Compost Green - Our Daily Green

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Compost Green

In yesterday's post, I promised I would write about composting today. As someone who wants to live green and save money, I find composting one of the simplest ways to accomplish that.

In prior posts, I've suggested brewing your own coffee (in unbleached filters I may add), planting a garden, and recycling. Composting is an extension of these concepts.

I prefer to compost in a bin, but last year, I just piled it in a vacant corner and turned it over every few days, burying the rotting plant matter. The soil I planted my garden in this year has benefitted immensely. This year, I made my own compost bin from an old garbage can.

Compostable materials include:

  • Kitchen scraps that are not meat or dairy based (no bones, fat or cheese)
  • Eggshells
  • Coffee grounds
  • Vegetable peels
  • Apple cores
  • Citrus skin
  • Banana peels
  • Plant trimmings
  • Dead headed flowers
  • Grass clippings
  • Leaves
  • NO pet waste 

I keep a small container under my sink to collect my daily compost materials. Instead of washing it down the drain with my disposal, I save my "green gold" to enrich the soil for my garden. I live in an area that has a lot of rocky/clay soil and the compost makes the difference between being able to plant successfully or not.

My garbage can composter has 1/2 inch holes drilled into it about every 6 inches to keep air circulating. It has holes in the bottom for drainage so it doesn't get too soggy and holes in the snap shut lid. Once a week, I turn the can on its side and roll it around a few times to mix the compost. I try to keep the moisture level like wet newspaper. If it gets too wet, I will throw in some shredded newspaper, if it gets too dry, I'll dump the water I steam my vegetables in. Corn water is fabulous for the plants.

The scraps decompose and become rich soil food. I don't use chemical fertilizer so it really enhances my plants. I had looked into purchasing a compost tumbler, but found the price tag too high for my needs. The garbage can is working just fine. I don't recommend using a metal garbage can, but rather a plastic one.

Don't throw out valuable, free, fertilizer and soil enhancer. Make it yourself and give back to your bottom line and the earth.
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