Recently I watched a documentary called Dive inspired by a curiosity about our country’s careless habit of sending millions of pounds of food into landfills. In the film, the director and his friends dumpster dive salvaging thousands of dollars of good, edible, fresh food from grocery stores like Trader Joes. Right after seeing the film, we had to house sit in a home where they compost. I couldn’t believe how easy it was.

 How to Compost in The Kitchen:

Sits attractively on the kitchen counter

In the year 2000, each person in the United States threw away approximately 4.5 pounds of waste each day, totaling 231.9 million tons of municipal solid waste. Food scraps accounted for 11.2% of that landfill weight, amounting to 25.9 million tons of food waste produced in the U.S. in 2001. Only 2.6% or 676,000 pounds of food waste was recovered for composting in 2000.

What can we do to reduce that number? Kitchen compost!

Buy a counter compost container as seen in the photo. If you don’t want to invest in one of these, doubled paper grocery bags will do nicely.

We keep one brown bag under the sink for plastic and glass containers and now another bag for kitchen compost. Into the kitchen compost bag goes all the eggshells, carrot peels, grapefruit and orange rinds, coffee grounds, date pits, squash seeds, zucchini ends, broccoli stalks, cauliflower stems–all parts of any vegetable and fruit that we don’t eat.

When the bag gets full it simply goes into the dark green yard waste bin. Since we don’t consume dairy products, the bag doesn’t smell. If you garden, add compost to your garden to add all the nutrients from the fruit and vegetable scraps back into the soil. Add compost a few weeks before you plant. Let the compost have a chance to work into the soil. Try to mix it in and let it sit before you plant.

Why Compost?

By simply separating your food scraps and tossing them into the yard waste bin, you are taking responsibility for the depletion of the earth’s natural resources, reducing disposal costs and the need for more landfill space, stalling increased consumer food costs, preventing the increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and limiting world hunger. It’s easy. It’s free. It works. It’s the LAW in San Francisco. If you already compost, please post comments to inspire those of us who don’t. To your health!

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