Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Day 33 and 34 Composting and taking public transit when practical

Ah compost. My family members with yards and gardens have been doing it for years, spreading the lovely earth they make on their land to enrich and fertilize the soil. As my parents did not garden, and as I have spent the past 10 years living in dorms or apartment/condo style living, I never thought I would have the opportunity to do this oh-so-basic form of recycling. But no! It has been proven that those of us living in boxes in the sky can indeed break down our organic waste into something useful.

To be fair, this composting couldn't come at a better time. And to be honest, before now, I never produced much organic waste in the form of vegetable and fruit trimmings. But since adopting canning and preserving as a hobby/way of life last week, I've been producing an awful lot of vegetable and fruit bits. So much so, the bowl on my counter where I toss such things as I cook was overflowing.

"Tomorrow, we compost." I said to my boyfriend.
"Ok" he said, knowing that this wouldn't involve or effect him and his life could continue as it does.

Unlike Vanessa, I did not research compost bins beforehand. I just showed up at Home Depot at 8am yesterday morning and expected that all my wishes would be met by the cheerful folks in orange aprons. Turns out, Home Depot no longer sells composting units (back when Vanessa wrote her entry on composting, they did). My helpful, chatty and flirty sales guy had no idea why, since he believed that composting was a good idea. (I liked this guy right off the bat - he had a penguin embroidered on the pocket of his polo shit - score! When I mentioned it to him, he confessed to not liking penguins, for a variety of silly reasons - boo.)

I then suggested that he sell me the materials to build my own. Being that it was early in the morning and he wasn't busy, we sauntered over to the computer station and started googling compost bins. We hit upon this website right away, and things looked promising. After some deliberation and friendly banter, it was decided that I would make this model, and the supplies were cheap and easily attainable.

We had a lovely stroll to the paint department to obtain the buckets and lids, and he even escorted me to the self-checkout. I made the fatal mistake of asking how old he was.

"21, and how old are you?"

"Oh damn," he said, "That invalidates you."
"What!" I exclaimed, "Invalidates me for what?"
"I can't date you" he said. "You're too old."

This is the first time I've ever heard that one, and I can say it was none too pleasant. It still stings, when I think about it. *sigh*

Back home with my buckets, the website suggests you use a screwdriver and hammer to punch holes in the bucket. This was ok for the top and bottom, but when it came to the slippery curved sides, this method just wasn't cuting it.

"Why am I struggling here?" I said out loud. "I have a drill!"

The power drill made short work of that bucket, and in no time I was filling it with some soggy paper, my kitchen scraps, and some soil for good measure. I figure I'll turn it once a week, and really, I can't wait for some great compost. Now I just have to figure out what I am going to do with it.

I can also see that I am going to outgrow this bucket fairly quickly, so I'll have to get another one to handle the overflow. I'm not going to do the vericulture thing, as it creeps my boyfriend out. I'm learning to be green and compromising.

Before we leave the subject of composting, the website has a great table of things that are compostable. This will really help.

Today, I'm going for a haircut. I only get one once ever 3 months, as I WILL realize my dream of having long hair someday. My salon is in this trendy part of town known as Yorkville, where the parking is expensive. I could take the car and pay $18 to park it, I could take the motorcycle and pay $18 and wreck my hair with a helmet, or I could pay $5.50 to get there and back by transit. Saving money and the environment, one day at a time.


Robj98168 said...

How rude of that slaesperson. Certainly fresh. I got an idea what you can do with that compost- take it to him, and before you dump it on his shoes say Oh My I am so old I am forgetting what I am doing.

Kay's Spot said...

I hear you on vermicomposting-compromises ... I love it; hubby hates it! (why does this idea creap-out more men than women???) In the middle of winter those little critters would eat more than our family of 4 could produce. With little upkeep. Eventually hubby forgot about them munching away tucked in a corner of our basement.

Unfortunatly, life got crazy and I also frogot about them. But we had 3 good years of worm fun. Soon I'll adopt another batch of worm friends. You should just try it.

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Little Green Penguin said...

I'm thinking that worms will be in my future, as frankly, I'm producing more waste than my bins can handle, and I'm going to need some happy worms to accelerate my decomposition. We'll see.

TTerr23 said...

"That invalidates you"?????? I don't buy it. It's just a number!!

Chile said...

Did you save your hair from the trim to put in your compost? We've been putting ours, and the dogs' fur, in with our compost.

Little Green Penguin said...

I didn't save my hair from the cut, but everytime I groom my cats, or catch a fluffy tumnleweed blowing across the floor, I save it for the compost bin. I had no idea just how much stuff you can actually compost! This is great!

Chile said...

I'm actually a little concerned about overwhelming our compost bin with dog fur. Our newest addition to the family is half husky. When he "blows coat", there's a lot of fur. He will probably shorten the life of my vacuum cleaner by several years.

I'm mixing the compost up more so that we, hopefully, don't end up with a big matted layer of fur embedded with gross stuff. Hm, maybe it would work for mulch? LOL