system in our office – anywhere I can free up time to focus on my businesses, this blog and the farm!

But if you’re keen to make your own Bokashi bucket and mix, here are some videos that will help you through it.

Make sure to subscribe to the blog for part two of this series where we provide you with a visual step-by-step for how to deal with your Bokashi waste and the fermented Bokashi juice! If you do sign up, you’ll also get our Sustainable Lifestyle Guide – free!

We’d love to hear from you! Do you live in an apartment or urban environment and are already composting? What’s the method of composting you’re using? Feel free to share your stories in the comment section below and help other urbanites on their road to sustainable living!

Disclosure: This Bokashi One™ Kitchen Composting System was a gift from Bokashi Composting Australia as part of an upcoming giveaway and sponsored ad collaboration. To learn more, read our disclosure policy

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About the author

Jennifer Nini

Jennifer Nini is a writer, activist and the founding editor of Eco Warrior Princess. In 2010, after studying Fashion Business, she began this blog to explore her interests in fashion, politics, social justice and sustainability. Jennifer is also the founder of The Social Copywriter, a digital agency harnessing the power of copywriting and content marketing to help mindful businesses reach more people. When she's not perfecting a sentence or coaching business clients, you will find her at her certified organic farm reconnecting with nature.

3 Comments

  • Thanks for this Jen! I have tried traditional composting, vermiculture and trench composting and now want in on Bokashi composting as it looks extremely effective in the breakdown process and so convenient, I can visualise it sitting nicely in my sunroom. My poor worms struggle to get through the volume of food we have leftover, traditional composting invited rats with the trenching being best so far, despite the breakdown taking awhile. We are aiming for zero waste in our house and bokashi will be an integral part of that. I wonder if galvanised buckets would be suitable for the bacteria?

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