When we take care of the Earth, we nourish the connection between our soul and Gaia. As human beings we are directly connected to the ecosystem around us. With our fast paced lives, we can forget how everything is intertwined and how something small like composting can have a big impact. I’ve always wanted to get into composting, but didn’t have the time to sit down and really learn about how I could have a feasible set up under my sink. I was a little intimidated with the prospect of having a mini worm farm next to my cleaning supplies so I settled with collecting my scraps and bringing them to the nearest composting place.
Every week I would walk up the street with a bag full of scraps and drop it off at the local community garden. Since then, I’ve moved and started composting in my backyard. Through my research, I’ve learned there are SO MANY ways to compost: from tumblers to Bokashi Bran, there is something out there for everyone. My method is fairly basic, but if you are looking to really dig deep: I highly recommend checking out Epic Gardening’s Youtube Channel to learn more nuance about composting.
My composting method is to gather vegetables throughout the week and put them in my green composting bin under the sink. I love this little thing, it has a vacuum-like seal that is EXCELLENT at keeping all smells inside (which is essential if you’re taking this thing out once a week). It has the option to hang it on a door or you can stick it on the wall, totally up to you. I like my bin to be out of sight, but that does not mean it is out of my mind!
I also pair it with a cute and durable green trowel that really pulls it weight when I am digging down to put more vegetables in. This thing is great especially with the few rocks I found on the way down.
There are some specifics as to what you can and cannot compost. According to Harvard University here are a list of things that can and cannot be composted:
When I am cooking a meal I will open my composting bin so it’s easy for me to take the ends of potatoes, zucchini, or egg shells and just stick them in the bin and save them when I can go into the backyard.
The rest is fairly simple, I dug a hole a foot and a half deep and a foot and a half wide (you can modify depending on how much food waste you are disposing of). I will pour my food scraps into the hole and mix with soil, doing a sort of compost parfait of food scraps, soil, food scraps, soil, rinse and repeat. My usual is two layers of food scraps and two layers of soil. I’ll just cover it with dirt and call it a day. Fairly simple!
I wash my composting bucket with soap and hot water once a month, but you can wash it as often as you like. After I drop my veggies into the Earth, I’ll wait a week allowing for the compost to decompose and then I’ll start the whole process over again. It’s really amazing to watch a bunch of food scraps turn into dirt.
You’ll be surprised at how quick everything gets absorbed back into the ground!
Here are some composting tips that I learned:
Make sure to chop up the food scraps so they are small (no larger than two inches long). I find that if I have pieces that are too big, they do not decompose as fast. The more surface area the better!
Take off the plastic fruit and veggie stickers before you compost. Sometimes I miss some and have to pull them out of the dirt, so if you get in the habit of taking the stickers off the fruit and veg before you cook, you won’t see plastic fruit stickers in your compost.
If you leave the seeds in your fruits and vegetables, you might have some new plants sprouting up.
Do not leave compost for more than a week in your bucket because when you open it up, it will STINK. The compost bucket above is a rockstar and keeps the smells inside, but there is nothing like the smell of rotting food punching you in the face.
If you have a lot of wild animals nearby like raccoons or bears, it’s important to dig deeper so that the animals don’t eat your compost. This is especially important when composting meats.
When choosing a compost spot, it is best not to be too close to a tree if you don’t want to deal with some roots in your way.
Benefits of composting:
- Becoming connected to the Earth is really good for the spirit. There is something so grounding when I dig into the Earth and pour unused vegetables in. I’m taking a little extra time (it really doesn’t take much time at all) to be thoughtful about how I give back to my Earthly home to take care of it. It brings me so much joy to think that I am making a difference (even if it is small) and doing my part. It also just makes me happy, and it’s an enjoyable practice. Looking for serotonin? Well, it is surely here!
- The main reason I got into composting was to reduce my carbon footprint. Many countries implement a specific disposal method for composting, unfortunately the USA is not one of those countries.
According to the EPA: Landfill gas (LFG) is a natural byproduct of the decomposition of organic material in landfills. LFG is composed of roughly 50 percent methane (the primary component of natural gas), 50 percent carbon dioxide (CO2) and a small amount of non-methane organic compounds. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas 28 to 36 times more effective than CO2 at trapping heat in the atmosphere over a 100-year period, per the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment report (AR5). Municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills are the third-largest source of human-related methane emissions in the United States, accounting for approximately 15.1 percent of these emissions in 2019. The methane emissions from MSW landfills in 2019 were approximately equivalent to the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from more than 21.6 million passenger vehicles driven for one year or the CO2 emissions from nearly 12.0 million homes’ energy use for one year.
I hope this post inspired you to start composting as it is a really wonderful practice. If you want to connect I’m on instagram @kiarahelen
Thanks for readin’,