I’ve started composting! It’s been about two weeks and I’m enjoying it.
I know this isn’t huge news, but for me this decision has been months in the making. I’ve wanted to start composting since the spring time, in part because of how much I cook. My trashcan was always full of food scraps smelling up the kitchen. I am also a bit of a hippie and my crunchy granola heart loves the idea of reducing my waste. So, I wanted to do it, but I couldn’t just jump in. It’s not my way. I had to hem and haw about it first.
In fact, it took me all summer to actually get composting. But first, what is composting? It’s recycling organic material – like produce scraps, egg shells, and cut flowers – and letting it decompose and turn into a nutrient rich soil. There are various types of composting, and what I’m doing is “backyard composting,” so this is a worm-free endeavor.
Thought I’d mention this, as a curious neighbor, asked me about worms as he eyed me suspiciously with my bucket in the elevator. Anyway, I was enticed by the idea that my kitchen waste could do some good, but it seemed silly to do this given that I don’t have a yard.
So I started with research. I looked up companies, farmer’s markets, and city initiatives that do any type of composting work in DC. I price compared, analyzed lists of what I could compost, and thought about ideal pick-up and drop-off times. Then I had to talk about doing it. I talked about composting to Ryan, to my friends, my boss, and the building management company. I was getting mildly obsessed.
And as the summer passed, I watched myself throw away corn husks, carrot shavings, onion skins, and tomato tops. I started to feel guilty. All of that stuff could be doing good. So finally, finally, I signed up with Compost Cab. I know that this is a luxury, and a bit of an unusual one, so I feel lucky to be able to make this lifestyle choice.
My bucket arrived about two weeks ago and I immediately ran to the kitchen to chop vegetables, prepare dinner, and start composting. The bucket is big and lined with a biodegradable bag. Once food is inside, we can’t smell it from the outside (a big improvement from a trashcan!). Then once a week, I leave the bucket in the lobby and Compost Cab comes to empty it. They take my scraps and truly turn it into soil. Twice a year, if I want it, I can have some of the soil, otherwise they’ll donate it to partner farms.
I think it’s a good deal, and two weeks in I’m into it. It’s yet another reason for me to get excited about cooking and baking!
Are you composting in the city? Any advice, stories, or cautions? Other hippie tips for being eco-friendly in the kitchen? I’d love to know!