I want to start composting my food scraps, however I want to make sure I have a good mix of browns and greens to minimize odors. I live in an apartment, so I don't have any soil, leaves or other yard scraps that I could use as browns. I don't subscribe to a newspaper, although every week I get one of those ad circulars printed on newsprint. What can I add to my bin for appropriate carbon, and what is the ratio of these items to food scraps?
The primary function of browns is to supply food to soil organisms and to reduce the moisture of the mix, so basically you can use anything high on carbon that is reasonably dry and will compost, e.g.
- cardboard boxes
- empty toilet paper rolls
- empty kitchen paper rolls (or the kitchen paper itself for that matter)
- empty egg cartons
- paper bags
- printing paper
- coffee filters
- egg shells
Just tear everything up in pieces and try to use stuff with little or no printing on it because some inks can contain harmful chemicals. Also beware of anything with a waxy or shiny coating.