Thursday, April 29, 2010

Don’t Miss this Fantastic, Bombastic, Once-in-a-Lifetime-Year Opportunity

Do you enjoy saving money and love composting? Then holy moly have I got a deal for you!

Next Saturday, May 8th we are hosting our annual Compost Bin Sale at Cincinnati State and Princeton High School from 9-2. I’m especially excited because if we’re successful, hundreds of residents will purchase a bin and become brand new composters! Each compost bin leaving the event means a potential 600 pounds of food and yard waste diverted from the landfill every year! I get all warm and fuzzy inside just thinking of all the environmental benefits.

Super Duper Discounted Deal
We’ll be selling the Earth Machine Compost Bin for not $100, not even $50, but an unbelievable $35! We’ll also have nifty accessories like compost turners and kitchen collection pails. The bins are available on a first come, first served basis so ACT NOW! (well not really "now" more like the morning of Saturday, May 8th).

And We’ll Throw in Expert Advice for Free!
This year we are not only selling deeply discounted compost bins and cool accessories. We will have a special compost demonstration area with Master Composters answering questions, several types of bins on display, and regular presentations. Wow, what a deal!

But Wait, There’s More!
We will also be giving away free “I heart compost” car bumper magnets to the first 500 people who stop by! No purchase necessary! You just have to be crazy enough about composting to show us some love and stop by the event.

Before I come down from my iced caffeinated beverage high (which apparently makes me think I'm writing an infomercial), I want to encourage you to share your love for composting by spreading the word about the sale. Tell your mother, brother, second cousin, and best friends from grade school. You can invite people through Facebook or just send them the link below. This deal only comes once a year, so don’t miss out!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Composting Benefits Everyone Ought to Know

In honor of Earth Day, I’ve decided to give all you lovely composters a pat on the back and explain how backyard composting benefits our planet. So here are the top three environmental reasons to compost (a.k.a. how to green-guilt your friends and family into starting a compost bin of their own).

1. DIY Soil Enhancer
Finished compost adds important nutrients to your soil and since it’s homemade, you’re not driving to the store to purchase a prepackaged bag of fertilizer that was shipped from who knows where. Compost additionally improves our heavy clay soils by adding a much sought after humus layer in which plants thrive.

But get this- compost also binds heavy metals, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and other nasties to prevent them from migrating into the water or being absorbed by plants (

I definitely prefer my broccoli without a side of PAH.

2. Saving the Climate Naturally
Bear with me, I’m about to get all sciency. When plants decompose, they naturally release the carbon dioxide (CO2) absorbed during their life. Plants - and their food counterparts - also do this in your compost bin. It’s okay, that’s what they’re supposed to do.

But when buried in the landfill with no air, food and yard waste decompose anaerobically and release… (scary organ music: da...da...daaa) …methane instead. The problem is that methane traps heat almost 21 times more effectively than CO2.

In other words, composting in your backyard reduces greenhouse gas impact and global climate change. Yay for you!

3. Reduce Waste
Food and yard waste make up almost half of what residents send to the landfill. Composting means you put less waste at the curb leading to lighter garbage and yard waste trucks, longer life at the landfill, and smiles all around.

Composting has quite a few other benefits I have not mentioned, such as reducing water usage, preventing erosion, and decreasing fertilizers in storm water. If you can think of any others, please post a comment.

Backyard composting is not just fun (hey, I’m easily amused), it kicks some serious patooty in the environmental benefit arena. We composters really celebrate earth day, every day.

Happy Earth Day!!!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Three Foods Forbidden in Backyard Composting

Sometimes it’s fun to break the rules, live on the edge, go against the grain. Some rules were meant to be broken, but not these. So hang up your leather jacket and pack away the electric guitar at least long enough to read this post. I am telling you in my best patronizing tone (with my finger wagging) “Kids, you need to keep these foods out of your bin. It’s for your own good.”

Don’t Say Cheese
We have very little meat in my house but we make up for it in cheese. Swiss, muenster, cheddar, goat (mmmm…goat cheese), at any given time my fridge holds at least 6 or 7 varieties. But I will not compost them and not just because I could not bear my precious cheeses falling to such a fate.

Composting cheese will make your pile smelly and attract raccoons, rats, and other hungry critters to your bin. This goes for milk, butter, and any other dairy items as well. Dairy + Compost = Gross.

Your Compost Pile is Vegetarian
And you never want to force meat on a vegetarian. It isn’t pretty. Take it from my mom who had to deal with one annoying, teenage, budding-vegetarian daughter (who shall remain anonymous) in a family of carnivores.

Meat does eventually compost but your backyard pile is not hot enough to safely decompose the meat fast enough. Flies (and their resulting maggoty offspring) will set up camp in your bin if you try to compost meat. Consider yourself warned.

Oil will Spoil
Oil will coat anything it touches in your pile, smothering the microbes and slowing down decomposition. Oil also fills up pore spaces in the compost, squeezing out air and water which could cause the pile to stink.

So if you have any leftover oil-laden foods like french fries (yeah, right) or dressing coated salad, it’s better to just throw them in the trash.

I know it’s hard to fight the urge to throw every bit of leftover food in the bin. But keeping these forbidden foods out of your compost bin will result in a much better smelling, healthier compost. Resist the rebellious streak and follow this rule. Your compost bin will thank you.