Friday, February 7, 2014

Compost Challenge

A lot of people recycle their paper and plastic products, not enough, but a lot of people realize their trash is going somewhere. Way less people compost their kitchen scraps. If you are reading this, and do not compost your kitchen scraps, I challenge you to start.

We cook a lot of our own food and generate a bunch of compost every week. We will fill one of the large spring mix containers from the store every week with kitchen scraps. Next time you are at the store buy a large spring mix, eat some salads and save the container. We keep this in the fridge and pull it out every time we cook. Once that is full I walk it to the compost pile or in the winter, I keep a large bin next to the kitchen door so all I do is open the door and dump it.

The next time you have that egg shell in your hand hovering above the garbage can, please stop and think about the nutrients you are sending to the landfill instead of your garden.

Some people would look at this picture and say yeah that looks like a bag of garbage. I look at it and see fresh tomatoes, a beautiful asparagus patch, chicken and rabbit food, garden fresh strawberries... you get the idea. In less than a year, if you are lazy, you can turn this bag of "trash" into nutrient dense compost for your garden.

This bag of compost material comes from a family in my area. I was looking around Craigslist and saw an ad looking for someone to pick up and compost a family of fours kitchen scraps. The family rents their house and cannot set up a compost bin but didn't want to just throw their scraps away. I am a little eccentric so I replied to the ad and said I would be happy to compost their kitchen scraps. I have been stopping by periodically over the last 6 months or so to help keep their "waste" out of the landfill. I am glad Amanda reached out and took responsibility for her families kitchen scraps. It doesn't seem like what we are doing is a big deal, but if everyone you know composted their kitchen scraps there would be an immediate impact on landfills to the tune of several tons a day.

Amanda has a blog called The Eco-Friendly Family, I think she and her family are living what they preach. Check out her blog for great ideas on how you can live a more sustainable lifestyle.

I finally reached a tipping point at work when I looked in the garbage one day. I couldn't believe the amount of compost material in it. That night I stopped at my local big box store and purchased a nice seal-able plastic container. I leave it on the counter in the kitchen and take it home every night. I would leave it for a day or two to fill up but I think some people might complain if the kitchen doesn't smell like sanitizer.

Here is my message to my co-workers. I have gotten a lot of positive responses since I started doing this.

Here is the list of stuff I am asking them for. I would say to put the used paper towels in, but my work goes through so many everyday, my bin would be full before lunch.

Here is a typical haul. I still see compost material in the trash. I guess I need to put up more signs. I hope this post has inspired some of you to start composting. I encourage anyone to put a bin in the kitchen at your work. It is a good conversation starter.


  1. the lady wishing to donate compost materials, but not having the space to compost, reminds me a bit of the Pedal to Petal group up in Canada (

  2. I can't get that web page to load. Is the group in Canada a bicycle compost pick-up group? I have heard of them in other parts of the US.