Here we go: another installment of “The Humphries Save The Planet.” I started composting, and it is not the first time. I tried this at our old house when I had the veggie garden in the backyard. I never got the swing of it though. I went the Martha way, which is to say I had a big wire bin next to the garden and put all of our food scraps in (instructions on that method).

As you could see from the picture in the link, manual labor is a key part. And time – lots and lots of time before you can use the compost in the garden. I had lusted over these nifty things, but as you can see from the price tag I was not about to do that (even if it did give you compost in six easy, non-manual-labor-filled weeks). So I had been thinking on what to do for a while and, feeling guilty every time I emptied the coffee filter or threw lemon rinds in the garbage pail, I knew I could do something easy and cheap. I finally came up with something on the drive to the lake last week. Upon our return, I decided to look online one last time to see if my plan would work. I ran across this great video (which is what my plan mainly consisted of – except I used a drill, and my hair looks way better than hers).

I purchased my trash can from Lowes for $13.00, and Will helped me drill the holes in a pretty pattern. Then we loaded it up with the brown and green matter that we had saved over the last two days, wet it, and gave it a spin. Soon I will show you my black gold!

Here is a list of things you can compost:

  • Animal manure
  • Cardboard rolls
  • Clean paper
  • Coffee grounds and filters
  • Cotton rags
  • Dryer and vacuum cleaner lint
  • Eggshells
  • Fireplace ashes
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Grass clippings
  • Hair and fur
  • Hay and straw
  • Houseplants
  • Leaves
  • Nut shells
  • Sawdust
  • Shredded newspaper
  • Tea bags
  • Wood chips
  • Wool rags
  • Yard trimmings

One last note: I am truly amazed at how much smaller our weekly trash that goes to the street is because of recycling and composting. It has gone down by at least two-thirds and is the most obvious change we have made during this process. This week it is my goal to put up recycling bins for the bathrooms – an easily overlooked place that is full of paper products just being thrown in the trash.