If you want to do one thing towards a more sustainable life style, then get a compost. Gross. A litte bit. But also so incredible. Remember being told to put things back where they belong when you were little? That is exactly what we are doing here. Putting the carbon back in the soil. Sequestering.
Almost half of all the solid waste produced globally is organic or biodegradable. Too many people think that because it is organic and biodegradable it will do just fine in a landfill but that is not the case. When organic matter decomposes in the absence of oxygen it produces the greenhouse gas methane. Methane is up to 34 times more powerful as a green house gas than carbon dioxide, over a century. While many landfills have some form of methane management, it is far more effective to divert organic waste to composting.
Instead of producing methane, the composting process converts organic material into stable soil carbon, while retaining water and nutrients of the original waste matter. The result is carbon sequestration as well as production of a valuable fertilizer.
Composting requires very little work and resources but has a huge impact on the environment.
•Reduces methane gas
•Reduces CO2 use for trash collection
•Introduces nutrients to the soil
In 2015, an estimated 38 percent of food waste was composted in the United States; 57 percent was composted in the European Union. If all lower-income countries reached the U.S. rate and all higher-income countries achieved the E.U. rate, composting could avoid methane emissions from landfills equivalent to 2.1-3.1 gigatons of carbon dioxide by 2050. That total excludes the additional gains from applying compost to soil.
Composting at home is easy once you get over the ick factor. All you need is a bucket to keep on your kitchen counter or under your sink for your scraps and a compost bin to have outside in your garden to put it all in, and some worm starter. How to do it? Collect your food scraps (no meat, bones,fat or dairy, and avoid citrus and grains) mix with some brown material (shredded cardboard boxes and paper bags, dried leaves, wood ash, coffee grounds) and some green stuff (lawn clippings, green leaves, garden waste). and let the worms and the microorganisms do their job.
If you can't get over the worms or if you don't have a garden to house the compost there are some new WORM FREE indoor solutions available like the Vitamix FoodCycler and the Kalea indoor composter that will turn foodwaste in to compost in 48hours.
Another worm free alternative which works indoors is the Japanese method of Bokashi composting . Bokashi composting uses a fermentation process instead of decomposing. Bokashi is becoming more and more popular because it works on all food scraps-grains, meat, bones (just not huge bones or food that is already moldy). To do this you need one (or preferably two, so you can always have one bin to fill up while the other is fermenting) bokashi bins and bokashi brans.
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Countertop compost collector
You can use anything with a lid to collect your food waste in but a container made specifically for it, with a charcoal filter, keeps the smell and flies away. The filters last up to six months. There is no need to use liners for the bins, just rinse with soapy water between uses (which you will find that you will have to do with liners anyways.)
We like this stainless steel one from Epica. It holds one gallon, has a charcoal filter and comes in a white or a stainless steel version.
This one from 4W holds 1.3 gallons, is made from stainless steel and has a charcoal filter. Comes in red, black, chrome and white. You can buy it on Amazon.
If you like minimalistic design then Bamboozle's compost bin made from bamboo fiber might be the right one for you. It holds approx 1.15 gallons, has a charcoal filter and comes in three colors. You can find them on Amazon.
This one from Oxo Good Grips has no filter but seals tight to keep odor and flies away. The larger one holds 1.75 gallons and the smaller holds 0.75 gallons. You can buy it here.
This compost From Enviroworld has 11 cubic feet (82 gallon) capacity and requires no assembly. You place it directly on the ground in your garden and peg it down to keep in place. (Som people with a lot of wild life has had to buy longer and stronger pegs to keep it down but its is not something we have had to do. )It is super sturdy with vents on the side for ventilation. You can read more about it here.
The FCMP is a tumbling compost bin that has dual chambers and room for 5 cubic feet (37 gallons). The tumbling allows for more oxygen in to the compost in an easier way than turning the compost by hand and the two chambers let you work on one chamber to finish while starting fresh one. Learn more about it here.
The compost from DF Omer is made from recycled BPA free plastics and fits 110 gallon (with an option of a 60 gallon extension to buy separately). Assembly is easy but you do have to cut open the door you want to use. If you are buying the extension also, you do not need to cut the top doors but only cut the bottom door (which is the reason they don't have the doors pre-cut). If you have a lot of food and garden waste, this large compost is for you. You can buy it here.
This garden compost from Subpod is a great option for garden composting. You can choose to have it combined with their grow bundle and place the compost bin inside the grow bed, or just have the compost on it's own. It has a 440 lb capacity which is about 15kgs/34pounds per week-or what an average family of four usually produce. You can find out more about it here.
As you keep adding bran as you add food scraps to your Bokashi bin you will need extra Bokashi bran as you go. This one comes in plastic free compostable bags. You can get it from Amazon.
As you keep adding bran as you add food scraps to your Bokashi bin you will need extra Bokashi bran as you go. You can get this from Amazon.