Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Making Composting Easy

Retro Housewife answers a reader's question about composting

Last week Lori aka groovygreenlivin.com asked- "I am an on-again off-again composter. I'm just having trouble finding a routine. Any suggestions?"

Before answering Lori's question I think it's important to talk about setting up a compost bin. There are several ways to do this. I personally have the tumbling kind. I find that it's nice to be able to just roll it around the yard if I want to move it and it's easy to mix. However, there are many options out there. You can find several styles at local garden stores, Amazon.com, or even learn to make your own bin.

Our own EnviRambo has talked about compost on this blog before. Here is some of what she had to say.
"Humans are super compost creators, we just do not put it to good use. We need to start thinking about our waste differently. Perhaps it is not really waste, but can be used in some other way - like compost. Something that could be used to replace our eroding topsoil, keep suburban lawns looking beautiful, grow the acres and acres of crops in America or the small plot in our own backyards."- read more

So now that we have some of the basics covered, on to Lori's question. One thing that will make composting easier is a compost pail you can keep under the sink. This means less trips outside to the compost bin. You can find these at some local stores, mine came from The Container Store. You can also find them on Amazon.com.

Then add taking out the compost to another outdoor job. Such as taking out the trash, walking the dog, or watering your flowers. Before you know it, it will be a habit and taking out the trash maybe something you can do a little less often.

Do you compost? What tips do you have for making it easier?


Thomas W. said...

If you have a movable composting bin you could place it right beneath your kitchen window in the winter. Then you wouldn't have to go outside in the cold, but just have to open the window - but in the summertime it would probably smell too much, but then it's just nice with a trip to the other end of the garden.
By the way, shouldn't there be air holes in the one on the picture?

CallieK said...

Our two large bins are in the garden at the back of the house but I have a small collection container like the one you showed that we keep under the sink, and a milk crate bin on the deck just outside the back door. The milk crate is lined with something absorbent(newspaper, cardboard, burlap)to keep leaking to minimum. It's kept right outside the door in the winter and under a bench in the summer to keep the flies and odor away from the house. This allows me to empty the collection pail often without having make trips to the backyard bins - the milk crate bin usually holds a weeks worth.

Green Bean said...

I never had any luck with the rolling kind that you have. I'm too lazy of a composter. Yes! There is such a a thing.

For folks like me, a big big and patience work best. Just chuck everything in. Stir it if you ever remember and wait longer than everyone else for compost but it eventually comes and in the meantime you are still diverting tons from your garbage stream.

Daisy said...

When composting becomes routine, you'll actually miss it if you stop. I have a large black bin at the back of the yard, near the garden, and a smaller one closer to the house. The small one gets me through the winter.

Condo Blues said...

Composting is seasonal for me. My bin freezes during the winter.

Thank you for the link love ladies!

Betsy (Eco-novice) said...

I really want to compost, but I just can't quite get there. I also want to garden, and I'm afraid composting seems slightly pointless without a garden. I mean, I know it's not, but that's when the big payoff comes, right? I'd like to get a free bin of Freecycle. I just know somebody has one they are not using.

Bethesda Locavore said...

I've got that same rolling bin, only ours sits (and spins) on a base. I've been happy with it ... I'm also kind of a lazy composter and have been known to throw an entire pumpkin in there, so it composts kinda slowly. I keep a container on the counter and fill it as I go, it's sort of an old round casserole dish :-) and then take it out to the compost bin every few days. But it's amazing, the sheer quantity of stuff that I've put in there, how much it breaks down. So it's totally worth it even if you're not going to use it to enrich a garden - you're keeping it out of a landfill.


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