Waste Not: Compost

After posting Part 3 in our Ethical Eating series I thought a more in depth space to address waste would be helpful.

One of the biggest problems when it comes to food is waste, personal and corporate. Get a tour of your local landfill sometime and you will be amazed. It boggles the mind to actually see mountains of the stuff we throw out. Obviously this is not the best for the environment and it perpetuates a disposable culture that uses most things once and then tosses them. Jesus also tells a couple stories about being good stewards of what we’ve been given. We’ve also looked at what Genesis has to say about our role as stewards of the earth. So, I want to highlight ways to curb your waste, reuse items and repurpose things for other uses. Let’s call it…Waste Not.

For this first installment I thought we’d talk a little about composting. It’s not something we’ve been able to start at my house yet, but it’s something I’m constantly aware of. I worked at a camp that composted everything and after seeing it in action realize how wasteful it is to toss out all those coffee grounds and banana peels.

The Basics
Composting is really pretty simple. It’s basically a great way to let nature take care of your food waste and create the best fertilizer you’ll find in the process. You need some sort of enclosed space to pile up your compost. It needs to have a cover for it. Then you add your food waste and mix in some mulch or other dirt. The key ingredient to successful composting however is…worms. You can buy worms that are particularly good for composting. Once all the ingredients are there you just add your food waste and let nature do all the work.

Urban Composting
We have almost an acre and a half of land where we live. So, we could easily just start a compost pile in one corner of the yard. For those who don’t have as much room there are some pretty cool space saving composters out there for the urban gardener. There’s one that sits on your countertop and a bigger one for that tiny porch your apartment has. You could also look into community gardens and projects that might take your leftovers.

How To
Recently Chews Wise posted about International Compost Week with a good summary post on some FAQs and links to get you started. Wired has a How To Wiki on Compost that might be helpful.

Obviously composting isn’t very useful unless you are growing your own garden. If not, perhaps you could give away or sell the compost to someone you know or a local farmer who would be happy to put it to good use.

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One thought on “Waste Not: Compost

  1. Allyson

    We had a great little compost pile in our backyard in Texas. Now, here at my mom’s house, I feel guilty every time I throw a banana peel in the trash.

    My son and I used to pick up a bag of used grounds every time we went to Starbucks to pour in the compost. Aren’t coffee grounds supposed to produce some kind of super-compost? Regardless, it made a nice (and free) way to kick-start our composting.

    Reply

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