Composting. What is it exactly?

Simply put, compost is decayed organic matter. “Organic matter” however, can cover a wide range of items. Anything from a twig found in your backyard to eggshells and banana peels are considered organic matter and break down naturally. Any vegetable or fruit scrap has the green light, while most animal products do not (meat, fish, cheese, dairy, etc.) because they can harbor unhealthy bacteria.

Composting is a sustainable and efficient way to minimize your carbon footprint and keep your trash out of the landfills. When organic matter goes to the landfill in a trash bag or otherwise, it is unable to naturally breakdown, as landfills are not designed to breakdown your trash, but merely to bury it. This is because they contain minimal amounts of oxygen and moisture, which is needed to aid in organic matter breakdown. 

After learning this, and realizing how much organic matter I throw away each week, I wanted to learn how I could compost my food scraps, but thought it was impossible because I live in an apartment and don’t have any outdoor yard space. Well, I was wrong! You can easily compost in your own kitchen with no smell & zero hassle.

Here’s how I compost. 

Knowing that Countryside partners with Full Cycle Organics and accepts compost drop-offs each week, I was able to pick a method that doesn’t involve any work on my end, other than remembering to bring my bucket to the market on Saturdays and pay $5. So I bought a 5 gallon bucket from Home Depot that has a screw-on lid and I keep this under my kitchen counter. We eat a lot (and I mean A LOT) of fruits and veggies in my household, and a 5 gallon bucket is able to contain all of my scraps for a week or two. Then all I have to do is bring it to the markets at the end of the week (which, I’ll be honest – I’ve only done a handful of times because I am always forgetting it at home). BUT it’s a step in the right direction and it’s okay to have hiccups along the way. When I do remember to bring my food scraps to the market, it lifts an (actual) weight off my chest knowing that I am not just wasting items that could be repurposed into nutrient-dense soil, and I am minimizing my contribution to green house gases. 

If you want to learn more about how to compost at home, check out these websites that have helpful tips and tricks to help you get started!

EPA Home Composting Tips

How To Compost In Your Apartment by Sustainable America 

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