Composting! Seriously, please don’t delete, read on. I’ve found a really simple way to do it. And to all of you out in California and Colorado who’ve been doing this for a while now, yes, I’m a bit slow, but now I’m all in.
I’ll tell you how I’m doing it, but first, did you know, that according to climate experts, composting is one of the simplest low-tech measures humans can take to reverse climate change.
Or, how about this surprising bit of info, allowing food waste to decompose in landfills creates methane, a greenhouse gas 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Plus, when food scraps are converted into compost and applied to the land, compost sequesters carbon.
That’s news to me. I’m always looking for ways to reduce waste and help fight our climate threat which is why I’ve been interested in composting but I didn’t realize the impact it could have.
The problem was whenever I looked into it, I found it overwhelming and hard to understand. We live in a duplex on the bay and our yard doesn’t have any grass, only rocks, and mulched areas so I didn’t have a good place to put the compost, was confused about what should and should not be composted, wasn’t sure I wanted stinky food decomposing in my kitchen and didn’t know what I would do with it after it was composted. There is definitely a learning curve and so each time I looked into it, I put it aside for another day.
If you also have thought about composting but found it too confusing, I have a suggestion that might get you started. I posted on the app, Next Door and asked if anyone knew of a place that accepted compost. I was told that our local community garden had a compost bin and they thought it would be okay if I dropped my compost in their bin. So, I simply got a big ziplock bag, kept it in the freezer, and added food scraps (I only did fruit and vegetables, because I didn’t want to infect the pile with any non-compostable). When my ziplock was full – which happened surprisingly fast – I simply put it in the compost bin at the community garden.
This worked great until late fall when gardeners stopped coming and the garden was mostly locked. After my stockpile grew to 4 bags and with nowhere to put them, I signed up to be part of the community garden. So now, I’m a newbie gardener too! Already been eating lots of spinach, romaine, beets, and potatoes, and looking forward to eating my zucchini, tomatoes, and carrots and putting their scraps back into the compost bin.
It’s been so easy and I was surprised at how much waste I’ve been saving from going to the landfill, or worse the incinerator, that I wanted to find a way to compost the rest of my food scraps (meat, bones, fats, coffee grinds, shells (crab, oyster, etc). I was in luck, a few years ago, Josh Chamberlain started the non-profit Go Green OC (Ocean City, MD) to encourage composting and zero waste efforts within OC. In 2018, Chamberlain got Garvey Heiderman, owner of a local restaurant called The Hobbit on board. Four years later, more than a dozen restaurants now participate with 30 more restaurants on the waitlist. Heiderman, working with the city, now runs the for-profit Ocean Compost and lucky for me, said he’s accepting compost from local residents too, including yard waste and cardboard. At this rate, I’ll hardly need trash collection anymore.
For those of you like me, who aren’t ready to take on your own composting (and your town or city doesn’t offer it yet) it can’t be any easier than to put your food waste in a plastic bag and drop it off at a local place that accepts composting. Honestly, I find it fun. Okay, so yes I’m weird, but still.
You will have to do a little research to find out who is accepting compost in your area. Check at the local farmer’s market, ask on your neighborhood app, or Google it. Ask if any restaurants are composting and if so, who is collecting it. Get creative. Finding where to take it is the hardest part, then watch how much waste you’re taking out of the landfills and putting towards saving our environment.
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2 thoughts on “My Newest Obsession”
We’ve been composting for the last 6 months. Its really so easy! Our community collects trash( very little), recycling and compost every week
way to go Austin! that’s great. wasn’t it surprising how much it reduced your general waste? not only are we putting less in landfills but benefiting the earth too, win-win.