Composting has never been easier!

WHY COMPOST? Chew on this.

The easiest, fastest and least expensive way to reduce your personal impact on global warming is to compost. Shocking, but true according to Rod Muir, Waste Diversion specialist for the Sierra Club who spoke at the Michigan Recycling Coalition conference this May.  Food waste, whether banana peels, coffee grinds or leftovers that never got eaten generate methane gas when tossed into landfills. Methane gas contributes 10 times more green house gases than carbon dioxide. Before you say “ew, compost” check out this simple step by step DIY project and convert your food waste into nutrient enriched fertilizer for your garden!

STEP 1- Collection

IMG_9172I keep this air tight bin under the kitchen sink for a stink free, accessible IMG_9165collection process.  Compost fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grinds and egg shells. No meat or dairy (to prevent attracting rodents).  Our family of 4 generates about 10 lbs. of scraps per week.

 

STEP 2 -Choose your compost system 

Vermicompost (with worms) or create a backyard pile. I do both but think backyard

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My reality

composting is the easiest for michiganders due to the cold winters.  (Check out the Vermicomposting post for more details on this process.)

Pintrest compost bin

My inspiration

This year I was inspired by this Pinterest Pallet compost bin.  On the left is my inspiration, on the right is the reality. I added a divider in the center so I can alternate piles and let one “cure” (decompose) while using one side.  Dump kitchen scraps into bin and add brown leaves, straw or paper shreds to get a nice balance of nitrogen and carbon for best decomposing results.  There should be ZERO ODOR. If it is smelly, you probably need more brown stuff (carbon).

STEP 3 -Harvest

Weather will determine how long before your compost is ready but once it looks like potting soil, referred to as “black gold”, it’s ready to be spread on your garden! I add to new plantings and old garden beds in the spring to return nutrients back to the earth.  It’s a terrific way to close the loop, reduce air pollution and help your garden thrive.

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