Have you ever been interested in reducing the amount of food waste you and your family produce in the kitchen? One of the best ways to handle food waste is to compost it. There are a few different methods of at-home composting that can be great for you. In this blog, we’ll take a look at some of the most user-friendly versions.
Compost Bins (Kitchen and Outdoor)
One of the simplest ways to start composting is to purchase a kitchen compost bin. There are so many varieties available these days. If you have “trash can” in your head, we can assure you that it isn’t like that at all. Compost bins are either relatively simple containers with lids that can be stored in a cabinet or under the sink, or they are well-designed pails with covers that look great on your countertop. Just about every kitchen compost bin comes with carbon filters so that your kitchen won’t smell like old food. Some of these compost pails are super cute and fit right in with your other kitchen countertop paraphernalia. You can collect your food waste for a few days to a week in these smaller bins before transferring it to an outdoor compost bin!
The outdoor compost bin is where the magic happens. You’ll want a compost bin with a lid that can be secured to keep critters out and heat in. The compost bin goes right on the ground so that worms and other critters can do their thing and help in the process. To create an effective compost bin, you need to have an equal amount of green and brown materials. “Greens” are food scraps and grass trimmings and “Browns” are dry leaves, cardboard, and newspaper. Greens can attract unwanted flies, so a good practice is to cover them with Browns. Once your bin is set up, you’ll need to turn it about once a week to mix it up. Composting works due to chemical changes and heat that break down the materials into a rich soil-like substance. The nutrients in the compost are super helpful for growing flowers and other plants later on. Like kitchen compost bins, outdoor compost bins come in many styles, including “tumblers” that you can turn with a handle to mix up the pile. All get the job done, and all are fascinating to watch n action.
Indoor Worm Composting
The other popular at-home composting method uses worms. You’ll need a plastic bin or two with lids, shredded newspaper/paper, and some red worms. Red wrigglers are often best suited for composting because they consume the food quickly and therefore create compost more quickly. To start the compost bin, you’ll want your shredded paper to be damp. Fill the bin up with a combination of the shredded paper and something more textured like eggshells, snd, leaves, or sawdust. Create some spaces about halfway into the bedding and place the worms inside, then cover them up. For the first week, you won’t want to feed your worms so that they can settle in. Don’t worry; they’ll eat the moist bedding! After about a week, start to put in some of the food scraps you’ve been saving. The worms may not like all of the foods you offer them, so take note of what to avoid in the next feedings. Feed the worms weekly and watch the compost start to form! You won’t need to add any more bedding until you remove the worm castings and clean the bin. Simply add some food every week and the worms take care of the rest!
There are plenty of online composting guides and tutorials to check out before you begin the process. Keep in mind that the beginning is the longest part because the ecosystem has to get started. Be patient and stick with it and you’ll soon reap the benefits. Here at Planet Stone, we are very dedicated to protecting the environment so we encourage composting when we can. It’s a fantastic way to put excess food to good use and the pails and cans available make it much less intrusive in the kitchen. Any of the pails will look fantastic on kitchen countertops, especially stone countertops. As always, our team at Planet Stone would love to get in touch about upgrading your kitchen counters! We’re always happy to answer any questions so give us a call at (818) 860-7142.