We compost all our food scraps, yard waste, etc. at our house! You don’t need to live on a big farm to effectively compost – our lot is about 10,000 sq feet (1/4 of an acre). We do have a garden that we put our compost in once it is ready, but you could also use the compost for flower beds!
Composting is great because it reduces your carbon footprint (the trucks don’t have to use fuel to haul away the weight and it doesn’t take up space in the landfill), and it reduces or eliminates the need for chemical fertilizers in your garden.
I’m no composting expert, but I know composting can seem really overwhelming to start. This is what our family does and it is VERY simple:
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- We have this 0.8 gallon trash can with a removable insert in our kitchen right next to our garbage. We put any food scraps (watermelon rinds, moldy food from the fridge, apple cores, etc.) in it instead of the garbage. We don’t put any meat/bones/animal fat in – those go in the garbage. We empty this about every other day. We haven’t had any issues with it smelling bad because we empty it regularly and the lid actually seals really well! We also add yard leaves, grass clippings, etc. to the bin.
- We used to just have a big pile of compost in the corner of our yard but it smelled bad and attracted rodents. Growing up, I lived on 3 acres and we had an open-air compost pile that worked fine because it was far enough away from the house/where people hung out! This past year we invested in this stand-up compost bin with a lid! It is crazy how much faster the bin breaks down organic matter vs having it just sit in the open air.
- That bin has openings on the bottom that we can shovel the compost out once we need it! We add the compost to our garden in the spring before we plant. Now is a great time to start composting to get ready for spring gardening!
If you aren’t quite ready for a big huge bin, they have smaller and cheaper options like this one that would work too! You just might end up composting maybe half of your food waste instead of all of it.
You will want to have roughly the same amount of green (food) and brown (yard waste) materials in your compost pile. Sometimes you might need to add a little water, but we haven’t needed to in our compost pile. The EPA has a great beginner website for composting!
It is really interesting (and slightly gross) to open the compost bin and seeing how many different types of insects/worms/fungi are inside! The whole thing looks like it is alive with how much movement is going on in there!
I’d love to hear if you compost and what successes or failures you have had with composting!