Composting for Beginners: 2 Ways to Use Your Scraps

Curious about what happens to the banana peels, citrus rinds and apple cores you toss in the trash can? Otherwise known as “food scraps,” these often-discarded items are doomed for an after-life in a landfill—not the best use of these functional remains.

According to The Guardian, “Americans waste 150,000 tons of food each day—equal to a pound per person.”

I understand that waste, in some cases, is inevitable on a large scale (after all, we can’t control what a big-box grocery store deems fit for its shelves). However, I suggest giving composting a try. It doesn’t matter where you live or whether you have a garden. Composting can be for everyone! Check out the following ways to make it work for you:

The freezer method
Living in an apartment or dorm room? No problem! Start collecting your food scraps in a brown paper bag, which is compostable, or air-tight container. I keep my brown paper bag in the freezer and add my food scraps every time I prepare food. As the bag fills up, I simply remove it and bring it to a local farm. A quick Google search will most likely yield several community gardens in your area (look into gardening programs at nearby schools and nursing homes, too!). Call each one until you find an organization that will accept your scraps!

You can also share your soil with your neighbors! Perhaps they will share some fresh goodies with you for helping their garden grow strong.

Composting for your garden

Start with soil. Place it at the bottom of your compost container then add  food scraps and other organic matter to the container, mixing periodically. Top the mixture with more soil and continue the cycle. Use this organic soil in your home garden.

Composting is one of the best ways to reduce food waste. It requires virtual zero energy on your part and leaves you with healthy, nutrient-dense soil to grow your next harvest!

If you do not have an outside garden, check out 7 Things to Do with Compost if You Don’t Garden.