I grew up the child of self-reliant parents who were raised in small town Oregon. Environmental consciousness and ecology was not much of a passing thought in my households. It’s taken some time but recently this has definitely changed with a notable milestone. I now live in a household that composts.
My husband was a much more active environmentalist, having grown up in the birthplace of Greenpeace, Sea Shepherd Society and Western Canadian Wilderness Committee and being a more recent member of the Sierra Club. Like many kids these days, ours are far more aware of reducing, reusing and recycling. They always remind me to bring reusable bags to the grocery store – for a while their favorite show on TV was “Garbage Moguls!”
Anyway, we gave my husband a backyard composting bin for his birthday in the fall – I know how romantic! Since then we have been actively composting our food waste – all fruits, vegetables, bread, pasta and paper towels (without oils or sauces on them) and even dryer lint. This is called “wet” compost. No dairy, meats, oils or sauces are allowed. We alternate wet with a layer in “dry” compost of fallen leaves from the yard. And we periodically scoop in some soil, which is supposed to help speed decomposition.
After a couple of months, there have been some amazing results:
- The kids are very conscious of composting first, recycling second and relying on the garbage last
- The compost bin doesn’t smell nor has it attracted any pests (but for some flies periodically)
- Our garbage volume has decreased between 25 & 40%
- I’ll be able to order a smaller curbside garbage can as a result, saving some $’s (in addition to sending less waste to landfill)
- Hopefully our flower and vegetable garden in the spring will get some nutrient rich (and inexpensive) fertilization from the compost
My mother thinks I’ve become a lefty, pinko, commie tree-hugger. So be it.