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Composting Tips and Tricks 2.0

Have you ever started something and wondered if it was a good idea or not?  I knew all the facts behind why composting was such a good idea for the planet and for my kids to experience, but would we stick with it?

I’m happy to report that a month later our compost bin is going strong.  One of the biggest factors that has helped us stick with it is that the bin in our kitchen doesn’t smell!  Not only that, but in the two weeks it took before we made our own compost bin for the garage, nothing in the stainless steel bin on our kitchen counter let off an odor at all!  Once the lid was opened, that was another story!

So, what have we been composting and when will it be ready?  Well, since we’re headed into the fall and winter seasons my expectation is that none of what we’re composting now would be ready for use until spring. Since I’m not concerned about using it soon, the project has been fun and worry free.

We have been using this compost bin on our counter and the charcoal filter really has helped keeping smells at bay!  Given how much produce we consume we end up dumping that into our larger bin every couple of days.  Since a service isn’t available near us to take our compost, and each of our friends who composts live over 30 minutes away, I knew we needed an at-home solution if we were going to continue with this project. Thankfully, my friend shared what she does and so far, so good!

Here’s how we made our own compost bin: First, my husband purchased two inexpensive plastic tubs from the hardware store and placed one inside of the other giving space between the two with a couple pieces of wood.  In the bottom, the top and sides of the bin that holds the compost, he drilled holes to help with air flow and moisture.  The bin sits in our garage near our recycling bin and we haven’t noticed any smells  thanks to incorporating brown paper and cardboard when available.

Here are the main things we’re adding to the compost bin: Coffee with the coffee filter, tea bags without staples, fruit and vegetable scraps, and cardboard broken down to help with odor.  We’ve also added egg shells that have been microwaved for one minute to ensure no raw egg is entering the compost bin.

I’ve avoided putting in tops of pineapple or too much watermelon rind simply because it would fill the bin up too quickly.  As the materials break down we may end up adding in some soil to help and shake or rake it up so materials are mixed around.  We did purchase worms, though I have been told given our large amount of produce consumed for a family of five they may not be able to keep up!  Worm scavenging is a favorite pastime for one of my sons so adding in more worms as we find them will work too!

Overall, you should try it!  Consider composting to be a way you can help the Earth. Consider it a way you can learn about science with your kids. Consider it a way to have yourself and your family be more mindful of what you’re consuming, recycling, and throwing into the garbage.  Don’t stress about it, just try it, and when you do, let me know how it goes!

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