Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Day 29 of our Green Year: Composting Inside

Most everyone has heard of outdoor composting where someone with a back yard and a garden will have a box or a barrel that they put their food scraps into in order to get compost that they can use in their garden; however, what do apartment dwellers or those without backyards do? Indoor composting is a convenient option for apartment dwellers. It is better for the environment and indoor plants, is odor free and very easy to do. Indoor composting is also a great way to quickly deal with dinner scraps, like potato skins, before you use the indoor compost bin or bucket to transport everything to your large compost bin outside, as Craig and I are doing.

What exactly are some of the benefits of indoor composting? Well, the first and foremost is that it will turn into great soil for house plants. The second is that it will save up to 25 percent of household waste, and the third is that food scraps are disposed of in such a way that it will take the pressure off of water treatment plants and landfills where most food scraps will otherwise end up. Making one’s own indoor compost is so easy, anyone can do it. It could even be a great project for the kids. Not only can they have fun in making their own indoor compost, they will learn one of the ways they can get rid off some of the household waste in an environmentally friendly way. To make the bin, you will need:

  • A plastic bin with a well-fitted lid that will fit easily under the kitchen sink.
  • Old newspaper and other paper scraps that would otherwise be recycled. (None of the paper should be coloured).
  • · Worms, preferably the ones that are often used for fishing.

1. Punch Small holes into the sides of the bin, about two thirds of the way up from the bottom of the bin.

2. Shred the paper into strips of about one half to
two inches wide and enough will need to be
shredded in order to fill have of the bin.

3. Soak the shredded paper in water and then squeeze out the excess water before putting it into the compost bin.

4. Put the worms in the bin on top of the wet, shredded paper.

5. Put about two inches more of the wet and squeezed shredded paper on top of the worms. Put the paper in loosely so as not to squish the worms, also make sure that the paper is wrung out well so that the worms do not drown.

6. Give the worms a week to get used to their new home.

7. Once the week is over, one can start adding food scraps to the bin.

See how easy it is?! You might be wondering why this compost doesn’t smell. The compost will not smell because the bin is covered with the lid and because the worms will consume and process the scraps before the scraps start growing mold, which is what creates the smell in garbage.

Food for the compost bin

  • Vegetable cuttings, peals and scraps
  • Banana peels
  • Crushed and rinsed eggshells
  • Coffee grounds
  • Used tea bags

Food not for the compost bin

  • Eggs
  • Meat scraps
  • Food that is already rotting

Composting is great for the environment, and it helps create wonderful fertilizer for the soil in your garden. Craig and I have already begun using our composting bin as those who saw our blog a few days ago about composting coffee grounds.

On a different note, Craig and I would like to thank everyone who has come out to our blog today to check us out. Kate Webb wrote a great story about us in The Province (link on the side) and we even did an interview with AM 1410 out of Vancouver. A great and exciting day and only the beginning!