Composting might seem like an environmental act, however, I find that in my sustainable homemaking, it’s a critical part of the self-sufficient life I crave.
- “Sustainable means using methods, systems and materials that won’t deplete resources or harm natural cycles” (Rosenbaum, 1993).
- Sustainability “identifies a concept and attitude in development that looks at a site’s natural land, water, and energy resources as integral aspects of the development” (Vieira,1993)
- “Sustainability integrates natural systems with human patterns and celebrates continuity, uniqueness and placemaking” (Early, 1993)
By doing as little damage as I can to the environment that my children will inherit accomplishes many things besides. Composting household materials creates a wonderful resource, hence compost, with which to grow food for my family today.
Two years ago, I became the owner of a rock-hard, clayish soil called my backyard. Today, my garden plot is full of rich, black soil that is full of large worms, has been cultivated aggressively with compost.
This weekend, I took a stroll around my home and found quite a few items that are biodegradable that you may not be away of.
Above, I started with paper….lots of paper, that continually shows up at this house. Mailings, bills, school papers, catalogs, kid’s drawings etc. can all be composted! You should shred, tear or cut paper for faster decomposition in your compost pile.
In the kitchen, this pitiful bag of chocolate chip cookies lays on the counter. I’m not quite sure what happened here, I know the “baker” who made these struggled a bit….ok, a lot. Now, I could probably find a recipe to make with these and I’ve been known to do that….just another way of “composting”.
However, I’m crazy busy right now in the garden so I’m going to compost them. Huh?! Compost cookies? Sure, as long as they aren’t a primary ingredient in your pile, they should break down just fine.
Now to the desk. Ah, the homeschooler’s desk is always a mess, but full of compostable items! Pencil shavings are wonderful to compost!
This is what my crayon box looks like, full of little pieces of paper and broken pencils, much of which can be composted!
After a good clean-out and reorganization, I had my “compost” items….
Can you see how sustainable homemaking can benefit your household? AND keep it cleaner….
Speaking of ‘cleaner’, what about the vacuum cleaners? Those bags and contents are compostable, assuming you use paper bags.
We use 2 upright vacuums along with a canister and all the bags, with the exception of a small rubber piece, are compostable. Look how much I’ve gathered in just a few minutes!
Your laundry room likely holds some wonderful ingredients for your compost pile, things like lint, tags from clothing, receipts and other junk from pockets as well as plant leaves can all be composted!
I frequently rummage through waste baskets looking for things I can compost, like toilet paper rolls and hair from brushes.
So, out to the compost pile I go to dump all of my goodies, look how much I was able to find in my sustainable household in less than one hour? YOU can too!
When I put a lot of carbon (browns) in my pile, I like to add a layer of “greens” to it as well. Actually, greens and browns should be at a 3:1 ratio to insure timely breakdown.
The wonderful benefits of composting are:
* You rid your home of rubbish and trash.
* You benefit your food production naturally and it doesn’t cost you a dime.
* You use your body to collect these things and deliver them outside to your compost pile, not to mention the energy you’ll burn turning your pile!