September 30

Composting Wanna-Be

I do a lot of writing for a green-living website called Green Home Source, and as a result I often end up researching things and end up obsessing over them and wanting to try them out personally.  Case in point: Composting.  I’ve written several pieces about the benefits of composting stuff like kitchen and yard waste, and on paper (or onscreen) it sounds like a wonderful magical thing: Throw your scraps in a compost bin and a few months later you’ve got compost, a nutrient-rich organic material that is a perfect natural fertilizer.

Now I’ve never actually tried composting; like I said, I’ve written about it but have never pulled the trigger and started placing our food waste in a pile in the yard. Why? Because for all of the wonderful information I’ve compiled and written about, and how good it is for the planet, I’m afraid in reality it would be, well…gross.

I imagine a heaping pile of stinking, rotting food in the backyard, attracting every wild animal in the neighborhood and harboring disgusting insects.  And the smell…. everything I read about composting says that if done right, it doesn’t stink.  But what if things aren’t going right? There’s got to be an odor,right? And the smell of decomposing organic matter can’t be good, right?  I’m not known for doing things well (at least the first go-around) and am sure any composting I attempted would be a festering smorgasbord of rotting banana peels and coffee grounds, a gathering place for critters, a stinking eyesore for the neighbors….. a rotting, moldy monument to my half-assedness. Ask me what’s on my mind, and you run the risk of hearing about my fear of composting. You’ve been warned.

Even though I’m nearly positive that successfully managing a compost pile can’t possibly be as easy as compost proponents make it out to be, and even though I’m nearly positive that any attempt on my part to compost our home’s organic waste has a high chance of ending very badly, I’m still seriously considering starting one.  I look at all of the food waste our family puts in the trash every week, and how much more of it we grind down the drain for somebody else to deal with, and I think there’s got to be a better way of handling this waste.  Because in the natural world, this stuff isn’t waste at all. It’s food for something else.  If every household in the country is throwing out as much perfectly compostable food waste as we do, that’s an enormous amount of material clogging up landfills.  And that thought makes me feel guilty.

As a result of the unnecessarily excessive amount of thought I’ve put into whether or not to start composting my waste, I started looking for ways to make home composting easier.  I found a couple things that I think would make the whole composting process more efficient and much quicker. One’s a device that’s used in the kitchen, and the other is a type of composting supercharger that goes in the compost bin itself.  If you click HERE, you can read all about it.

If I ever do actually start composting, you can be sure that you’ll find endlessly fascinating updates on it right here. Cheers.

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Posted September 30, 2013 by in category "Green Living

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