I heart compost

I started writing a post about sustainability in general, but there was too much to say! For now i’ll stick to a short post about how much i love compost. Although sadly, part of my drive to be more sustainable means that i now have a lot less vegetable waste. We used to throw out whole, untouched vegetables as i would over-buy and under-cook. I’ve balanced that out now but as a consequence our compost bin is filling rather slowly.

our current compost bin, less than half full!
our current compost bin, less than half full!

Compost is one of those things that needs a continual amount of small work. Does that make sense? Anyway, what i mean to say is that i can see why it is not for everyone. So for my next experiment i’m going to try and compost our own waste but also another household’s worth.

Step 1: I needed to provide my friend’s house with a bucket. I could pay for a new plastic bucket but that would not be very sustainable. I know that supermarket deli’s throw out buckets regularly. If i could scrounge a bucket for free i would not only save a few dollars but save something from going to landfill. I asked at two Woolies (Australia’s leading supermarket) and got denied. Frankly i wasn’t surprised, although it was a bit odd that i got the same nonsensical answer both times:

me: “hi, do you have any fetta buckets you are throwing out?”

deli crank: “No, we use them” *points to one bucket with spoons in it*

I used to work at Woolies delis, i used to open those fetta/olive buckets and toss them in the dumpster when done. If the supplier took them back, or they were somehow recycled, great!, but there is no way they are all ‘used’, forever, in the deli.

Anyway, odd.

The next store i asked at was the other supermarket chain (Coles), and the guy there was lovely, he went and searched out the back straight away and was super nice about the whole thing, without even treating me like some weirdo hippy.*

the bucket!
the bucket!

Step 2: retrieve bucket on a regular basis. The most sustainable way to do this would be on my bike. I took the bike to my volunteering gig today as per usual. I could have detoured on the way home to pick up the bucket (with it’s first vegetable bits!), but it looked like it could rain and my legs were not up for the hill in the middle of the detour….

Step 3: Build a bigger compost heap! This step is getting ahead of things a little.. but I’m happy to assume that my adventures in collecting my friend’s waste (and potentially more?) will go swimmingly. The most sustainable way to do this would be to go to the tip shop (recycling store at the garbage dump) and pick up some old wood. Done! Although we will need a bit more, and some other bits and pieces, so we’ll still have to go to the hardware store. And we’ll pick up the bucket on the way 😉

our wood haul
our wood haul

That’s it for now, I hope my leg strength increases so that i can pick up the bucket on the bike regularly, and so my friends don’t complain that i have left a bucket of rotting vegetable matter on their hands.
*I actually need another bucket, so that i can leave a spare when i retrieve the full one. Hopefully the nice deli assistant can help me out again.

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