Bokashi Bran® is a proudly South African producer of bokashi. We have found that many gardeners and commercial growers ask what the difference is between bokashi and ordinary compost.
Eco-Friendly Benefits of Bokashi Bran
Bokashi has proven its benefits as an aid to plant growth; this can be seen in gardens around the country. What is less well known is that bokashi is also very good for the environment, as these three benefits show.
Eco-Friendly Benefit #1: Reduction in Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Bokashi composting is specifically associated with the composting of food waste. Traditional composting of fresh fruit and vegetables with garden waste is beneficial for the soil and relatively harmless to the environment. Composting of meat product, dairy and cooked food, however, is pathogenic and the source of many soil-borne diseases. Sadly, 95% of food waste is thrown with general waste and ends up on a landfill site. The food waste rots and generates leachates (contaminated liquids) and methane gas. Leachates seep into the ground water contaminating it while methane is considered 84 times more harmful than CO2 over a 20-year period. For every tonne of food waste that goes to a landfill site, 626.97kg CO2e is released into the atmosphere. With composting, the CO2e levels are a mere 10kg CO2e per tonne of food waste. That’s a 98% saving in greenhouse gas emissions.
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Eco-Friendly Benefit #2: Reduction in Waste
It is estimated that more than 10 million tonnes of food is wasted in South Africa each year; at farms, during transport, processing, preparation and consumer waste. This is terrible news, not only for the millions of South Africans who are consuming well below their caloric needs each day but also for the environment. The energy and resources including labour and water is astounding when you consider what it takes to produce. An avo, for instance, needs 40 litres of water to grow. The majority of food goes into landfills creating the 3rd largest contributing factor to global warming. In the meantime, producers continue to produce more food, much of which continues to be wasted. All of this takes its toll on the environment. Using this waste to create bokashi compost helps to mitigate the damage by recycling food that would otherwise be disposed of unproductively. Those nutrients can be returned to the soil and the emission of harmful gases can be reduced.
By separating food waste at source and composting it, general waste is reduced by a massive 40%. When food waste is taken out of the general waste, other recyclable waste is easily recycled; paper, plastic, tin, glass. Recyclable waste is uncontaminated. Dustbins are also left without food waste rotting, which means no odours, rats or flies. It’s a win win situation all round.
Eco-Friendly Benefit #3: Reduced Use of Chemical Fertiliser
Another less direct environmental benefit of bokashi compost is that it reduces the need for chemical fertilisers and insecticides, which can have harmful effects on soils and food crops. Because bokashi adds beneficial microbes and nutrients to the compost, it makes the addition of fertilisers unnecessary. The pH of bokashi also makes it unpleasant for pests, leaving plants to thrive chemical-free. This results in healthier soils and more natural plant growth.