3 Easy Steps To Start Composting At Home Today
4 billion tons of food are wasted each year worldwide. 40% of food in the U.S. is never eaten. And since 1974, waste in the U.S. has increased 50% per capita.*
We are experiencing a global food crisis.
But I'm not here to simply throw shocking statistics at you. You can check out this eye-opening infographic and video for that. I want you to know there are solutions—solutions that are manageable for your crazy-busy everyday life—and that by taking action to reduce your waste, you ARE making a difference.
One easy and actionable change you can start implementing today is composting.
What is composting?
Composting is nature's process of recycling decomposed organic materials into a rich soil known as compost, explains recycleworks.org. You can use that soil in your garden or potted plants!
How To Compost In 3 Easy Steps:
1. Get a compost pail & compost tumbler
We like keeping a small compost pail on our kitchen counter in addition to our tumbler so we don't have to trudge outside every time we need to dispose of a banana peel—we can simply toss it in the pail and empty the pail into the tumbler when it fills up. Since the pail stays inside, getting one specifically meant for composting is important because the lid has a charcoal filter to keep nasty odors from escaping. You can find pails and tumblers just about anywhere: Amazon, Walmart, Target, Home Depot and Bed Bath & Beyond!
2. Assemble and prep your compost tumbler
Build your compost tumbler by following the instructions in the box! Prep it by throwing in dirt (not potting soil, dirt!), grass clippings, shredded paper scraps (cardboard and newspaper work), dried leaves, coffee grounds. You can get free bags of coffee "Grounds For Your Garden" at your nearest Starbucks!
3. Toss in food scraps and tumble!
See our lists below for guidance and be sure to rotate your tumbler a few times per week to keep your compost well aerated and mixed! Hosing it down with water will also help it stay moist and decompose quicker.
What can I compost?
- Fruits and veggies (no citrus fruits)
- Coffee grounds and filters
- Soiled paper plates, cups, napkins, paper towels (so long as they don't have a wax coating)
- Pasta, breads, cereals
- Leftovers from meals
- Pizza boxes (if shredded into small pieces)
- Pet food
- Hair and pet fur
- Egg shells
- Dryer lint
- Grass clipping, hay, leaves
What CAN'T I compost?
- Human or animal waste
- Citrus fruits (like limes)
- Meat, fat, grease, oil, bones
- Plastics (unless certified compostable)
- Nonbiodegradable or toxic materials
For a more in-depth list of what you can and cannot compost, visit http://www.compostinstructions.com/what-you-can-and-cannot-compost/
Don't have a backyard? Start by talking to the staff at your apartment/condo complex to see if there is a public place on-site where you could keep a tumbler. If not, there are services that will actually pick up your compost for you! A simple Google search can yield wondrous results. If you live in Nashville, check out Compost Nashville!
Do you compost? Thinking of giving it a try?