My husband and I do a lot of composting of our food waste. It’s really not that hard… well, for me. He’s the one who goes and turns the compost pile, things like that. I just make sure the food scraps I make end up in the pile in the first place.
Some food waste is going to happen. If you peel a cucumber, obviously that’s going into the compost pile. Same for chopping the dried up end from broccoli.
But other food waste could be avoided if you just pay more attention. This is one of the areas where composting helps me to notice it more. It’s a rather more concious act than just scraping the leftovers into the trash. Or worse, the fresh fruits and vegetables you forgot to use before they spoiled.
Of course, not all leftovers are suited to the compost bin. Cooked foods don’t go well in a lot of them, nor does meat. Citrus peels tend to decompose very slowly. And worms just plain don’t like onions or citrus.
Our compost bin was pretty easy for my husband to make. Our landlords left a bunch of scrap construction materials, including a bunch of cinderblocks. He stacked those into a 3-sided box. The fourth side is open for easy access, and we keep the pile lightly covered.
Compost piles can accept more than just food. Soak and shred old cardboard, and throw it in. Other kinds of paper can work too. Leaves and grass can go in.
There are a lot of options for those who don’t want to build their own compost bin. Amazon carries a nice variety of composting supplies, and of course books on composting too. Green and More also carries a few composters in their garden department.
Of course, while composting can help you to become more aware of what you’re wasting, it’s still best if you can remember to eat the food you bought, rather than sending it to the compost bin.
One trick I use is to eat leftovers from the previous night’s dinner for lunch whenever possible. I’ve been trying to get my husband to do likewise, since otherwise he eats lunches that are cheap and convenient, rather than healthy or green. If I fall behind, excess leftovers go into the freezer if they freeze at all well.
Leftover salads and chopped raw veggies, of course, don’t fall into this group very well, but they are popular in my house. I know I overdid a salad if it ends up compost. Chopped veggies are such wonderful snacks for the kids that I guess I should be grateful my kids love them so.
While composting doesn’t solve all the problems associated with wasting food, it does take care of it filling up landfills, and puts the extras to some sort of a use. We’re pretty happy gardeners around here, so our compost ends up helping to produce some pretty nice food for our family.