Composting can be easy and not awful.

At first glance into my freezer, you may be startled by the mountain of old rotting food but I can explain!

The logical thing to do here would be to show a photo of the inside of my freezer…the thing I’m about to talk about for the next 600 words or so. Pass. Trust me. No lighting trick, sliced limes, or delicately placed burlap could make that image shine. In this case, I’ll just describe it.

It’s a side by side #sidebyside so picture a column with an open bucket of old food scraps at the base. In the remaining space at the top sits a few tiny cloudy 4-ounce containers stacked up and one of those cool ice cube trays that makes 1 giant cube for a cocktail (sunglasses emoji face). Got this in your mind?

Why the scrap bucket? Compost! I was always so intimidated by composting. Is it going to smell? Will I get flies? Will my husband reconsider our moving in together?

The environmental benefits of composting are well known. It is all about lowering that carbon footprint, baby! Composting can be rewarding and simple once you find a good company and set up a good system.

My bucket used to live on my back deck and I would toss any scraps after cooking outside. It wasn’t a big imposition but it also wasn’t the most convenient. Adding the extra steps of putting shoes on and battling the escape artist cat each time I needed to toss an apple core proved to be arduous.

Despite living in the city, the bucket invited some animal friends to my back deck that were able to get the lid off so I started piling bricks on top of the lid. This meant that I had to unstack all of those bricks and then restack them after tossing anything into the bucket. I had to really want it in order to keep composting. Eventually, I moved and had no more back deck…gasp!

My compost pick-ups are once monthly but it took only a few days to realize that keeping the bucket full of scraps in a corner in the kitchen or even the back hallway out to the alley was not sustainable. It did smell. I did get flies. My roommate (aka husband) was less than pleased.

Solution! I was getting a single giant ice cube out of the freezer when I saw that the bottom half of our freezer was completely empty. Suddenly, a carton light bulb appeared over my head!  

That bucket slid perfectly into the bottom of the freezer once I removed the shelves. If your freezer does not miraculously have room for a 5-gallon bucket, find a container that does fit in this space to use for composting. We all appreciate the convenience of keeping some frozen foods on hand but if your freezer is packed, maybe it’s time for a clean out?

The bucket in the freezer has been a game changer. The days of adding a trip outside during meal prep are through. The cat will have to come up with another way to sneak outside…but seriously, don’t ever leave me my precious kitten.

As I cook, I can easily pop open the freezer and toss in any scraps. This also cuts down on the amount of times needed to take out the regular trash. The trash takes longer to fill up and we never have that signature time to take out the trash smell as everything that stinks – rotting food – is frozen and not stinky.

Effectively hoarding all of my food waste for an entire month has been eye opening to see what I’m tossing out. I have found myself cutting less and less off of fruits and vegetables as a prepare them for meals and being more mindful about waste in general.

Composting…are you doing it yet?

A stands for Abigail

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