Eco-Hero: A Quick Guide to Balcony Compost for Your Apartment


What’s a balcony compost you ask? Well, you don’t have to be a green-fingered gardener with a ten-acre plot to try your hand at composting. In fact, there are several ways you can compost food and other natural waste from an apartment.

Whether you choose to adopt a community scheme or have a go at making your very own balcony compost, there are a variety of techniques for composting without extensive outdoor space. So, if you live in an apartment or simply have minimal yard space, we’ve got some great tips for composting in small spaces.

Why Balcony Compost?

Not sure if you’re ready to start home composting? We’re sure to convince you. Mexicans waste around 20.4 million tonnes of food every year. Not only is that a huge amount of food to throw away, but it is also a major contributor to carbon emissions. CO2e emissions generated by the production of food that is wasted in Mexico is equivalent to the annual emissions from 14,754,584 cars. That’s all vehicles in DF and the states of Mexico, Jalisco and Nuevo Leon put together!

Food is waste for a variety of reasons. Often we forget about fresh fruit and vegetables we’ve purchased. Or we find ourselves measuring ingredients incorrectly and cooking far too much food. Starting an indoor compost bin may be the answer to all of your food waste problems!

Composting is not only a great way to use food waste, but it can also help you to grow your own produce. Just because you live in an apartment or small house, it doesn’t mean you can’t get your hands dirty. It’s easy peasy to grow herbs and small plants like cherry tomatoes in tiny pots in your yard or on your balcony. Instead of investing in a large bag of compost from the store, you can use your own balcony compost and watch life appear from your waste!

Choosing the Right Composting Bin

Depending on your living situation, there are many ways you can start composting in your apartment. If you have a small outdoor space then a balcony compost is the best option for you. By putting your compost outside, you will ensure there are no unpleasant smells from any rotting food waste.

Even though you are planning to balcony compost, it’s important to keep a lid on your food waste to ensure it is not damaged by the weather. Pick up a small compost box with a lid and place it in a sheltered part of your balcony. You’ll be making your own fertilizer in no time!

If you are planning to compost inside your apartment, you will probably want a very small compost bin that stays fresh. Nobody wants their home smelling like rotting food! Make sure the small composter fits with your home decor. Visitors will be none-the-wiser that you’re collecting your waste for future use!

If you have a large outdoor space, make the most of it with a one-gallon compost bin. The bigger the bin, the more compost you will make! Another benefit of composting outdoors is that you can use worms to efficiently create environmentally friendly compost all year round.

Composting with Worms

The idea of composting with worms may seem gross but it’s perfectly natural! You will need to purchase composting worms as earthworms are not quite as good at the composting job. Fill your bin with composting worms and food scraps and watch the magic happen. They may be small but they can achieve a lot! In fact, compost worms eat on average half their own weight in food every day. They prefer organic material so make sure to fill your compost bin with fruit and vegetable scraps and peelings.

Things You Didn’t Know You Could Balcony Compost

Although so far we have talked mainly about fruit and vegetable waste, composting is a great way to dispose of all sorts of organic waste. Egg shells, tea bags, coffee grounds, spoilt plant milk and even unwaxed cardboard boxes! The composting possibilities are endless. Check out this list of 100 things you can compost in your indoor compost bin.

Best Plants to Grow in Apartments

Once you’ve got your own supply of fertilizer, it’s time to start thinking about new life. You may think that living in an apartment will restrict the plants you can grow, but you’re wrong. There are all sorts of herbs, fruits, and vegetables you can grow yourself on your apartment balcony or inside your kitchen. If it’s an indoor plant, go for the best oxygenating plants to purify the air in your home or office.


Herbs are very resilient. Basil, coriander, and parsley all make for great houseplants. They smell great and are perfect for cooking delicious, home-cooked meals. We recommend buying a small herb plant from your supermarket and repotting into a larger container. This means you have a headstart over those who plant the seeds! Water the herbs regularly and don’t be afraid to grab a handful of leaves for a delicious pasta sauce or hearty bean chili.


Although not the most exciting of vegetables, lettuce is so incredibly versatile and easy to grow indoors. Even if you decide to balcony compost, you can start a small of romaine or cos lettuce and watch it flourish. Lettuce grows fast and in abundance, so you can use it in fresh salads or to make tasty sandwiches all year round.

Cherry Tomatoes

Another salad favorite, cherry tomatoes are easy to grow in a small yard or on a balcony. Although slightly more high maintenance than lettuce, tomatoes are still relatively easy to grow indoors or outside your apartment. Follow this simple guide to start growing delicious fresh tomatoes and prepare for fragrant salsas and amazing sauces!

Air Ferns

Although not the only non-edible plant you can grow on your balcony, air ferns are a personal favorite of ours. They love shady spots and require very little care at all. If beautiful roughage if your style, then a wall of wild ferns is the perfect way to add that rustic style to your balcony or backyard.

Share the Love!

The chances are, you will create more compost than you need for your small balcony garden. Why not share the love and find local gardeners who could benefit from your very own homemade compost? Maybe to help them with their hemp leaf pots – who are we to judge?! Head down to your local allotment and ask around or pop a status on Facebook. You’re bound to find some budding gardeners who will happily take your leftover compost to use on their vegetable patches!

Whether you’re planning to balcony compost or start an indoor composter, it’s incredibly easy to make amazing compost while minimizing your food waste at the same time. Yay to living more sustainably to save earth save life! We hope you have inspired you to get composting! Let us know in the comments what are your favorite things to grow indoors or on your balcony!

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