Tuesday, December 1, 2009

My New Garbage Bowl

If we could shorthand the last two weeks to the catchphrase "gratitude," then the next couple weeks could just as easily be termed "preparation". It's become our focus: preparation for the holidays, preparation for the change in weather, preparation for the newest member of our family. But with all of this preparing and the list-writing that typically ensues from such an idea, I'm trying to keep things simple, in the spirit of not rushing (or at least tricking oneself into feeling not rushed). To achieve this, I try to pick things from the list to work on that I feel inspired to work on that day (with the exception of doing those few tasks that have to be completed for that day or the next). I leave the rest for another day, when hopefully, those jobs will seem like the ones that will energize me rather than wear me down.

In true recovering (or not-so-recovering) procrastinator fashion, this leads to some interesting tasks being pulled from the list first, which is how I came to acquire my new garbage bowl.

You may be familiar with the "garbage bowl", made infamous by Racheal Ray. She sets a bowl on the counter as she cooks, whose sole reason for being is to dump her food scraps and trash so she doesn't have to make trips to the garbage can during meal preparation. I have been known to drag out the entire garbage can and place it at the end of the counter to shove food scraps into as I work, therefore omitting the step of carrying or cleaning a garbage bowl. But, for the last two years, following the onset of our adventures in gardening, I've been pining for a compost bin. It just seems silly to keep buying dirt I could make myself. Finding myself with some nice weather last week, and finding this tutorial on a DIY compost bin, I decided it was time to stop pining and start composting.

Now, buying a Rubbermaid container to house our compost might not seem like the most eco-friendly option we could find, but the $7 for a first composting effort beat the heftier prices of already-made compost bins that I've been eyeing for years. I drilled some holes for aeration, and Audrey and I began to layer our compost: shredded newspapers; dried leaves; dirt mixed in with yard waste; food scraps; and more newspaper.

We stirred our waste lasagna, drilled some holes in the Rubbermaid container lid, and popped it in place. Then I found an airtight container (pictured in the first photo). It spends its days under our kitchen sink until I begin preparing meals. Then, like any garbage bowl worth its salt, it takes its place on the counter to catch all the food scraps that can be composted. Every few days I take it out to dump it into the compost bin with more shredded newspapers, dried leaves, or torn-up cardboard toilet paper rolls. Only time will tell how well our compost bin will provide, but as our weather drops down to the forties and I find myself shivering, it's nice to think we're preparing in some small way for the spring to come.

*I also found this pint-sized book, Composting: An Easy Household Guide, by Nicky Scott to be a helpful reference as we built and layered our bin.

(And now back to my list, to see what needs to be done in, ahem, December).

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