Jan 14, 2011

Eco-Friendly Friday

Over the summer, I had my husband make a compost bin and we have been filling it up ever since! Composting is a great way to reduce the amount of waste you send to landfills and it will help the soil for your plants as well. There are many different composting options out there. There are big recycled plastic balls you can easily turn, barrels, simple wood frames, double bin frames, small boxes for porches (great for worm composting) or even just a pile on the ground! When I was looking into the subject I often visited http://www.howtocompost.org/, but a simple Google search will return many results. Your local newspaper will probably have an article or two on composting in the spring gardening section as well.

Composting is a great way to reduce the amount of waste you send to the landfill. You might be saying to yourself "it's organic material it will decompose at the landfill." Your right, it will decompose at the landfill but will take much longer to do so!  When you put it in a plastic trash bag you keep it away from the elements, then at the landfill they cover it with more trash and dirt.  When your organic material is all covered up it takes much longer for it to decompose.  Anyway, having a compost bin is a great way to get rid of your yard waste and some kitchen scraps while making your vegetable garden or flower beds very happy.

We decided to build our own two-section bin using plans I found online at Lowe's hardware stores (http://www.lowescreativeideas.com/idea-library/projects/Building-a-Compost-Bin-0109.aspx) there are many other plans you could choose from at different sites. We do love our bin and add to it daily. We have a large metal compost canister (with a charcoal filter which knocks out the smell) placed next to the sink so it is simple to just toss our coffee grounds, fruit, and vegetable scraps right into the container then bring it out to the bin once it's full. Our biggest challenge at this point is adding enough brown material, thankfully we were the recipients of a bale of hay after Halloween so that is helping out! I am looking forward to some tasty vegetables to come out of our raised bed garden with some homemade compost turned into the soil during our next growing season! You'll have to check back in a few weeks for that topic though!

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