Easy Garden Composting | 3 Step Method

Compost, Garden Composting, Sustainability, Gardening, Recycling, Compost Bin, DIY Compost Bin, DIY Projects

 

Easy garden composting is by far is the easiest method of composting that I’ve tried. You already know that I’ve composted using my DIY compost bin but during seasons when I’m feeling lazy, I do something a little bit different.

Instead of layering my kitchen scraps in my compost bin, I take them right out to the garden and layer them. This is what I call garden composting.

Garden Composting

1. Dig a hole in your flower bed around 7 – 12 inches deep.

2. Pour in your compost material. (See list of acceptable compost material)

3. Add a layer of cardboard or newspaper.

4. Fill the hole back in with dirt.

Like I said, garden composting is the simplest form of composting I’ve ever done but here is a warning regarding this method.

  • You probably don’t want to do this on a daily basis unless you have a humungous garden or more than one garden bed. I’ve never had a problem but I’m sure that over dumping scrap can attract bugs and  unwanted critters.
  •  It takes several months for scraps to decompose so if you don’t overfill your garden with scraps, they will feed your plants and not attract bugs.

Reasons why do I compost?

  1. It saves me money on fertilizer
  2. It helps the environment by reducing the amount of waste in landfills.
  3. It allows me to do my part to create a sustainable planet (Genesis 1)
  4. I’m passing on good habits to my children on how to manage their homes, keep a garden and reduce expenses.

Composting is very easy to do, doesn’t require a lot of time and provides a wealth of benefits. When I open up my compost bins each year, I am excited about how the scraps turn into fertilizer for my gardens.

Not only does my family get to use the material in my compost bins for its main purpose, we also get a second and sometimes third reward from a single item.

 

Small Steps to Sustainable Living | #BetterTogether

Cross Off Hunger| Feeding America| Making Life Better| Sustainability| Unilever

Earlier this month I talked about how I am supporting Unilever’s goal to donate two million meals to families in need through Feeding America.

Unilever’s Mission to feed the hungry

“Unilever is committed to donating more than two million meals to families in need with Feeding America and every item on your shopping list counts.

Show your support by adding Unilever brands to your cart next time you shop. Together we can help to Cross Off Hunger“.

It was so easy to get involved since several Unilever products are ones that I buy anyway.  I like the fact that every dollar I spend on Unilever products helps to support this effort.

In addition to feeding families in need, Unilever has several plans for global sustainability.

What is Sustainability?

According to the United Nations Commission on Environment and Development, sustainable development “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

If you missed this in my first post, go check out some examples of how Unilever is helping in the effort. You can also learn even more here about Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan.

How I’m Helping

Since I know that every dollar I spend on Unilever products goes to help feed families, the quickest way to get involved is to buy more Unilever products.

I went and bought $50 worth of Unilever products at Walmart with the intent on choosing products that directly contributed to the Unilever Sustainable Living plan but that also would help be more sustainable at home. Visit my Google+ photo album to see behind the scenes images of my shopping trip.

What I bought and Why

  • Bertolli Olive Oil – Using it in place of unsaturated fat products like vegetable oil and margarine contribute to better health.
  • Suave anti-antiperspirant – Provides the dryness and freshness I need to feel confident for the entire day.
  • Dove bath soap – Leaves me feeling clean and fresh but not dry or sticky.
  • Lipton Pyramid Tea – A caffeine free option for warm beverages on cold mornings.
  • Lipton Pitcher Packets – My low calorie, healthy, sweet beverage.

Each of these products I purchased represent good health and well being in my home.

How I Incorporate Sustainable Living in my Life

One of the ways I incorporate sustainable living in my life is by re-purposing items.

To re-purpose I look beyond an items primary use and picture it being used in a totally different way. For example I re-use styrofoam containers for gardening and hangers in the kitchen.

Anything can serve a different purpose and by re-using non bio-degrable items, we keep them out of  the landfill. Here’s a simple idea for re-using peanut butter containers.

Unilever’s Skippy Peanut Butter containers

Use empty Skippy containers to store, buttons, screws and even kids crayons. Younger children often have a hard time keeping their crayons in the box.

Cross Off Hunger| Feeding America| Making Life Better| Sustainability| Unilever

They also struggle with getting them all lined up in the box once they are done coloring and Skippy jars are the perfect size for little hands.

Other Ways I Incorporate Sustainable Living

Here are 4 ways you can get involved

1. Visit the Making Life Better Facebook page to interact and learn more about all of the sustainability efforts.

2. Use the interactive app on the Unilever Making Life Better Facebook page and earn a “Hunger Badge” for each section you complete.

3. Support Unilever’s global sustainability efforts by making an intentional decision to choose Unilever products.

4. Get involved with the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #BetterTogether in your tweets.

5. Do at least on thing that will either help someone or the environment.

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Unilever #CBias #SocialFabric. All opinions expressed are my own and I only promote campaigns that support the mission of AProverbsWife.com. To learn more about how I choose which companies to partner with please see my disclosure.

I learned a lot about sustainability this month and have a renewed sense of awareness to continue doing more for those who don’t have it as easy as I do.

