1. It’s Easier Than You Think
Pro: Once you do a little research — and there are tons of sites and cheat sheets out there — it’s pretty easy! We have a list of dos-and-don’ts on our fridge for reference. It’s not comprehensive, but it’s a guide.
Also composting doesn’t require tons of extra time. Instead of scraping carrot shavings into the trash bin, we scrape them into the compost bucket on our counter.
Con: It is truly easy, but it also takes some care. You don’t just dump some food in the bin and magic up some soil in a few weeks. There’s a little bit of watering, turning, and layering involved.
2. You Need The Right Tools + Info
Pro: I swear composting this time around is way more pleasant with the right kitchen counter bin. It doesn’t stink, we haven’t been swarmed with fruit flies, and the waste slides right out of this thing! It’s magic and added a major level of ease! You can find our favorite here. It’s not an affiliate link or anything, just what we use.
Con: We learned the first time around that having the perfect outside bin didn’t mean we were composting correctly. Our inherited bin, albeit a nice compost bin, was not in an optimal location, it was already full of non-compostable items, and we didn’t know what we were doing. So the right tools + information is key.
3. It’s Not Just A Food Dump
Pro: You can put way more than food waste in your compost. Compostable takeout containers, compostable mailers, lawn clippings, leaves, egg shells, coffee grounds and filters, and tea bags can go into your compost too! WHAT!? Yes!
Con: Some food waste is on the NO COMPOST list: meat, grease, oil, bones, and dairy are often no-nos. I’ve heard citrus peels and the papery outer layer of the onion should be on the no list too, but the messages on this seem to be mixed.
4. The Kids Love It
Pro: It’s new, it’s fun, it’s got worms! My girls are INTO composting. My oldest wants to join me every time I go outside to empty the kitchen food waste bin. She loves to inspect our growing pile and we both love grabbing a little alone time on a quiet evening — even if it is by a decomposing heap of food waste.
Con: Waiting for the waste to turn into soil. My kids sort of thought it might take a day to make soil. But we think it’s going to be worth the wait!
5. Waste Free Synergy
Pro: Composting fits so well into our #wastefreecurious life. I can’t say that composting alone has dramatically reduced our curbside trash, but I can say that this journey we started in January (just 4 months ago!), that includes getting back into composting, no longer buying paper towels, bringing our own bags to the market, and recycling textile waste, has reduced our curbside trash from 4-5 bags of trash per week to 1.5 – 2 bags. And we’re working on making that just 1 bag.
This journey has helped us pay more attention to recycling, buying, and travel habits and those have had a huge impact on our waste overall. And not just us. My child got recognition from her teacher for picking up garbage at recess. They love to help me wheel the recycling and trash bins inside after school. It’s all connected.
Con: We can do better. This isn’t a con really, it’s a reminder that we’ve come so far, but we have so much more to do. We’re just taking it one step at a time. Our next step: before you throw that shirt away, donate that coat with the missing button, or toss that shoe with the broken velcro strap, let’s talk about mending!
Are You Waste Free Curious Too?
If producing less waste is something you might be into this year, I’d love if you’d join me! Follow my personal and business waste-free journey from the comfort of your inbox. Sign up to so you don’t miss a thing: Click here to sign up! You’ll get a plastic-free produce storage cheat sheet just for signing up! Also, I’m using the hashtag #wastefreecurious on Instagram to share our waste free journey. I’ve just started the hashtag and I’m sharing our waste free wins and fails and tough spots with a mix of posts and Stories. So come on over!