Thinking of becoming a composter? Stop, before you run and purchase a composting kit, or better yet, before you dedicate a portion of your yard for a compost pile stop and think. Composting is more than an activity. It’s a mindset and a way of life.
Thankfully, going green is getting much more exposure. Daytime television shows are offering tips and advice on how to go green. There are gadgets to save electricity, clocks that run on water, energy efficient lights and tips for inflating your tires properly to save on fuel. These are all great tips and it would behoove anyone reading this article to do a little research on how to go green, but before even that, realize going green is a mindset.
Talk or Action
Discussing the benefits of creating a compost pile at a dinner party sounds admirable, but there comes a time when talk has to become action. Things like remembering to separate normal household trash from potential composting material will take some getting used to. Napkins, paper towels and uncoated paper plates are great in a compost pile, but are you ready to accumulate soiled napkins?
That cardboard box is great organic material and will serve your geraniums well once its broken down into useable soil, but are you willing to tear, cut or even put it through a shredder to make the composting process easier? Once you’ve thought about separating the compost from the trash, remember, if it stays around in the house too long, it will most definitely stink (Broccoli stalks take on a life of their own).
When to Compost?
Once you’ve accumulated enough organic material to throw into your compost pile, when do you compost? First thing in the morning after brushing your teeth or after the children get home for school or right before bed. This is where the faint of heart are separated from the true composters.
Most composting occurs outdoors. This means you’ll have to go out in all weather to dump your remnants. Yes, there are times when a spider has just given birth and you find your compost receptacle is crawling with creatures that would make the toughest of campers flee. You still have to open the top and plop. More than just plopping, you might have to mix and/or add water. After a few days of composting less than aromatic organic materials, you’ll wonder if it’s worth it.
The Composting Mindset
This is where the proper mindset really kicks in. Why are you composting? Surely its not to become one with natures insects. You’re doing it because its something you can do to help preserve the earth. You’ll be rewarded when you’re able to pull out nutrient rich soil from your compost pile for your plants and watch them grow knowing that you had a hand in the process.
Additionally, composting raises awareness of what to buy and what to leave on the store shelf. Packaging is important. When the clerk asks “paper or plastic”, you may find yourself requesting paper.
You’ll become aware of other things too, like how long you run the water when you brush your teeth. You’ll question whether or not to use paper plates and paper napkins. Paper towels, are something we’ve become accustomed to, but how about purchasing several little kitchen towels. Hang a few on the paper towel rack. You’ll be surprised how you’ll soon modify your disposable paper consumption.
Composting is something everyone with the means and space should do. However, before its put into practice, you’ve got to adopt the proper mindset. It’s like having children, changing poopie diapers isn’t fun, but its part of the bargain and well worth it.