3 Simple Steps to Start Composting
Today I have decided to finally start a project that I have long been putting off, that of composting! There are many reasons I am excited to begin this endeavor starting with saving money on soil for my garden, saving waste from entering landfills and saving myself the extra trips to the trash can.
I remember in my days spent on a conservation expedition in Seychelles, composting was a part of the daily routine. It became a habit to separate leftover food scraps after every meal into two bins, one for cooked scraps and the other uncooked. We would then give the cooked scraps to our neighbor the farmer who then fed it to his pigs and collected the uncooked remains in our compost pile behind the kitchen. When the pile had decomposed enough, we would then add it to our garden where we grew tomatoes, lettuce and other produce for the camp. It was that simple.
Then I came home to the states and was bombarded with an overwhelming amount of complex composting systems which left me paralyzed. My natural tendency to indecisiveness combined with the overcomplication of the task made me table the project indefinitely. But a phone call this weekend with my bestie from the base at Seychelles who now lives in New York reignited my motivation. Hearing about how she and many other Manhattanites are collecting their scraps and turning them in to a local composting center inspired me to get over my mental block and get down and dirty in my own backyard.
Here’s how I am going to start!
1. Scraps bin – I bought myself a small trash can with a cover that fits under my kitchen sink.
2. Make compost bin – Even though I could get away without one and just piling my scraps in the yard, I want to be courteous to my neighbors that I share the space with. I will be making my own for less than $20 with this DIY idea from the Happy Housewife.
3. Collect scraps – The most common things that I discard that qualify for the bin are coffee grinds, tea bags, fruit and vegetable peels and scraps (uncooked), paper, cardboard toilet paper and paper towel rolls, egg shells, dead leaves and flowers, newspaper and leaves. No cooked food, meat, fish or dairy products. For a more complete list of what to include click here. I will be emptying my scraps bin into the compost bin every night to prevent build up.
I will keep you posted on my adventures in composting and would love to hear if you have any tips, tricks and/or a system that has worked out for you!