Thursday, April 22, 2010

Composting - 1 year later

Happy bEARTHday Earth Day!

I just love all the excitement buzzing around today about our Mother Earth. I hope there are many people across our planet who adopt a new earth-friendly practice today and make it part of their daily habits. Even the smallest action adds up to make a real difference!

In honor of Earth Day today, I thought I'd update you about my composting practice at home. I started my composting journey about this time last year and told you all about my purchase of the very expensive (but very worth it, in my opinion) EcoContainer. I like how this one spins easily so I never have to reach into the compost pile itself to turn the material.

Here's a few photos of my compost - 1 year later:

(can you see the steam coming off the pile in the bottom right corner of the first pic?)

It's been a trial/error process through the four seasons to learn how to get my compost to break down. At first, I filled the thing up with dried leaves and grass clippings and thought most of it would break down no sweat.

But then I waited. And waited. And waited. And nothing really happened.

I learned you really need a good working balance of carbon (grass/leaves) and nitrogen (food) items, so started to work more food scraps into the compost pile and this really helped to get things moving. I put anything from egg shells to banana peels to leftover food from dinner into the compost. A good rule of thumb is anything that comes from the land (food) or trees (ie: leaves, grass, tree bark, sticks). I avoid putting meat or meat fats into my home compost though to keep animals away.  

The winter was also a bummer in helping my compost prosper. Everything was basically "on hold" until it started to warm up this spring.

Now that it's spring, my compost is really heating up! I'm amazed at how infreqently we take out the garbage now that we compost food scraps and recycle other cans, bottles, newspaper, junk mail, etc. It really does all add up!


  1. This sounds like me. I started one last year in our backyard with just grass clippings and such but nothing has really happened. I would like to do one inside as well. Do you have one for each? Where did you buy the one for food?

  2. Jessie - I mixed the food into the grass clippings, leaves, etc. and it's starting to break down. I think you need a good mix of "browns" (leaves, etc) and "greens" (food)

  3. Nice! I can't wait to do that...guess I need a yard first though. My metal porch just won't do : )

  4. But what's the name of the actual bin?

  5. Jesse - The name of my bin is "EnviroCycle"