A Bucket of Slop (Composting):
The last time I wrote about Zero Waste, I talked about some of the grosser parts of reducing one’s waste. I mentioned that we don’t compost because we live in an apartment, which is something I have lamented for years since I grew up composting. Our across the street neighbors have a fancy contraption for composting, which we immediately wrote off for lack of funding. Then I came across this project on my favorite design blog, Young House Love, and I felt a little silly. It was this easy all along?
They’re the DIY wizards, so I’ll let you click over to check out their tutorial, but I can tell you that the bin cost us $7.99 at Target, and I drilled a lot more holes than they called for. We borrowed the drill from Sean’s dad for the installation of an electronic dart board, and luckily it came with some drill bits so I could live my composting dream.
The bin now lives by the retaining wall in our backyard, but it could just as easily live on our porch or somewhere else on the property, for those of you with even more limited space. There are a lot of fruit fries around it, but for something filled with rotting vegetables, it sure doesn’t smell very bad, and only recently started smelling a little off because I was neglecting to stir it. Here’s a picture of where it is (I’ll spare you the pictures of the compost in my compost bin, because, really, who wants to see that?):
I was nervous about not having enough room inside, but it’s barely half full, and we’ve been using it for a good two months now. I’m not sure what to expect when the winter comes. Maybe the heat of decay will keep things going for awhile?
Aside from meat scraps, we are able to put all of our cooking waste in there, including the coffee grinds from our French press, and with those no longer sitting in our garbage, and including the fact that we rarely cook with meat, most weeks the only garbage we put on the curb is from the kitty boxes. It’s pretty darn-tootin exciting, if you ask me. Now if only we could get some pigs…
Airing One’s Laundry (Line Drying):
Ignoring the fact that drying clothes in our dryer costs money, there is something really romantic and rustic about line drying clothes. You know, aside from your underpants being out there, waving in the breeze. It takes more time, and you don’t get that “laundry smell” — am I the only one who hates that smell? — but you do get that clean, fresh, outdoor smell. Although I have yet to see a large reduction in our electricity bill, I’m really glad I started doing this.
Also, for those of you who share my germophobia and are interested in starting using microfiber cloths in place of paper towels, you may be interested to know that the sun is a natural sterilizer. UV light is used in water/wastewater treatment plants for disinfection (in place of chlorine, which can create harmful byproducts if there is organic matter in the water), and it can also be used to disinfect your cleaning cloths. So, after you’ve washed your cloths in hot, sudsy water (I just chuck them in the machine with my towels and some 7th Generation), dry them in the sun, and you have perfectly germ-free cloths without having used any bleach or other environmentally unfriendly materials.