Tuesday, October 6, 2009


The two of us (Martin and I) have had a lot on our minds lately. And to be honest, from the time we started spending most of our time together we realized we often have the same questions and concerns. Number one on our list for a while now has been the current situation of our earth, and how we as humans (especially Americans) affect it. Did you know that if everyone in the world lived like the average American, we would need over 7 earths to provide the resources used. (Just a not-fun fact). Of course we live here, so resources will be used, and hopefully in time we will learn to use less, but something we have 100% control over is what we throw away, and what we ourselves choose to use and reuse and use less of. We both have always tried our best to recylce, and not litter, and reuse water bottles, but really that only goes so far. When we started our garden, I immediately thought, we should start a compost bin. Compost is great for your garden, you can put all food and yard waste in it, and it's that much less that's going somewhere else. The problem, that we learned is, we don't know that much about building, or compost ;) My dad also told us that compost bins can attract rats and can really smell up your yard, so we put that idea to rest, but we looked into other forms of composting. After a few weeks of google searches and researching we found the perfect solution, and we think it may be the perfect solution for all of you as well!!

The Nature Mill Compact Composter is an amazing new product that allows you to compost all food waste right in your kitchen. It's about the size of small trashcan, and flows with the look of a kitchen. You can put almost all food waste and paper in the nature mill, eliminating so much of what you throw out day to day. Also, it provides you with an incredibly rich soil for your garden, which we're most excited about! Hopefully by next growing season we won't even need to buy top soil from the store because we'll have so much stored up. Essentially how this mini composter works is the waste you throw in it, is tossed every few hours, allowing the food to oxidize and deteriorate. It uses very very little electricity because it's only technically on for a few seconds a few times a day. After just a few days anything you put inside starts to look like compost, but I think 2 weeks is a sufficient time. So within a few weeks, you can fill it, push the button, and a few days later that food waste will be composted and dropped in the bottom container where you can then pull it out and put it straight into your garden. You can compost up to 120 lbs of food waste a month, which is 5 lbs a day!! You can compost anything from moldy or dry bread, to fish and egg shells, stems, leftover dinner, anything!! The first day we had the composter we cleaned out the fridge and filled it almost half way with things that were going to be thrown away in a day or two anyways, and it was awesome!!
Here's a little information from the company:
The Biodegradable Irony
Food and paper decompose by themselves in nature. They are, however, the two largest components in landfills, accounting for nearly 50% of all municipal solid waste. There is more food and paper in landfills than diapers, styrofoam, and tires — combined. According to the US EPA, food waste is the #1 least recycled material.
Landfills are layered deep and saturated with water. No oxygen can penetrate. As a result, even "biodegradable" waste will remain embalmed for centuries to come. Landfills produce methane, a harmful greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide (according to the US EPA), and leach toxic chemicals into our air and drinking water.
On a more urgent note, we are running out of landfill space—that is, open space reasonably close to population centers. Stories abound of trash barges with no place to dock, ocean dumping, and trash exported to poorer countries. Landfill costs are skyrocketing, which means higher fees (or taxes) for everyone. The organic nutrients present in food and paper waste are removed from the food chain, requiring gardeners and farmers to instead rely on chemical fertilizers to replenish their soil. National and local governments around the world are enacting regulations to limit trash and increase recycling.
NatureMill brings composting to the home user. It is essentially a miniature in-vessel system. Waste is collected right where it is generated—in the kitchen. A computer controls the temperature, air flow, moisture, and mixing to accelerate the process and eliminate the backbreaking work. Everything is fully self contained in a modern, attractive container. Just a few square feet of floor space is required. No special plumbing or electrical connections are needed, other than a standard electrical outlet. There is no need to handle and transport the rotting material.
Best of all, NatureMill provides home gardeners with a source of rich, organic fertilizer. And there is something uniquely satisfying about witnessing the entire food chain: from the garden, to the dining table, and back to the garden again.

Check out the NatureMill website, and at least give it a read though. We can all do our part to help out the earth and at least be educated on the matter.

Also, I just read in the news that California has so much waste per resident that we can no longer keep our garbage in our own state!! How crazy is that?! We are going to have to start shipping our garbage and anything that would be going to a landfill to other neighboring states because the current landfills we have are not decomposing at a rate fast enough for the amount of trash we have. There's a big problem, and I know there are problems in every area of life and all over the world, but this can be such an easy fix. Just use and waste less. And if you have a family and live in a home, it is even easier. Because you have a yard, and you have a garbage service that collects your recyclables. A composter might not work for your lifestyle, but you can still make some changes!!!

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1 comment:

  1. I recently was in San Fran and stayed at a B&B. They had 2 compost machines on their deck. This one makes it seem like you should keep it inside. Keep us posted and let us know if it starts to smell.