Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Art of Letting Things Rot

One of the projects I worked on while Evan was gone this week was a compost bin. I've been wanting to do this for awhile now, but just hadn't had the chance made it a priority. I started researching, and all of the compost bins you can buy are somewhat pricey for basically letting stuff rot inside of it. Luckily I came across this post on how to make a compost bin out of a garbage can. I didn't have a garbage can, but I did have an empty plastic bin that I figured would work just as well. 

 Evan drilled holes through the bottom, top, and sides of the bin for me to let air in; preventing the food from molding in a bad way. Some composting tables make this whole process look super complicated...when really, you are making dirt by letting it hang out. The trick is having a good carbon to nitrogen ratio. Brown things like cardboard, leaves, grass clippings, straw, sawdust, etc. is carbon. Coffee grounds, egg shells, weeds, and other food waste is the green, or nitrogen. Basically you want to have an even portion of both for good compost. I used a thin base of dirt as my first layer. Next, I layered shredded cardboard and newspaper. Then, added lettuce, onions, and leftover soup that was a day too old to eat. I lightly misted the whole thing with water, (enough to make it damp, but not wet) slapped the lid on, and set it on a few brinks hidden away along the side of the house. 


Last night I cleaned out my fridge before grocery shopping and added more. It felt so much better putting old food to use, rather than throwing it away to be doomed to rot sitting in a pile of plastic somewhere. The only upkeep is to mix it every 3-6 weeks and make sure it stays damp. It wasn't hard at all, and took me a grand total of  maybe15 minutes. 

Instead of having to go buy soil to plant flowers, (like I just had to do 2 weeks ago) I'll have nutritious soil for free! That's already saving me about $5-10 per bag of potting soil I won't need. I can already tell our garbage is going to significantly decrease too. Since there is only 2 of us, we didn't have that much in the first place, but now it will be even less. I'm so pump that I finally did this, I can't believe I waited this long! If you want more information on composting, especially things you shouldn't compost check it out here.

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