All of this research reinforces my desire to be a good steward of what God has given me.

If you have questions about how you can get involved let’s talk about it. Leave a comment below.

We Can Help Cross off Hunger in America | #BetterTogether

Unilever |Making Life Better | Feeding America |Cross Off Hunger | #BetterTogether

My husband and I are huge proponents of efforts that give back to global communities. All of the principles which ignite our passion for giving are found in the Bible.

I understand the connection between giving and being a Christ follower. God gave the best of what He had so that we could be reconciled with Him in heaven.

In return, I am committed giving. I give my time and resources to those who are less fortunate than I am as well as to causes that are working to do the same.

My Mission for Giving

If I am to be like Christ I must be willing to give especially to those who unable to provide for themselves.

My husband and I share a passion for helping children and providing food for families in need. We also have a passion for global sustainability. In fact we are commissioned to do so in the first book and chapter of the Bible.

That’s why it only made sense to partner with Unilever on their plans for sustainable living.

What is sustainability?

According to the United Nations Commission on Environment and Development, sustainable development “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Unilever’s Mission to feed the hungry

“Unilever is committed to donating more than two million meals to families in need with Feeding America and every item on your shopping list counts.

Show your support by adding Unilever brands to your cart next time you shop. Together we can help to Cross Off Hunger”.

Every dollar you spend on Unilever products helps to support this effort. Like me, you probably already use Unliever products so it will be really easy to get involved going forward.

In addition to providing food for families in need, Unilever has made some huge changes in the way that they do business on a global scale in an effort to help people everywhere live better.

Here are a few examples.

1. Tea leaves

Using Rainforest Alliance Certified™ Lipton® Tea supports farmers working to improve their livelihoods and those of their families while protecting the planet for the future.

2. Water consumption

Unilever is partnered with Recyclebank to encourage consumers to turn off water while brushing teeth and lathering hair during shampooing.

3. Waste Reduction

Unilever is coming up with innovative ways to reduce the amount of materials used to create packaging. The are testing for ways to actually re-use the packaing as well as increasing the product recovery and recycling rates.

4. Dove personal care products

Each time you buy Dove®, you help Unilever and their charitable partners provide inspiring self-esteem programming for girls.

5. Better work facilities for employees.

Unilever is committed to providing a safe workplace for employees and improving their health through better diets, work practices and lifestyles.

Get Involved

I know a lot of times we don’t think about the social impact our consumer spending habits have on the world but I want to get you to thinking about in a way that easy to digest.

My family is currently committed to supporting global sustainability efforts and we want you to get involved too.

Here are 4 ways to get involved.

1. Visit the Making Life Better Facebook page to interact and learn more about all of the sustainability efforts.

2. Use the interactive app on the Unilever Making Life Better Facebook page and earn a “Hunger Badge” for each section you complete.

3. Support Unilever’s global sustainability efforts by making an intentional decision to choose Unilever products.

4. Get involved with the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #BetterTogether in your tweets.

5. Do at least on thing that will either help someone or the environment.

For example…

;

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Unilever #CBias #SocialFabric. All opinions expressed are my own and I only promote campaigns that support the mission of AProverbsWife.com. To learn more about how I choose which companies to partner with please see my disclosure.

Growing Vegetables at Home Using Re-Purposed Planters

 Recycle, Re-Purpose,  Sustainability,  Compost, Compost Bin, DIY Compost Bin, DIY Projects

…is what I often here from friends who don’t garden. Yeah… if you use Martha Stewart Living as your standard (Sorry Martha, I love your work…I’m just sayin’).

We use magazines and gardening shows as a way to generate ideas for my gardening experience but not as the general rule for what I do in my gardens. Gardening for me has to be frugal.

If I am paying more to grow tomatoes than it would take to buy them at the grocer, than it defeats my purpose. The biggest key to gardening on the cheap is to make a plan.

I started composting in Spring 2009 using a very frugal method that I demonstrated here. It saves me a ton of money and it allows me to get more that one use out of the food from my kitchen.

Composting is a slow process so in order to reap the benefits you must plan ahead. We started composting last summer and throughout the fall and winter.

By planning ahead we have saved money on the  purchasing compost and fertilizer.

 Recycle, Re-Purpose,  Sustainability,  Compost, Compost Bin, DIY Compost Bin, DIY Projects

Starting your garden from seed rather than those pretty pre grown vegetable plants at the gardening center is going to big a big money saver.

We purchase all of seeds at the end of the season when they are cheapest, which means we buy them a year in advance. If we do buy potted plants, we buy them from the clearance area of the gardening center. When we buy regularly priced plants we look for the smallest pot size which are generally cheaper and allow them to mature in our gardens.

Buying smaller plants can make your garden look empty in the beginning stages, but once they mature they will be just as beautiful as a fully grown plant only at a fraction of the price.

Once you’ve gotten your seeds and compost you’ll need something to plant them in. I use the egg cartons, styrofoam containers, plastic containers and just about anything I can find. Just make sure not to use any containers that came into contact with raw meat.

