Let's talk about compost y'all!
I remember having a worm composter when I was growing up. I though it was really cool how we could put egg shells and broccoli stems in this box with worms and eventually it would disappear. Like magic or something. Little did I know that I would grow into an avid composter as an adult, without the worms though. :(
Composting is completely different between living in a house and an apartment, I have done both. There are pros and cons to either one. In this blog post I share what you need to compost and how to do it no matter the type of housing you are in. I also share WHY composting is so important and end by linking some helpful tools.
Well, if you would like this planet to be habitable as long as possible, then I suggest you start composting ASAP. When organic matter (anything that is grown in the Earth) ends up in a landfill, it is covered by plastics and other inorganic waste. The lack of oxygen causes the organic waste to produce methane, which is 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide. The methane in the air absorbs heat from the sun, causing the atmosphere to warm. Causing the polar ice caps to melt. Causing higher seas and hotter tempatures... You get the picture. So really, composting your food waste is THE BEST THING you can do for the environment.
How do I compost?
If you live in a house where you have the freedom to use your backyard as you wish, you can start composting today. The benefits of a backyard compost area is the ease. You just walk out and throw your compost! However, you are limited to only plant materials. Any animal products or oils are not good for your backyard compost.
Start with a designated area for your compost, somewhere shady is best so it stays moist longer. You can put up pallets to create a wall (I recommend this if you have critters around) or a few sticks with chicken wire, or nothing at all! Just make sure you can get a shovel in the area to till it every once in a while. You can also purchase compost barrels like the ones here.
Then start adding your food scraps (organic waste). Cut up your food scraps into small pieces. This will help it break down faster. And remember the 1:3 rule. One part greens (food scraps) to three part browns (leaves, grass, twig trimmings). So if you add in a handful of veggie scraps, add three handfuls of leaves or other browns from around your yard. Then, remember to keep the compost damp. I liked throwing the water from flower vases or from boiling stuff, in order to get one more use out of it. Finally, till the mixture every once in a while!
In 6-12 months you will have a heaping pile of fertilizer that you can spread in flower beds or around trees to give the plants extra nutrients! Win win!
Now, if you live in an apartment or house without yard access, compost can be stored in a compost bin, like the one I have , and/or in composting bags in the freezer, like these ones. Then you can take it to a commercial composting facility. The benefit of composting this way is that so much more can be composted. Animal products, oils, cardboard, paper products, like paper towels and plates, biodegradable silver ware and cups... It can all be composted! It is also easy to just collect then drop it off when you are ready.
If you do not live near a commercial composting facility, I suggest collecting your compost and finding someone who has a backyard composter or maybe pigs that will eat it. You will again be limited to what you can compost, however the bags I linked above can still compost in a backyard composter. It just takes a while.
If you want a deeper understanding of the 1:3 rule for backyard composting, check out this video. Austin residents can see the myriad of resources for composting by the city here. And finally here is a short article if you want to see some more benefits to composting.
WHEW! That was a long one. Thanks for hanging in there with me guys. And thanks for giving me the opportunity to share this with you. If you missed my last blog post on recycling FAQs, you can check it out here. Don't forget to follow me on Instagram!
This one is for the Earth,