Hello internet friends! Today, I’m doing something a little different. Although most of my content is either science-based, recipe-based, or eats-based, today, I’m sharing more of a “how I do this” style post, to document how I compost at home in a studio apartment, and going over what is in fact, compostable.
There are many reasons to compost, and investing time and energy into your own backyard compost bin certainly has its benefits. Perhaps in another post, I could dive into that topic more deeply, but I am less familiar with the actual execution of outdoor composting compared to indoor composting.
Composting indoors in a small space is much different than composting outside in a yard with a designated bin. While I hope to one day have a legitimate compost set-up, and use my compost to nourish my garden, I am at a stage of life where that is not in my nearly forseeable future. For the past many years, and at present, I live in a small studio apartment, with about 500 feet of rented space to my name.
What I am sharing today is not an exhaustive instructional manual on how to compost, but rather, a couple of tips I have from doing this myself for a few years. If you are interested in composting in your apartment and don’t know where to start, I hope you find this post useful in some way. Now, let’s compost!
First of all, what is compost?
According to the EPA, compost is organic material that can be added to soil to help plants grow.
Composting is the biological decomposition of solid organic materials into a humus-like substance. It is a naturally occurring aerobic process (meaning it requires oxygen). Microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi (among others) break down the organic compounds.
The process is affected by multiple parameters, including temperature, and surrounding levels of oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, and moisture. There are optimal ranges of each parameter to ensure composting efficiency, and the science of composting is quite interesting. However, I will save all that for another post, and in this post, share some tools and tips for how to get started in small spaces.
Food scraps and yard waste make up 28% of what is thrown away.
Composting these materials, rather than placing them in the trash, not only prevents them from ending up in landfills where they take up space and release methane (a potent greenhouse gas), but also help to create an organic material that can be used to fertilize plants.
Although it requires a bit of effort, it can help reduce your carbon footprint, and (at least in my opinion), it can be oddly satisfying to see how much less trash you produce when composting compostable waste.
How I compost at home in a small studio apartment:
Composting in a small studio apartment requires a bit of creativity. In a small space with no ventilation, a large, complete outdoor compost system is out of the question.
But, there are things that I have done (and that you can do too) to ensure an odor-free, mess-free, relatively hassle-free composting experience.…