Don’t have curbside composting? No problem! Ethical lifestyle blogger Holly Rose shares her 7 ways you can compost your waste at home.
On this path towards a more conscious state of living, composting for most seems to be one of the last steps. This is often due to small dwellings, lack of green space, and the limited availability of citywide curbside pick-up.
If not disposed of properly, whether it be an apple core or a full head of lettuce, food that ends up in the landfill gradually rots and due to the suffocating conditions of said rotting, releases methane, a strong greenhouse gas which contributes to global warming. The issue is so great, that if food waste were a country it would be the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, after the U.S. and China.
According to an article by National Geographic:
“More than a third of all of the food that’s produced on our planet never reaches a table. It’s either spoiled in transit or thrown out by consumers in wealthier countries, who typically buy too much and toss the excess. This works out to roughly 1.3 billion tons of food, worth nearly $1 trillion at retail prices.”
Finding creative solutions to the food waste problem is amongst the most important when it comes to your household waste, so I strummed up some solutions for any living situation, for those of you not already composting.
Stay tuned for an update from Numi later this year as we roll out a commercially compostable tea bag wrapper made from non-GMO, plant-based materials.
Compost Pick Up
If you’re lucky enough to live in a city or neighborhood where there is a opt-in curbside composing program, partake in it. My mum participates in one in Winnipeg, Canada, and basically it works like this: you fill a bucket provided with compostable scraps and once a week it will be picked up and transported to a farm or compost facility. There’s usually a monthly membership fee, but it’s far easier than having a compost in your backyard. (Here’s a handy list of these services across various US states.)
Compost Drop Off
In Paris, where I live, this is the best solution I’ve found. Basically, you collect your food waste in your countertop compost at home, then deliver them by hand to the closest community compost location. We have a community garden where ours go each Wednesday, but most farmer’s markets provide the same service.
These are a pretty easy solution, but pricey. They cost about $300, but its one of the quickest ways to have your food waste composted and it all happens in a matter of days, at home. So, all you have to do is empty the organic matter created into a plant bed or garden.
Indoor Worm Bin
With the use of red wiggler worms, you can keep a compost in your home. I recently checked one of these out in person in a friend’s basement in Winnipeg, Canada, and it’s an interesting process! Unlike normal garden worms, red wigglers live near the surface where they digest your compost, and in the process, produce ‘casting’, which is a granular matter rich in nutrients.
You’ll need some greenspace for this one, but not much. Basically, you put your food waste in the compost bins, mix it with inoculated bran, and leave it for just over a week. Then you burry the fermented waste to complete the process.
Backyard Compost Pile
For this type of compost, you mix in your food waste with leaves and manure, creating organic matter which improves soil structure and provides nutrients. Though it will work however you do it, following Treehugger’s Dos and Don’ts guide will give you some guidelines for how to.
Though a bit more costly than your backyard compost pile, you can make these work in a yard or even on a patio if you’ve got outdoor space but no green space. Tumblers reduce the manual labor involved with regular backyard composting, and you can wheel it to a greenspace when you’re ready to dump, easing the process from start to finish.