31 January 2012
Apartment Project 1: Composting
This weekend, J and I started our compost bucket. Sometime in April I will go down to the Somerville DPW and pick up an Earth Machine compost bin, but for now we are planning on taking the compost we accumulate to Whole Foods. Friends of ours do this already and they say it is pretty easy and convenient, but I also want to use the compost for gardening, so I am curious to see how many of the scraps we end up using when we have our own machine, and whether we will still need to make trips to Whole Foods after we get a compost bin in the back yard.
Our bucket is a white, 5 gallon bucket that we picked up at Home Depot. We already had an orange 5 gallon bucket, but the designer in me cringed at drawing that much attention to a waste receptacle, and if this is going to be a permanent lifestyle change and not just an experiment, I need the bucket to blend. Given a choice of two lids (screw top and traditional), we went with the screw top lid, which seals in the smell and makes the bin easier to access than a traditional paint bucket lid—how easily the food will be dumped out is TBD. When we got home we lined the bin with this year's tax literature, and went to town cleaning out the fridge. I think this project will only get easier as time goes on, and I am psyched to produce less garbage, and I can easily see this fundamentally changing everything about how I operate in my kitchen. I even had pangs when I composted my juice extracts this morning because I know I can consume them in some way instead of composting them, but I contented myself with the knowledge that baby steps make for better permanent habit changes.
I have a personal challenge with myself to reduce our landfill-bound waste to one garbage bag a month or less. Dare I dream of being a zero waste household? For now, we've had fun researching what we can and cannot compost (spoiler alert: you can compost many, many things you might have thought you couldn't), but we're doing what we can, and I am so excited to start this journey.