Check into composting

Photo: Nic McPhee

If you live in a rural area, you’re already composting, yes? You have a pile out back of food scraps breaking down into black gold that you spread over your garden or give away to someone else. If not, please start this. says that food scraps and trimmings make up 26% of U.S. waste. When breaking down slowly due to lack of air, such as in a landfill, compostables also produce methane.

If you live in an urban area, composting is a bit more tricky. Happily, many cities and even a few smaller towns offer curbside compost pick up. If your municipality participates, you probably already know about it. If not, it’s worth a call to solid waste management to urge them to partake in composting.

In the mean time, you need a countertop bin –

Here’s a crock option

This one, even though it’s plastic, is the best we’ve tried, and we’ve tried a lot

You can also go with stainless

Or bamboo

A simple bowl can work fine, too.

And you need a pile in your backyard or a container in which to compost. Here’s a great tutorial on composting in an apartment or other small space.

If you’re going to make your compost outside, you can find some elaborate ideas for building compost bins out of pallets.

There are also all kinds of composters available for purchase. The only drawback to these, besides the cost, is that you’re buying something made of metal and/or plastic that will eventually end up in a landfill.

Here’s are some great tips on composting.

This might be a daunting project for some of you. So even if you can’t commit to composting right now, take a little time today to think about it. Maybe at some point you’ll have the bandwidth to make composting a reality.

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