Composting = Reduction in curb-side trash. Can I get a woot?!?!

Howdy GE Followers!

Today is trash/recycle curbside pick-up on my street. Last night, as I wheeled the recycle bin out to the curb, I looked down my street (both ways) to see how many people had placed both their trash and recycle bins on the curb. Answer: everyone, except…moi!  In my household, it takes almost 2 months to fill a trash bin. How can that be you ask? Because I compost – and I compost just about every darn thing you can think of. There is a list (and probably more extensive) on what you should never compost and some of those items are:  meat, bones, dairy, fish, cat litter and cat poop. I know there are others  items you shouldn’t compost but I can only remember these items.  Of course, I do not have to worry about composting such nasty items because I am a vegan.  Can I get an atta girl?

I won’t bore you with the list of things I do compost but suffice it to say, if the item cannot be thrown into the recycle bin, well then I am tossing it into the composter. In fact, last week, someone-who-will-remain-nameless ate a Lynwood’s pizza and left the cardboard circular remnants behind on the kitchen table, so I happily Frisbee tossed those into the composting bin.  Score!

IMHO there is no reason why you shouldn’t (or couldn’t) compost.  Unless of course, you live in the city were composting is near impossible.   Granted I have a garden, which benefits from my composter but you can compost, despite a garden.   I often wonder why more people, especially in the suburbs do not compost, seeing as it’s so easy (and reduces your trash).

Since moving into an old 1915 home (previous owner lived there for 75 years), I no longer have the following amenities: garbage disposal, dishwasher, and microwave (did I just hear a gasp?).  How do I function without these amenities you ask? Quite easily as a matter of fact.   I won’t lie, having had a beautiful kitchen, I did have some concerns about moving into such an outdated home with an outdated kitchen.  But to my surprise, I can live without these amenities; furthermore, I do not miss them.

In one corner of my pantry, I keep a kitchen counter composter (KCC) lined with bio bags (that I purchase from Gardener Supply).  I toss everything into the KCC and I do mean everything: food scraps, used tissues, PT, shredded junk mail etc. When the bag is full, I knot the top and toss it into my composter, give it a bit of a stir, and walk back into the house. During the colder months, I kept a galvanized bin with a lid in my enclosed back porch.  I toss my full bio bags into the bin and when that becomes full, I take the bin down to the composter and toss the contents. I don’t worry about stirring the composter because it was winter, so like, who cares, right?

Two years ago when I read the The Kind Life, Alicia Silverstone recommended doing away with your microwave (for health reasons).  I never really used the micro much, but it was nice to have around just in case I needed to nuke something.  I moved into my current home during school vacation week (February 2012) and I have been microwave-less since. Quite honestly, you may not believe it when I tell you: I. Do. Not. Miss. Having. A. Microwave. What if you want popcorn or need to reheat leftovers, you ask?  Worry not dear GE follower, I have the answer.  Some time ago, my boss had given me a very generous gift cert to Crate & Barrel (as a house warming  gift) and I used that gift cert to purchase a popcorn air popper (among other things) and I have to say, I love air popped popcorn more than microwave popcorn.  I had tried popping corn the old fashioned way, in a pot with safflower oil, but I found the popcorn to be a bit heavy.  I’m not worried about the calories (if that’s what you’re thinking) because after all, I’m a vegan, so the only way I can get fats into my diet is via oils, coconut oil, avocados etc.  As for reheating leftovers – simple: I use the stove like people used to before microwaves were invented (and I remember when they didn’t exist!).

I’ve read that washing dishes by hand wastes more water than if you use a DW. Well, if that is true, I suppose the Environ Police are going to slap me with a citation because I wash by hand. Do I miss not having a DW? Suuuure! I really could have used one when we celebrated my 45 birthday (this past March) and someone-who-will-remain-nameless insisted we have it catered by our favorite Indian restaurant (the man sure does love his chicken tikka masala! And whose birthday is it anyway?).   Actually, having Indian at my party was a win-win for all because I ordered vegetarian, vegan and non-vegan items.

In closing, there really isn’t any reason why you cannot compost, especially if you live in the ‘burbs. If you’re worried about it smelling or attracting animals, well you need not worry. There are many different styles of composters (check if you don’t feel like making one) and because you are not tossing: meat/bones/dairy/fish you will not attract animals. Occasionally I’ll see a nosey squirrel rooting around in my composter but very rarely does he climb out with anything edible in his chops. In fact lately, he (or maybe it’s a she) has been giving my mammoth sunflowers (which recently bloomed) the hairy eyeball so I’ve got bigger problems on my hands.  Said squirrel went so far as to jump on my roof in an attempt to Navy SEAL his way down so as to land on top of one of my sunflowers — funny to watch – not so funny when he/she nearly broke the flower stalk.   As for smell – seriously, it’s a non-issue. I keep 2 bins behind my garage (which receives ample sun/rain/circulation) and I have never ever smelled the contents of my composter – even when I’m standing next to it.  That’s another thing: make sure you composter receives sufficient sun/rain/circulation – so it thrives. You do not want your composter to receive too much sun (drying out is a bad thing) but you also do not want it to reside in a place that is dark/shady causing your composter to remain soggy.  Maintaining a thriving composter does require one to take such factors into consideration, which may sound like a lot of work but seriously it isn’t.  Besides, composting is a nice thing to do for Mother Earth and don’t you want to do nice things for her?

Yours truly,


© 2012 GiRRL_Earth