I did! And I’m really excited about it!
Why is composting green? Because food scraps that are put in your garbage go to a landfill, and once at the landfill, those materials become part of a huge pile of waste that doesn’t get any oxygen, and thus those materials never break down. Because they never break down, the nutrients from those materials don’t ever go back into the ground. And if you put your food scraps down the garbage disposal, energy is used up by the disposal unit, water is used up to work with the garbage disposal, and the water utility company has to use more energy and water to clean that water. But by composting, you can keep all of those great nutrients for your own garden and avoid sending your food scraps to the landfill or down the sink!
On to my composting system – I had wanted a new compost system for awhile and got a really nice one for my recent birthday from my husband. Most people would not want a composter as a birthday present, but I have always been fascinated by watching things decompose. Since we have a house now I feel like it’s easier to become more involved in gardening and make longer term plans about my garden, such as how awesome the soil is going to be once I have some compost (3-4 months) to add to it. When we were renting an apartment or house, I did a little gardening but I just never got into it as much, in part because I didn’t want to have to move a lot of heavy pots and gardening equipment (like a composter) once we eventually moved.
I’ve had the composter set up for about a week and things are looking good. Here’s a pic of the leaves and yard waste and cardboard scraps I started off with: Since then I’ve been putting all of our non-meat and non-dairy food scraps in as well. The ratio of “dry” material (like leaves, grass, and cardboard) versus wet material (food scraps) is supposed to be about 60-40 or 70-30. The compost is supposed to have the consistency of a washcloth you’ve gotten wet and then rung out – it should be a little wet but not too much. (I learned these facts and more and the composting class I took with Carsi a few months ago. Now if you take those classes and agree to switch to a 30 gallon trash can (if you don’t have one already) you can get a $75 rebate on a composting system. Check here for more information on the city of Austin program. )