As green living and sustainability become not only more popular, but also more necessary, the age of composting seems imminent. I’ve been a fan of composting all throughout my time in college. But, as is normal in your early-twenties, I always had small, rented spaces and roommates who, like myself, were busy and on a budget. I was content with encouraging recycling, and did not push any of my cohabitants any further into the world of sustainability.
Now, though, I am living with someone who is also interested in creating less trash. We both have consistent schedules and want to invest in our living space. As soon as our move-in date approached, we were researching the composting process and it became clear that our apartment would pose a problem. With a six-foot long patio, no green space of our own and our agreement on the lease to not upset any surrounding soil, a typical compost pile seemed impossible.
Through online reviews and articles on DIY composting, I decided to purchase an indoor kit, which included the following:
1. One five-gallon, air-tight bin to collect scraps. The bin is (unfortunately) plastic, but is light and easy to carry and clean. It includes a spigot, a lid and a
handle for transportation.
2. A plastic strainer to set inside the bin before adding food scraps, so that the bottom of the bin collects moisture. A spigot at the base of the bin lets me
drain it every few days for compost tea.
3. A bag of microbes to add to the waste, a handful at a time, to aid in fermentation and decomposition. They replace the worms that are used in
vermicomposting, which seem to attract flies and other small pests, a deal breaker for most apartment dwellers.
Indoor composters are advertised as smaller containers that block odors and insects. These bins utilize microbes that pickle the soil in a matter of weeks, meaning that the compost must be transported outdoors to another container, or buried beneath finished soil before being used in gardens or planters.
While composting systems are not commonly seen in stores yet (as I experienced first-hand), they are offered through many online stores, and a small, indoor compost bin and microbes can cost around fifty dollars. With that convenience, composting is no longer just for your neighbor with all the sunhats.