Kate's Composting Journey; Episode 3 (Choosing a System)

Hey Guys!

You are awesome for following along and checking in with us here on week 3 of Kate’s Composting Journey. In week one, we got to know Kate and why she wants to reduce the waste coming out of her home. We then heard from Jamylynn of ACAP Saint John, who taught us that we could trim our landfill contributions and greenhouse gas emissions by composting our organics! This week, I am going to help Kate by mapping out the selection process that got Judith and I composting.

We knew we wanted a simple start, so we started reading and boiled the info we found down to just a few questions! 

Is our home a good fit for composting?

We looked around and had the space, the use, and the interest in learning about how to compost, but maybe you're missing one of those or it doesn't work for you for any of the different reasons life throws our way. It's ok, and you can still do right by the planet! Many municipalities collect green bin organic waste to compost at regional landfill facilities. This can be an easy way to get started on separating, without having to jump into an onsite compost solution. 

Do we want to compost indoors or outdoors?

We found out you can compost inside with a worm bin that is pretty low-maintenance, but has worms, or a bokashi bin that doesn’t have worms, but needs to be tended to every couple days during decomposition. A bonus for the Bokashi is that you can include meat and dairy in the mix, which you cannot with any other compost. We wanted an outdoor solution, no longer eat meat, and wanted to use the space around our home so these weren't a fit for us. 

What will we compost?

We also learned that if you are looking to only include kitchen waste in your compost (no browns like cardboard or lawn trimmings), you can use a Green Cone like this one one designed in Canada. We have not used a cone as we have occasional cardboard, our Daily-Care packaging!!!, and yard and garden trimmings to include in the mix, but could see it being great in the city! 

Do we build or buy?

We started by looking at a lot of DIY solutions, but didn’t have many project materials at the time. If we were going to have to buy something, we wanted to make it easier and buy a system, so looked at our local Home Depot and Canadian Tire for options. 

Do we want it contained or open?

Judith and I wanted it contained. We have wildlife, pets, and little people around and still didn’t know much about composting. We liked the idea of easily being able to turn the material. Judith also convinced me with the solid argument that a turn-key solution minimizes our risk of abject failure! So we got a tumbling composter for our home and are excited to use our compost for the first time in the spring as we till for a vegetable garden.

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We have not always been the best at managing our waste. But in a few short years, with some small tweaks in our lifestyle, we've found you can get your waste down to a bag every couple weeks pretty easily just by being mindful of what it is that you are throwing away. We have better weeks than others, but all that matters is that we've started, and don't plan on stopping. The rest will figure itself out somewhere along the way!

Judith & Justin of Bubbles & Balms admir landscape around Production Studio near Hampton, New Brunswick

Thank you for joining us for episode 3 of Kate's Composting Journey. Next week we are going to learn about vermi-composting, municipal composting, and just what is going on in that compost pile to make the black gold we are hoping to spread in our gardens this spring! Jamylynn from ACAP will then be back to share some solutions for apartment and condo life. And in episode 6, we will wrap things up with Kate building out her solution.