Monday, July 14, 2008

The Compost Pile

Whoo Hoo, the compost pile is a brewin’. I have had to shred some paper to add to the pile as I came to understand that my ratio of green waste to brown waste was off. I guess you are supposed to have 3 parts brown waste, to 1 part green waste. Green waste includes my fruit and veggie scraps, egg shells, and grass clippings. Brown waste includes dried leaves, twigs, straw and newspaper and dryer lint (I think).

I have lots of green waste and not so much of the brown waste. I shredded some newspaper and am now saving my cardboard toilet paper rolls and to add to the pile to correct my unbalance. If you have too much green then the pile doesn’t “cook” like it should and will begin to smell. There are lots of flies are come out when I remove the lid to put more food scraps in, but I just close it quickly. I’ve also begun to add some water every couple of days. I need to get out the pitchfork and stir things up, but I’m afraid I’m going to get grossed out when I see “disco rice” writhing in the pile. I’m sure it is normal, but still makes me itch.

I finally found something more permanent to hold our waste in the house until I’m ready to go add it to the pile at the end of the day. I had just been using a cool whip container (which was too small), but this weekend I found a 2 ½ gallon plastic paint bucket with a lid. I can accumulate for at least a day before taking it out to the pile. It does have a few holes in the lid so unfortunately I am still attracting fruit flies, so maybe I need to make sure to take it out daily. You can buy kitchen compost pails that are very pretty and even have charcoal filters in the lid if you like, but they are $30, and $3 for the paint bucket was much more appropriate for my budget.

I realize we are only a few weeks into this new habit but already we have reduced our actual garbage that goes to the curb to less than a bag per week. We throw away almost no food garbage now. Either we eat it before it goes bad, the dogs eat it, or it is something that can go in the compost pile. I even read that I can put dog hair in it (believe me I have plenty of dog hair). I just don't know if it is considered green or brown.

1 comment:

heather said...

yeah brenda!! wow, this is great. i am so proud of you and very jealous. i can't wait till i get my own home with a year so i can make my very own compost pile. thanks so much for your continued imformation, not only am i enjoying following you in your weight loss journey and "going green" experiences, i am also learning so much. keep the messages comming! love ya