There are a few products that help composting made easy in the kitchen. It is great to compost–doing great things for the earth and our environment but how do you store all those kitchen scraps??
Here is the ultimate in recycling by making composting easy in the kitchen. I save all my old plastic storage bags (recycling step 1) and then I re-use them to put my kitchen scraps in (recycling step 2!). I used to hate to throw away these bags after one use so this is a great solution for me.
This trash can is the perfect place to put the filled plastic bags. When a bag is full I zip it up and place it into this container on my back porch–easily accessible but not in the kitchen.
This is a great trash can for storing kitchen scraps because it is not too large with a very close-fitting lid. I use it most of the winter to store the kitchen scraps. Most of the time it is so cold that the scraps don’t decompose; so they don’t smell bad. I actually have 2 of these trash cans.
When I am ready, I take all the stuff to the Compact Compost Tumbler in one trip. This makes it easier when it is really cold. I have found these trash cans to be so helpful. And I don’t have to worry about any wildlife getting into them. The lid is well secured and there is no plastic to chew through. They also sell these at Home Depot.
This kitchen compost bucket is what I started with but my kids adopted it. With a carbon activated filter in the top, it is odor free if emptied on a regular basis.
It is smaller so it fills up faster but the size and design make it convenient to keep in the kitchen. It is easy to wash and easy for kids to carry out to the compost bin. My grandchildren used to bring it over all the time to dump into my compostumbler (they live right behind me!). Now they have their own compost pile so it is a short trip for them to dump it out.
Using a Bokashsi composter in Brooklyn, New York just got a lot easier. Thanks goes to Vandra Thorburn, the founder and president of Vokashi, a green company providing composting services. Bokashi composting is another way to make compost. In the beginning, it is more of a pickling or fermenting process than a decomposition process. People keep two buckets for kitchen scraps. Each time they add food scraps, they cover it with a layer of Bokashi. The Bokashi that Vandra uses is called EM-1, a mixture of microorganisms usually fermented with wheat or rice bran or rice hulls. When the bucket is full it is set aside for a few weeks and the next bucket is started. After a few weeks the contents of the first bucket are buried in the ground where it decomposes. EM-1 Bokashi is available from Teraganix.
The real plus about Bokashi composting is that the food doesn’t decompose in the buckets. It ferments. Therefore there are no foul decompostion odors (and these odors get really stinky!) and no fruit flies. This is a perfect system for someone living in a small apartment or condo, though you do need a place to bury the stuff or they can go into a compost bin.
This is where Vokashi and Vandra Thorburn come into the picture. Vandra, a native New Zealander, has started a Bokashi composting business in Brooklyn called Vokashi-A Kitchen Waste Solution. She supplies her customers with 2 buckets and Bokashi powder and a monthly pickup service. This is the beautry of this system. She picks up the kitchen scraps, transports them to East New York Farm where they are buried. This article goes into more detail about Vokashi and has a slide show called the corn cob test. There are photos showing how easy it is to crumble a corn cob after it has gone through the Bokashi fermentation in the ground. Corn cobs usually take forever to decompose.
Once in the ground the Bokashi accelerates the decomposition. One Bokashi user has commented on the number of worms in the areas where the Bokashi has been buried: “I can say that stuff does break down very fast in the soil, and that when I dig in the area a month or two later it is absolutely WRITHING with earthworms. Huge masses of them. I can also quite immodestly brag that the garlic that I grow are absolutely huge, and have taken two blue ribbons at the Fall Fair.” (cityfarmer.org/bokashi.html)
If you are interested in going green and composting in Brooklyn, New York you can get in touch with Vandra at 718 623 1911 0r firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to start a company in your area please call Vandra at the above number or email.
Go green-compost wasted food and kitchen scraps! You would be amazed by how many food scraps you throw away. In an article in the NY Times: From Farm to Fridge to Garbage Can Tara Parker-Pope talks about how much wasted food there is in the US. From rotting food in the fields to food scraps getting lost in the refrigerator. Several studies were done estimating that we waste about 25% of the food that we buy.
The wasted food from our homes ends up in the landfill unless we do something ourselves to process it and keep it out of the garbage. We are running out of space for landfills in some areas of our country. Kitchen scraps make up approximately 20% of what is in our landfills. When this food rots in an anaerobic environment it produces methane gas which is a greenhouse gas and contributes to global warming.
Another issue about food rotting in landfills is that it could really be rotting in compost piles or vermicomposters, using aerobic processes which could give the goodness of the food back to our land. In a local government website that encourages composting they state that their only landfill is already half full. They recommend vermicomposting or soil incorporation. Because of a rodent problem in that area, composting food scraps in compost bins is not permitted. Soil incorporation involves burying your food scraps underground. I have often buried my food scraps and it works out well. You get exercise digging the holes and the scraps enrich your garden soil. They decompose quickly. I have gone back after a few weeks to see their status and mostly they have disappeared. Once you have the food scraps in the hole you need to chop them into smaller particles with the shovel and mix them into the dirt. This speeds the decomposition process.
So, go green this New Year and consider recycling your food scraps with vermicomposting, composting or soil incorporation. In my experience worm composting will not take care of all your food scraps so consider a secondary composting method also.
What better way to start a new, greener year than to make a commitment to some type of composting. It works out well for all of us and the Earth, the soil, the environment, all the organisms that live in the soil and for the landfills!
Happy Holidays to all!