I have always felt deeply connected to the idea of composting...of placing the nutrients from what we cannot use back into the soil to nurture continued growth.
Here in Seattle we are very lucky to have a city-wide composting service so that even we apartment dwellers can easily join in -- it simply goes out in cans along with our landfill trash and recycling.
The trick has turned out to be how to compost our food scraps while still keeping our apartment smelling clean and fresh, especially in the hot summer months. Previously, we've simply taken our compost down every other day or so, but even that was pushing it. I also briefly thought about keeping a worm bin, but then realized I don't have anywhere to put the dirt.
Now, thanks to an off-hand, genius tip from Spunky Lovely, we can go for weeks without dumping our compost saving us time, energy, and a lot of compost bags. Her tip?
Keep your compost in the freezer.
There are some really cool silicon compost bins for this purpose but, not wanting to bring more plastic into our apartment and not wanting to spend that much when I could use something else I already had, I just popped a compost bag into an old spinach box that we've been using for defrosting meat. It's two years old, we've used it every day, and it's just as handy as the day I bought it.
Whenever we have scraps, need to empty the strainer in our sink, or say goodbye to a vase of flowers that's on its way out, into the box it goes.
This photo is from about half-way through our month so there isn't as much in there with the compost, but even after buying our month's meat there is still room for the compost next to a few cans of frozen soup for a rainy day, three ice trays, and a door full of frozen fruit and craft cocktail ingredients.
If you don't have room in your freezer, try going through and seeing what you can eat. A friend of mine did this recently only to discover that she had everything she needed, crust and all, to make a veritable rainbow of mini pies. Goes to show you never know what you might find.
And when it comes time, frozen food scraps are a breeze to dump. I no longer have to worry about dripping food rot or sticky fingers. All I have to do is pull the top edge up from around the box, tie it off, and lift it out as a solid block; easy to store, easy to carry, easy to toss.
Do you compost? What's your system? I'd love to hear about it. Come tell me on facebook.