As you can see, gardening and growing your own food does not have to be expensive. Growing your own vegetables will allow you to save money and control the quality of what your family eats. I can’t wait to eat all of the delicious goodness that will come from these plantings.

How To Make A Compost Bin

Compost, Sustainability, Gardening, Recycling, Compost Bin, DIY Compost Bin, DIY Projects

Composting seems like it should be something very difficult to accomplish but on the contrary it is quite easy and very helpful for our environment. Composting reduces the amount of waste in our landfills which reduces the amount of hazardous runoff in our water resources.

Gen 2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

How to choose Compost Container

To make your own compost bin you’ll need a sturdy container for composting. I used a rectangular Rubbermaid container but, you can use the upright Rubbermaid trash can as well.

Compost, Sustainability, Gardening, Recycling, Compost Bin, DIY Compost Bin, DIY ProjectsHow to Make your Compost  Bin

You’ll need a Phillips head screwdriver or and electric drill. Drill whole in the lid of the bin and around the bottom and sides or the bin. When drilling the whole around the sides be sure to drill them about 2 to 4 inches below the top rim of the bin.

Compost, Sustainability, Gardening, Recycling, Compost Bin, DIY Compost Bin, DIY Projects

What Materials Can You Compost:

  • Paper napkins & towels
  • Freezer-burned vegetables or fruit
  • Fresh or rotten veggies or fruit scraps
  • Burlap coffee bags
  • Pet hair
  • Post-it notes
  • Wood chips
  • Lint from dryer & behind refrigerator
  • Hay
  • un popped Popcorn
  • Old spices & herbs
  • Pine needles
  • Leaves
  • Matches (paper or wood)
  • Seaweed and kelp
  • Grass clippings
  • Potato peelings
  • Paper with black & white ink
  • Weeds
  • Hair clippings
  • Stale bread
  • Coffee grounds
  • Wood ashes, Sawdust
  • Tea bags and grounds
  • Egg shells
  • Fruit rinds
  • Pea vines
  • Houseplant trimmings
  • Old uncooked pasta
  • Garden soil
  • Corncobs (takes a long time to decompose)
  • Kleenex type tissue paper (not toilet paper)
  • Tree bark
  • Flower petals
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Q-tips (cotton swabs: cardboard, not plastic sticks)
  • Expired flower arrangements
  • Citrus wastes (like lemons, orange and lime)
  • Old leather gardening gloves
  • Tobacco wastes
  • Nut shells
  • Straw
  • Shredded cardboard
  • Fish bones
  • Shrimp, Lobster & crab shells (I personally avoid adding animal products)
  • Toenail clippings
  • Leather wallets
  • Fruit pits
  • Wooden toothpicks
  • Stale breakfast cereal
  • Pickles
  • ‘Dust bunnies’ from under the bed
  • Pencil shavings
  • Wool socks,
  • Artichoke leaves,
  • Leather watch bands
  • Brown paper bags
  • Burned toast (not buttered)
  • Feathers
  • Animal fur
  • Vacuum cleaner bag contents
  • Old or outdated seeds
  • Liquid from canned vegetables or canned fruit
  • Snow
  • Dirt from soles of shoes
  • boots
  • soap scraps
  • Spoiled canned fruits and vegetables
  • Cardboard (shredded)
  • Grocery receipts

What Compost Material Should You Avoid?

Diseased plants, Animal products (meat,bones & dairy) they can create a foul smelling compost bin, Colored/color printed paper such as Rite aid & CVS circulars and weeds that root easily. I personally avoid all weeds.

How should you organizing your compost bin?

Your bin should alternate between green material and brown material. Brown material would things such as bark, pine needles, newspaper, wood chips or lint. Green materials would be things such as fruits or veggies.

Start your compost bin by adding a 2-4 inch thick layer of brown material to the bottom of your bin and water. I usually start with newspaper. Now add in a 2-4 inch layer of green materials. This is where I had my egg shells, tea bags, coffee grinds, fruit and vegetable scraps. I water the pile again, then I repeat a layer of brown and green. I alternate between layers until the bin is 3/4 of the way full. I give it a final water and seal it shut.

I set my bin in a sunny location and forget about it for 1 week. After 1 week I shake and turn the bin the mix the content together. I may take a peek inside but there is really nothing going on at this point. If my material seems dry I sprinkle it with water and seal it shut.

Kitchen Compost Collector: Each week I collect compost material from my kitchen. I store it inside of a old plastic butter container under the kitchen sink or in the refrigerator. Once the container is full, I dump it into the bin. Each time I dump the kitchen scraps I add a layer of newspaper. I shake or flip the bin over a few times and seal it shut.

Compost, Sustainability, Gardening, Recycling, Compost Bin, DIY Compost Bin, DIY Projects
Maintenance Commitment: After initially making the bin, you will not need to give it much more attention than to flip it every couple of weeks. Continue adding materials to the bin as often as you accumulate them.

Using Your Compost: Four to six weeks prior to the time that you’d like to use your compost, discontinue adding materials. This would be a great time to construct another bin in order to continue collecting your scraps. Once the compost is ready use it in your gardens.