How do you make a compost heap?

With around 20 per cent of Australia's food going to waste, it is important to reduce what you send to landfill.

Rotting food creates methane gas, which is 25 per cent more harmful to the environment than what comes out of your car's exhaust pipe, according to the New South Wales government.

Try to avoid buying more food than what you will cook throughout the week, and use leftovers where you can. Take them to work in reusable sandwich wrap for a delicious, and environmentally friendly, meal.

Another great way to help the environment out is to compost your scraps and excess food rather than sending it straight to landfill.

Here are some tips to help you create a beautiful compost heap.

Location

Choose a site for your compost heap that has plenty of shade in the summer, but still gets a bit of sunshine. Aim for a level spot with good drainage.

Encourage worms

These little critters provide a bit of help to compose your scraps more quickly. Raking over the ground where your heap will be placed is one way to embolden these creepy crawlies to enjoy the goodies on offer.

Layer

Compost heaps work best when you create layers, so start with a coating of leaves, twigs and branches at the bottom to improve air flow.

Follow this up with some nitrogen-rich scraps from the kitchen – fruit and vegetable peelings are excellent sources of this mineral and will help your compost heap to grow.

Next, add another brown layer – garden vegetation will help to encourage decomposition, but make sure it is kept moist to hasten the process.

Air it

Regularly turning your compost with a garden fork or by putting stakes in the heap will allow air in. This will stop it smelling and help you to make good compost.