Compost is the decaying of organic matter. It is literally nature's way of recycling, allowing for organic discards to break down over time, returning their nutrients to the earth. Composting at home is as a easy, rewarding way of making an environmental impact. It doesn't matter whether you live in an apartment in the city or are out in the suburbs, everyone is able to compost.
When I embarked on my journey of going zero waste, one of the areas that I noticed my husband and I created the most waste in was our trash. Even after recycling and limiting our consumption, it seemed like we were barely making a dent. I knew that composting would make a significant difference however I wasn't sure how to go about doing it. My husband and I live in an apartment and don't have a yard, which rules out a couple options. I considered purchasing a composting unit and seeing if a vendor at our farmers market would like our compost for their land however that seemed a like a lot of effort. Plus, our farmers market is only open March - November which would leave us with not being able to compost during the winter months. Finally, after watching a video by Trash Is For Tossers and talking to an employee at Whole Foods, I discovered a method that would work for us. Instead of purchasing a composting unit or trying to work around our Farmers Market schedule, I simply put our compost in a paper-bag that is kept in our freezer until I drop it off at Whole Foods. This system has worked great for our family as it is free and requires minimal effort; plus, we don't have to worry about any smells.
I'm a little embarrassed to admit how excited I was when I came up with this solution that has allowed my husband and I to compost! I finally felt like I was making an environmental difference; one that required no cost and minimal effort. I was very much aware that by composting at home, I would be diverting waste from a landfill, where its natural decomposition would have been inhibited and contributed to air and soil contamination. Considering that "a third of house-hold waste is organic, composting makes complete sense in terms of waste reduction" (Johnson, 28).
LEAVES & TWIGS
DRY GRASS CLIPPINGS
- MEAT OR ANIMAL FAT | This will attract unwanted pests and will not break down properly.
- INFESTED PLANTS | If your plants suffer from infestation, avoid throwing them in with the rest of your compost, as this could lead to infestation of your future garden.
- HIGH LEVELS OF FAT | Do not pour oil into your compost as some bins don't get hot enough to break down a lot of fat.
- PET WASTE | Leave this out if you plan on using your compost on edible plants.
- NON-ORGANIC MATERIAL | Plastics, chemicals, pesticides...If you wouldn't want it in your garden you won't want it in your compost!
How you compost depends on a few factors: cost, location, aesthetics, involvement, and capacity. Some systems are free while others require investing in a unit. If you have a yard you can either purchase a compost tumbler or throw your scraps into a corner of your yard, turning them over every so often with a pitch fork. A compost tumbler is great because by turning it each day the compost is able to decompose at a faster rate. Vermicomposting works in the city or the suburbs but is not for the faint of heart! Worm castings create some of the richest, most nutritionous soil ("black gold") that you can use in your garden or sell. Bokashi composting is where scraps are collected and a speical bokashi bran is added, which helps scraps break down anaerobically; basically fermentation for your compost. It takes a couple of weeks and occurs in a bucket. This option is works well if you live in the suburbs or if you live in the city and have a balcony. Smart Composters are the most costly options but work anywhere. They do a great job at keeping smells away, can be stored in a cabinet, and, like the bokashi, churn out compost in about two weeks. There are many more options out there, created to fit your needs and lifestyle. While these options are available for purchase, you can always get creative and use items that you already have, to make your own system.
So many of you have been asking about this piece and how to make something similar, so today we are giving you the step-by-step on how to create a sculptural wall hanging.
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There are so many single use items that we (myself included!) use on a regular basis without even thinking about it... plastic bags, Styrofoam cups, plastic utensils... the list could go on and on! Instead of feeling overwhelmed by all of the waste that we're causing and that is going on around us I would like to encourage you to take a deep breath and start where you are, doing what you can.
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Spring has officially arrived and with it, a colorful, bountiful spread of fresh produce... Asparagus, chives, fennel, and watercress are just a handful of the produce and herbs available at your local farmers market and grocery store.
Most of y'all know by now that I love shopping second hand. Consignment stores, thrift shops, antique stores... You'd be amazed at what you can find. Whether your looking for furniture, home decor, clothing, books, or appliances - these places have it all and more; gently used and at great prices. Not only that, but as these pieces are "gently used" your automatically taking your style and sustainability game up a level.
While we may not associate winter with fresh produce, it is in fact a season that offers an array of fruits and vegetables with tart, tangy flavor; along with some more calm flavors.
With the current FDA regulations that we have in our country its hard to know what exactly is in our products and who to trust. I recently met up with Karrianne Drury and Rachel Rhodes of Young Living Essential Oils to find out more about essential oils and to talk all things family and holistic living.
While I must confess that I have been known to shop out of season, when I do I find myself sorely disappointed. Not only is the out of season product more expensive but the flavor is watery and tart. I mean really, nothing beats summer blueberries. Not only are they sold in abundance but they are also jam-packed with flavor and nutrients. This is no coincidence.
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Over the past year by doing a little problem solving and prep-work we've been able to minimize some of our kitchen waste by implementing a few practices.
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Composting at home is as a easy, rewarding way of making an environmental impact. It doesn't matter whether you live in an apartment in the city or are out in the suburbs, everyone is able to compost.