Garbage Enzyme: From Trash To Treasure

Does the term ‘garbage enzyme’ sound icky to you? If it does, you are certainly not alone. Despite the increasing popularity of this simple yet highly useful green initiative, the word ‘garbage’ is still a put-off for many people.

I felt the same way until a friend told me that garbage enzyme is an excellent (and very low-cost) fertilizer. With a large garden to nourish, my fertilizer cost is substantial; hence I decided to start making my own enzyme. Lo and behold- it couldn’t be easier!

The plus point is that the enzyme serves many other purposes too, in varying levels of dilution. It can be used as air deodorant, insect repellent, carpet and furniture cleaning, pet shampoo, plant nourisher, kitchen cleaner, floor wash, car shampoo and grime remover.

It is also useful to remove pesticide residue from fruits, to soften clothes in the wash and remove mold. Adding some to your detergent, dishwashing liquid, shampoo and body wash helps neutralise some of the strong chemicals, protecting your skin from damage.

One word of caution though: the enzyme is really concentrated, so you will need to dilute it 500-1000 times for the best results. Using too much will be harmful for plants, pets and your skin as it is highly acidic.

The best part is that it is so easy to prepare! And the ‘garbage’ does not really refer to trash, but fruit peels or vegetable parts, which gives you sweet-smelling enzyme. The best fruit peels to use are citrus, pineapple and mango, but all fruits can be used.

All you need is 1 part of brown sugar, 3 parts of fruit peels and 6 parts of water. Here is a step-by-step guide:

STEP 1: Add 3 parts of fruit peel into container.

STEP 2: Add 1 part of brown sugar.

STEP 3: Fill container with 6 parts of water. If the fruit peels are not enough, continue adding until they form 3 parts. In the first 4 weeks, stir the mixture to release gases and help the fermentation process. After the second month, you only need to stir it every two weeks.

STEP 4: After 3 months or longer, sieve the mixture.

STEP 5: The remaining residue can be used for the next batch of enzyme or put into the ground as fertilizer.

STEP 6: The result- powerful enzymes with multiple uses!

Fermentation process:

Week 2: The bacterium feeds on the brown sugar, breaking down the organic matter. Lots of gases are released at this point.

Week 4: Whitish foam lessens as the fruit peels begin to degrade slowly. If there are worms, just mix them in and add more brown sugar.

Week 6: Enzyme starts to clear as organic matter is blended into the enzyme.

Week 12: Remaining fruit peels sink to the bottom. The smaller the size of the fruit peel, the faster it will degenerate.

Week 36: Clear brownish enzyme is produced. Most of the fruit peel would have turned into mush. The longer the enzyme is being fermented, the more potent it is.

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