Sunday, March 23, 2008

Stop!!! Don't Throw That Away!!!

A few years ago, I was reading an article in a green magazine (the name now escapes me) that the average North American household should have very little garbage due to recycling and composting. Since many cities have recycling, most of our glass, plastics, papers and tins can be recycled. Since organic matter can be composted, that leaves very little "actual" garbage to fill the landfills. Right?

Most people I know have been quite diligent about their recycling habits. Some cities even have "wet garbage" collection and when I lived in Toronto, our municipality also offered composters to its residents! They were these big drum-like contraptions where you put all your organic waste in and it turned it into rich, healthy compost for your garden.When I lived in Montreal, I practiced vermicomomposting. It wasn't too difficult to do and the worms were surprisingly not icky at all! I'm a big wuss when it comes to creepy crawly things, but I had no problems with these wormies! The worms I used were called red wigglers. They were extremely efficient at converting household waste into nutrient rich fertilizer. Under the right conditions, the worms pretty much take care of themselves! Of course, you need to maintain the bins, but you will be happy to know that there are no stinky odours if you manage your vermiculture properly.

I gave up my vermicomposting when I moved from Montreal to Toronto. I discovered that my dad had used my red wigglers to feed his fancy goldfish (Japanese Ryukins and Orandas) and to go fishing! He used me $30/1 lb worms for bait!!!

If you are a bit uncomfortable handling worms, then there are other ways to compost. My grandfather always kept a handmade compost bin by his garden and he and my grandmother were very diligent at composting their fruits and veggie scraps every day.

Here on the Island, I just put my fruit & veggie scraps on the far side of my garden, where I have a compost heap. However, if you live in the city and don't have any place or room to compost in your backyard, you can try something like this:
You can compost in your own kitchen! This can be done year-round and it's good for the environment! This particular composter is called the Nature Mill PRO Indoor Composter. Even though I already compost in my garden, I'm almost tempted to get one of these babies!

The company even has a Pet-Friendly Nature Mill to dispose of pet waste. This is something I am looking into because I've been trying to find an earth-friendly way to dispose of the waste from our beloved feline and canine babies! This may just be it! The price is a bit steep, but I haven't had much luck in finding many green ways of disposing of that nasty cat and dog poop!
Cross-posted at Green Is Her New Blog.


japanmanpete said...

Chrissy, I thought you would be posting about "Happy Easter" and not "Happy Composting"! You are full of surprises!

I assume you received my e-mail? I have been keeping a low profile these days. Too many late nights involving horrible amounts of sake and Asahi. Once this hangover subsides, I will be making regular visits to your blog again!


Uncivil said...

Happy Easter!

I'm old enough to hide my own eggs now!!!!!

That was a good one japanman had with the happy composting!

I'm terrible at being green:(

Except when I drink too much beer and eat too many easter eggs!!LOL

Don Mills Diva said...

I got a vermicomposter for my dad years ago and it worked really well for a few years until he started going really crazy and putting to much stuff in there too fast and they died. I really want to get another one for us.

rayrena said...

That's a nice looking pet waste composter! I've been keeping my eye on this one:
but it's not nearly as nice looking.

It's $125 and also uses red wigglers. It doesn't look like they ship to Canada but maybe there's another company that does.

That's awesome that you guys are s conscientious about your consumption habits :)

hotmommy said...

You go, Enviro-Gurl! Heh heh! BTW you remember those yummy veggie burgers you got me hooked on years ago ? i an still hoooked on them! the girl loves them too byt hubs and the boy not so much !

BeachMama said...

Great composting post. I love the pet one, it would be a great way to get rid of the poop around here. I would have to work on convincing Hubby though :)

Danielle said...

I believe that the article you are speaking about is right the average household should not have a lot of garbage but still people are exceeding their garbage limits with the cities giving grace days so people can put more than 4 bags of garbage. We have a compost in our backyard and I am trying to use it but not having much luck.

We use our green bin and always eceed our bin because of diapers and stuff

A Watkins Man! said...

Hey there. We've been going to compost in our back yard but with bears in the area in the summer we just haven't tried it yet. How about in your part of the island, any bear/compost problems?

C said...

I did get the e-mail! Thanks! Oooh! It's been ages since I've had any sake or Japanese beer. I think if I had any now, I wouldn't be able to handle it! Not much of a drinker lately!

LOL! You're so funny! :)

C said...

That happened to me once too! When I was first trying to vermicompost, I overfed the worms and they were not very happy! They died. Then another time when I still didn't master the feeding thing, they even tried to flee! I woke up one morning and they were all over the garage! I kept my vermicomposter in the garage at the time. I eventually got the hang of things.

Wow! That's cool! Oh, and I am really interested in the pet waste composter. I hate having to clean the cats' litter box and having to throw away the waste. It's so gross. I'm always looking for a green way of disposing of cat litter and this looks to be one of the better solutions. I'm going to run the idea by Hubby and see what he thinks.

C said...

Hot Mommy:
I still eat those veggie burgers :) They're really yummy! Gosh! I think I introduced you to them in 2000! That's 8 years ago! Crazy!

Yes, I am trying to figure a way to convince my hubby too. The price tag is a bit steep!

C said...

I know what you mean :) I was thinking that when we have babies, would we use reusable diapers or disposable diapers. It's a catch 22 situation, as if we use cloth, we will be using a lot of electricity/water. If we use disposables, then we will be adding to landfill space and I don't like that. Urgh. I guess we'll get there when we get there. We haven't started a family yet, but when we do, I have a friend in Ottawa who makes cloth diapers and he said he would make some for our kids.

Watkins Man:
We haven't had any problems with bears and our compost (knock on wood!). We have our compost by our garden, which is not too far from our house and our dog is out there too. I don't know if having a dog around deters bears at all, but we haven't had any close to the house or garden.

I do know of friends who live just down the road from us and they have had a bear come pretty much up to the house! It's really scary when you have little children around! The bear comes up to the house and opens up their big wooden box where they keep the trash bins in! That's a bit too close for comfort for me!

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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