Waiting For The Composter To Arrive, And Other Trashy Tales…

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So, we finally ordered a compost bin from Amazon, as not one single store here in town had any left! Seems composting has taken on a life of it’s own here, as they cannot keep any in stock for more than a day or two. Sure, I could just start a pile in the backyard, but since we are only renting our house I decided that would not be a good idea. The woman at the local nursery told me to just buy one online, as it would be weeks before they got any more in. Ok then! So I placed the order online and am waiting for it to arrive. But in the meantime we have been storing our compost in large yogurt containers in our freezer.


For the past 2 weeks, we have been saving our food scraps and coffee grounds in these containers but we are running out of space. There is only so much yogurt one can eat every week! I do hope the composter shows up soon, so I can empty these out and use them just as interim storage for our scraps until we can bring them outside. I will say, though, that saving all of our food scraps have made quite a difference in the amount of trash leaving our house every Wednesday.

I just took out the trash today and guess what? Only 1 half-full bag of trash is being picked up today by the garbage guy. That’s for one week, and is the smallest amount of trash we have ever taken out for 7 days. Whoo-hoo! The bag weighed about 2 pounds and looks so lonely inside the big black bin out front. Since all food scraps go in composting, any glass, aluminum and paper get recycled, and we did not buy anything packaged in plastic this week, there was barely anything to throw away. What a nice feeling. I wonder if we can get it down to one trash bag every 2 weeks?

In other trashy news, we have been working hard on reducing our plastic consumption (due to the recycling issue in town), but it is proving somewhat difficult for some products. Yogurt, for instance, is hard to find in anything but plastic bins. But we have found some use for those containers in the short-term at least. I will be writing more about this experience next week, and in the mean time will be reading through Fake Plastic Fish in an effort to discover even more ways to reduce the incoming stream of plastic into our house!

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Comments

  1. Solution: make your own yogurt! Use the Wallaby as a starter, and just add milk. There are a variety of methods out there, depending on your equipment. We make about a quart every couple of weeks using a good organic starter (now, our own from our last batch) and our crockpot, full of water and left overnight on the “keep warm” setting. Also a moneysaver!

  2. Something you could try to reduce the amount of compost taking up space in your fridge is to let compost dry out a bit outside. It’s amazing how much organic matter is just water, which evaporates in hot climates like in NM. Just get a dishpan or some kind of flat container and spread some compost out a bit at a time. This will probably not be optimal for compost overall, but I imagine you could just add some extra water to the pile once you get your compost container.

  3. Dare I ask why you bothered to put out the half bag? Why not have kept it until it was full? We have two garbage cans. I only put them out when they are both full, which usually takes 2-3 weeks (less now that DD is potty trained!). No need to put it out unless it’s completely full. Saves the garbage trucks one stop…and in your case, would save you a trash bag as well. (We don’t take the garbage outside until the bag is full to begin with.)

  4. As you peruse Fake Plastic Fish, I hope you’ll notice this post:

    http://www.fakeplasticfish.com/2007/12/plastic-free-yogurt-well-almost-plus.html

    This post contains a great recipe for homemade yogurt. You can use a Thermos rather than buying a yogurt maker. And yes, you do have to start with the yogurt that comes in the plastic container (make sure it has active cultures and is not pasturized) but only the first time! After that, you just save a bit of the previous batch to make new batches.

    Thanks for mentioning FPF!

    Beth

  5. I would create a compost pile where you can add to it and move it around once a week, so the oxygen will eat it up and turn it into fresh dirt/fertilizer for use in your garden…

    But I suppose burying it won’t hurt either.. 🙂

  6. Wow, that is great about the demand for composting bins.

    I also wanted to comment on the amount of trash that you guys took out, that is just amazing. We are trying to create less waste ourselves in a household that normally takes out 1 to 2 bags of trash a day. Congratulations on that!

    Laura

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