Kitchen composting tips start when you’re preparing your meals. There is so much food waste taking place in our own homes and it is so simple to create something amazing from things that may have ended up in the garbage. But I have some kitchen composting tips that will help you keep stink and pests at bay…because who needs that in the kitchen?
What exactly is kitchen waste?
Kitchen waste is what is produced when we are preparing meals. For instance carrot peels, apple cores, tops of veggies we don’t eat (or give to the animals). Basically real food (aka not processed) scraps that would otherwise end up in our trash.
Why compost our kitchen waste?
When we compost our kitchen waste we can turn it into amazingly rich garden soil for our plants. Whether you’re going in a large garden or on your patio, compost is the “black gold” of the garden. Additionally composting scraps means less in our landfills which is better for our environment and future. Not to mention if something goes bad in the fridge, you’ll have a lot less guilt tossing it into your kitchen compost than that trash.
Kitchen Composting Tips
Tip #1 – Know what you can compost and what you can’t.
Most of your real food items are going to go into your compost But I don’t recommend put cooked foods in. The cooking process pretty much depletes the food of the good nutrients you’d wan them to add to your soil, so they really aren’t doing your compost bin any good except taking up space. Stick to your raw foods, and organic non-gmo foods are best; we don’t want residual pesticides in you or your garden! I have a list of 10 Things to Never Compost to help guide you.
Tip #2 – Pick a Container
The type of container you use will depend on a couple of factors. First consider how often you plan to dump your counter top compost into a larger compost bin. A plastic bin is fine if you empty it more often; because plastic will allow more smell to escape and simply won’t last as long as your stainless compost bins. You may also want to consider the size of the bin and where you’ll be keeping it. Most counter top varieties are about 1 gallon and won’t take up a ton of space. They come in a different shapes and materials to fit into many different decors. You also might consider keeping it under the sink or even a space saver that mounts onto a cabinet door.
If you really want to be thrifty…and re-use materials you already, you can make your own kitchen composter from an old coffee can.
Just make sure whatever container you choose, it has a secure lid to keep out fruit flies and the like.
Tip #3 – Keep it Clean
Make sure that you are giving your container a good cleaning after emptying it. Also it is a good idea to dry the container thoroughly because wet scraps tend to be stinkier.
Tip#4 – Cut it Down
Smaller pieces break down faster, so if you can make your scraps smaller that helps the entire process. But don’t take a lot of extra time cutting stuff up; if it becomes tedious you won’t want to do it anymore.
Tip #5 – Chill Out
If you are not creating a lot of scraps or not emptying your container often you might want to consider keeping a sealed bowl or baggie in the refrigerator. This will save counter and cabinet space and less chance for any smells because the food won’t break down as quickly.
Tip #6 – Check Out Other Composting Methods
Traditional composting is awesome but there are a couple others that would be worth looking into. These could be especially helpful if you do not have a large outside compost to empty into.
Bokashi – “Bokashi composting is a process of fermentation that quickly and easily converts food waste into highly productive compost. The key to the bokashi process is fermentation. Through fermentation, bokashi composting generates the specialized microbes, yeast and fungi that are the primary building blocks of a healthy and productive soil structure”. [from Bokashi Living]
I have a Bokashi Bucket and I have found it to be an amazing asset to my compost and garden. I also like that I don’t have to empty a container outside as often because the bucket holds a lot more than the counter top containers. Not to mention it is a super fast method.
Vermicomposting – This method uses earth worms to break down your food scraps and create a rich soil or soil additive for your garden. Check out this Vermicomposting 101 for more details! Starting with a ready-made system can be really helpful (this kit even comes with everything you need including DVD and Book instructions). However there are some great tutorials on creating your own worm bin fairly easily.
I hope these kitchen composting tips help you feel more confident and you start composting today!