I'm grateful to be surrounded by friends who encourage me to be greener through their own practices. A couple of years ago I started separating items that can be used for compost from the rest of my trash. I compost primarily because it means I'm creating less trash (less visits to the garbage chute, less use of garbage bags). Once you start composting you realize how much of what you used to think was waste is actually usable for gardening (yours or someone else's). This year we've been aiming to incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables into our cooking and composting is a great way to monitor if we're on track. The healthier we're eating, the more compostables we are collecting.

I had a few reservations before starting: Will storing the scraps make my kitchen smelly? What will I do with the food scraps I collect (I live in a New York City apartment- thus no yard)?

First off, there's been no odor issue. I took a tip from a lovely friend to store the scraps in the freezer rather than use a counter top bin. In addition to preventing smells, freezing speeds up the decomposition process once the scraps get added to a compost bin.

But now freezer space is prime kitchen real estate, so I needed to have a plan for what to do with my scraps. This is where my local farmers market came into play. Four days a week I can swing by and drop off my compost as so many others do with the Lower East Side Ecology Center, which collects at New York's Union Square Green Market.

A look at our compost

and the bin.
That's what I used to do. My significant other, who can garden because he lives in suburban Queens, realized what a shame it was that he wasn't reaping the benefits of our composting.  So we took a trip to the Queens Botanical Garden and purchased our very own compost bin. So now there's more transport involved (getting frozen food scraps from Manhattan to Queens regularly) but we'll be enriching our garden with great nutrients this year, and for many more to come!

Apr 3, 2013 Posted in | , , , , | 4 Comments »

One Responses to "Recycling Your Food Scraps"

  1. Sabz says:

    Wow, this was very interesting. I'm not one for doing this but I always commend people who do!

  1. Unknown says:

    This is amazing! I always feel bad about throwing so many things away, knowing that we could recycle ... but a lot of it is because we live in an apartment. You definitely inspired me! Thank you for sharing. You got my wheels turning. :)

  1. Mama Harris says:

    I've been wanting to start a compost bin, I make so much from scratch and use so many fresh fruits and vegetables, I hate seeing so much of it go in the garbage can. You have given me some great ideas, my husband has a green thumb and I've been wanting to start a garden so now I can use the compost for gardening or I can donate to our farmer's market in town. Thank you! I am always looking for ways to be just a little greener!

  1. Lisa Quinones-Fontanez says:

    Thank you for this!! Every little bit helps makes a difference

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