Sustainable Saturday - Gardening with Children: A Series Documenting our Garden 2010 - Composting

Composting is an integral part of gardening and one of the easiest Green tasks at our house!  When I first began composting our food scraps several years ago, I thought it was going to be a daunting task. Many times I joked about how I had added yet another task around the house by attempting to compost.

Turns out composting actually reduces our weekly waste by quite a lot. We put all of our fruit and vegetable waste, coffee grounds, coffee filters, egg shells, dryer lint, dryer sheets (Seventh Generation), leaves and select other yard waste in our compost. We have built a outside compost bin using wood from recycled pallets. We use this compost to fertilize our garden and lawn.

Here are two articles from Organic Gardening which explains the basics of Composting:  Compost 101 and  Build a Compost Pile.

How do I get started and where can I purchase the necessary items to begin Composting?

You can build a compost bin like ours using a recycled pallet.  Instructions on how available here, here and here.

You can also purchase compost crocks and compost bins from a variety of resources including:

Garden's Alive
Gardener's Supply Company
The Home Depot
Generation Green (Columbus, Ohio)

Another item that will contribute to the success of your compost pile is a Compost Aerator.  You can find one here
What do we put in our Compost?

We compost our dryer lint and dryer sheets (Seventh Generation):
We purchase sponges by Twist (Whole Foods, on Sale $3.59 for 2) and Rubbits (Available in Columbus at Generation Green, Whole Foods also carries their own version, Regular Price $0.99).  The Twist Sponge and the Rubbits (basically a scouring pad without harmful chemicals) are both compostable. 

Their are many items that claim that they are compostable and/ or biodegradable.  Examples of such products are trash bags, earth-friendly diapers, wet wipes (like Method), dryer sheets and even new SunChips bags.  These items are compostable and/or biodegradable however if you are not actually composting them, they will take a long time to compost or biodegrade if placed in a plastic bag and go to a landfill.  You can read my previous post here on trash bags.

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