Friday, April 15, 2016

Conquering compost

 ***I'll be sharing Earth-friendly posts every Friday in April for Earth Month. This is #4 of 5 (post  #1, #2, and #3 are here).


This was my Easter basket this year: a stainless steel counter top compost bin. Lame? Maybe. But oh so pretty and useful.

I vowed in January that this would be the year I learned to compost. And armed with a nice-looking counter top receptacle, I had no further reason to put it off.

Following my favorite home bloggers Young House Love, I turned an unused storage container into a small outdoor compost bin. I filled the bottom of the bin with leaves which, embarrassingly, were piled high against the house from last fall. Then I filled the bin about 3/4 full with organic dirt. The girls and a neighbor helped. Then I drilled several holes in the lid to help circulate air.

I posted this graphic I found on Pinterest from Robin Clugston on the fridge to help remind myself and the kids what can and cannot be composted. We discussed balancing greens and browns, as is illustrated in the image below. Then we started filling the counter top container and dump it in the outside bin when it gets full. Easy as could be! The girls remind me to add every apple peel, dryer lint ball, and eggshell they see into the bin.

We've been composting for about a month now, and we're slowly approaching the need to stir everything up, or "turn" it. I've been adding yard debris and weeds (after leaving them out a day or two in the sun to kill the seeds) as I go along. I'm looking forward to filling some pots on my deck with rich composted soil to plant herbs and tomatoes for the summer.

So why is composting such a green thing to do? This article from One Green Planet helps explain, but put simply it helps keep garbage out of landfills, reduces methane emissions, increases our awareness of the life cycles of death and decay, and brings us closer to our food.

Do you compost? What do you like and dislike about composting?

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