Thursday, May 20, 2010

Are you composting yet?

I got all excited about composting again this week after talking to a co-worker who purchased composting bins on a great sale at the City of Winnipeg Compost Bin Sale. My spouse and I used to compost but then sold our house and now that we have bought a new house and have a huge backyard again, it's time to compost again! Yes, I know that I should have kept on composting while I was in my apartment and wish that I had.

Composting is so easy to do. When I first started 6 years ago, I did some research online and then also attended a free workshop on composting. I even lucked out and won a free little kitchen scraps compost bin.

Basically, you just toss all of your fruit and veggie scraps, coffee grinds, and leaves into the bin. You can add in shredded newspaper strips if you have. I remember that the Winnipeg Free Press used vegetable ink (non-toxic) so their newspaper was compost friendly. Every once in a while you turn the compost pile to keep it working. Add water if the compost pile gets too dry. And remember to never put in dairy or meat products. That last part is easy for me as I'm vegetarian but there are some meat lovers in my family so I need to remind them. See Resource Conservation Manitoba for more detailed composting instructions.

When your composting is complete, you will have nutrient-rich soil to put on your garden or lawn. There is so much we do that depletes soil and nutrients, so this is one easy, easy thing you can do to give back to the earth. It's so important. You can also reduce the amount of trash you toss by 50% each week. This is defintely something you can feel good about.

Myth: Won't these same items compost in landfills?
Truth: No, items that will compost in a compost pile will not compost and breakdown properly in a landfill because the conditions aren't right for composting. You need a mix of brown materials and green materials.

Other composting tips:
If you are a Starbucks addict like me, ask your Starbucks barista if they have any extra used coffee grinds for your garden. They have a program called Grounds for Your Garden.

It looks like the City of Winnipeg has extended their compost bin and rain barrel sale until June 30th with pickup on July 11th!

Do you have any composting tips to share? Are you involving your children in composting? If so, how are they enjoying composting and what do they think of it? Please let us know.


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