Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Simple Composting

Composting is one of those things that sounds really hippish, annoying, smelly, and complicated. But it's NONE of those things, and if you really knew how simple it was, you would start tomorrow, so let's talk about it.

ONE THIRD of our landfills are filled with food. Food that if it was in your compost would break down quickly and easily, but food that when buried and compacted doesn't break down easily and releases TONS of unnecessary methane in the atmosphere.

The worst thing you can do if you're considering composting is to Google it. Don't do it! You'll get site after site after site about oxygen and nitrogen and greens and browns and worms and lasagna layers and on and on. I used to work with a real life, Cornell-certified Master Composter and she knows and approves of my easy system. So if you're the type of person who needs credentials, then look! I just got some for you!

Now, let's compost in 3 easy steps...

1. But a container of your choosing, put it somewhere, and remember this: No meat, dairy, oil.
Yes - Fruits, vegetables, bread, tissues, the daily coffee grinds and filter, egg shells, soda, etc.
No - Meat, dairy, oil

2. You can't just have food scraps, you need to balance out the gases or your pile will smell and attract flies. Do this with dead leaves, dead hay, or paper scraps. I keep our shredder next to our garbage and recycling. I shred all white, non-glossy paper and dump the shreds into the composter.

3. Put everything from Step 1 and Step 2 into your composter. You can certainly make a pretty one out of a used wine barrel or build your own, but you can also buy the ugly one at Lowes for $50. Stir it every so often and you'll have a pile of amazing dirt at the bottom of the pile.

We don't even do anything with our super special dirt since we don't have a garden. Our main reason is environmental so it just kind of sits there. We'll probably scoop out the bottom this spring to make room for the new stuff.

Now get on it. Seriously, there's no reason not to do this. It's easy and it's the right thing to do.


Miranda Chop said...

Oh I just love my composter! I have the same one you have. :D I even have this super cute countertop compost container.


die Frau said...

I built one with my super-eco sister's help in our backyard out of four stakes (those green, slightly curved ones you can wrap wire around) and chicken wire. Make it about five feet around and keep in a relatively shaded area.

We also got a relatively cheap ($18-$20), under-the-sink compost bin from Real Goods. All I have to do is buy new filters every now and then. I don't always use it for a garden, either, but I agree--it's more for environmental reasons.

composters said...

Wow. I never thought of doing this composting. But after reading this blog, i came up to thinking i should try this too! Thanks for this ideas!

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