Get Past Your Fears and Start Composting


Compost pile

We've all seen article after article about the benefits of compost for the soil and in gardening. It is also an Earth-wise pursuit toward sustainable living. You can easily divert over half of what might otherwise sit in a landfill through recycling and composting. So why aren't more people doing this?

Maybe they live in an apartment and don't think they can compost. Maybe they are not interested in gardening and wouldn't know what to do with the compost. Maybe they think it is an awful, smelly, disgusting process. Maybe they think it would cost too much money for a fancy pre-built tumbler. Maybe they think it has to involve breeding worms.

How to Get Started Composting

Let me set the record straight. Composting can be done in any environment, from urban apartment to rural farm. Some cities actually have compost pickup similar to trash and recycling. Even if your city does not support this, there are many small-scale options for composting.

My favorite is also a cheap DIY compost project. You can turn a 5-gallon bucket into a compost bin simply by drilling holes into it. Start layering your green and brown materials with a little dirt thrown in to get it started. The holes in the bucket allow the much-needed airflow, and the lid/handle makes it easy to pick it up, roll it around, and give it a good shake every few days to keep the process going.

This will be a slow, "cold" composting process, so you may need a few buckets, but I was able to handle my family of four's kitchen scraps with four buckets for over 6 months before I decided I wanted to build myself a full-sized compost bin.

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