Let me start off by establishing the breadth of my ignorance when it comes to legit composting. I don’t know anything about using compost to balance the pH of our soil. Our compost bin is thoroughly neglected, except for the daily addition of organic materials. We truly are lazy composters.

I have one goal in composting: to diminish the amount of trash we generate. Our compost does get mixed into our garden and other areas of our yard, but that’s not what motivates us to collect organic scraps.

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Do you ever think about the trash you create? I do. Recycling is great, but what about the stuff that never should go in the trash, to begin with? Fruit and vegetable scraps are meant to return to the soil; they’re organic in the true sense of the word. Why would we seal soil-building components into plastic bags for storage in landfills? This just never made sense to me.

So, about 8 years ago, my husband built me a compost bin as an anniversary gift. (Seriously, one of my favorite and most useful gifts so far.)

As you can see, our compost bin is nothing snazzy or special. Chris and a friend literally stuck 4 posts into the ground, added a wood pallet on each side and plywood to the back. Originally, there was a piece of plywood dividing the space in half. The idea was to put new composting materials in the front. Then to move everything to the back section once it started to break down. After a few years, we took this board out because it was obviously unnecessary.

This is the part that makes us lazy composters. We turn the mound of stuff in our bin about once a year. Truly. We drop all our organic scraps in there on a semi-daily basis and just let it do its thing. And it yields the most beautiful, lush, dark soil you’ve ever seen.

So, I don’t have a high tech spinning compost bin. It cost about $20 to build ours and it’s worked like a dream. I love the idea of a cute composting pail like this for my kitchen, but what I have right now is just a little white trash can on the bottom shelf of my kitchen cart. For me, it works better not to have a lid that I have to open.

What do we compost? Eggshells, coffee grounds, squeezed lemons, peels from potatoes, carrots and cucumbers, apple cores, and pretty much any other part of fruits and veggies that you don’t eat. We don’t add anything that has been cooked or includes oil, butter, sugar or meat. So, if you make a salad and add dressing, don’t put the scraps in your bin.

My kids and even regular visitors to our house are trained on what goes in the trash, recycling, and compost. It couldn’t be any easier. If you’re thinking about beginning to compost, I’d really encourage you to try it! If you already compost and have some tips for me, please share.

For us, lazy composting is a win-win: less trash and easy, rich soil.

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