Why We Compost

photo1A few years ago, Jason built me a compost bin. As you can see in the picture above, it’s overgrown and pretty weathered now so I won’t be posting any close-up pictures of it but it does its job so I’m happy with it.

We originally started the compost because I knew I’d want to start a garden and composting was ultimately the best option to supply the garden with rich soil. Being from Upstate NY, I’m used to soil that’s very great for planting without needing much added to it. I’ve been really frustrated with the earth in my backyard since it’s nothing like what I’m used to. It’s mostly clay so it’s hard to till and aerate and needs a lot of things added in before it’s ready for planting. Spending an insane amount on top soil isn’t in our budget so composting was the perfect solution.

Since we’ve been doing it a while now, we are pretty familiar with recognizing which kitchen scraps can go in the compost bowl and which go right into the garbage. When we started, I looked around for counter top compost buckets and purchased something similar to this one. We used it for a while and it was ok. The charcoal filters helped combat odor when it wasn’t in use but these bins aren’t meant to hold compost for a long time. The bags used with this bin are pretty awesome and we now use those on their own. They are compostable so once the scraps go in you can seal it and take it out without carrying a whole bowl out there. However, they start composting quickly so the longer they sit, the faster the bag deteriorates. Depending on how diligent you are about taking the compost out each night, this bin is a great, inexpensive option.

If you’re not into gardening, consider composting for a few other reasons (all of which are on our list too):

  • A great fertilizer for flower beds and landscaping.
  • Reducing landfill waste and reducing your carbon footprint.
  • An educational tool for kids. I remember taking the scraps out to my grandma’s compost pile when I was really young. She also had a beautiful and plentiful garden we’d pick from on the way back! I’m excited for my kids to do the same with their own!

I found this great infographic below on PBS.org. If you click on the picture, it will take you to their website where you can print off a PDF to keep in your kitchen.

What other reasons do you compost? — Annie

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