Friday, September 02, 2016

The Zero Waste Kitchen

Last weekend Nathan and I went to a composting class called "From Garbage to Garden." It was run by the Coastal Composting Council, and it was held at the local dump - or, as they put it, "in the shadow of the landfill," to help us better understand the necessity of composting. At first I thought this phrasing was a bit over the top, but I have to admit - that landfill was very tall and staring at it for three hours on a Saturday morning was very disturbing. Well played, Coastal Composting Council. Well played. 

When Nathan first suggested we go to this class, I didn't think it was necessary. We're pretty savvy when it comes to composting - anything we don't throw to the chickens goes into a big pile in the backyard. We've got a worm factory in our guest room, which Nathan diligently tends. I try my hardest to plan our meals in such a way that we use everything before it goes bad. Some stuff ends up in the trash, but overall I'm happy that we create very little waste, especially compared to the average American.

Still, there's always more to learn. Nathan relishes the chance to discuss composting with anyone who will listen, and the event advertised "light refreshments," which sealed the deal for me. Off to the composting class we went. 

And I have to say - I really enjoyed myself, despite the robust breeze that wafted from the landfill. We both learned a few new things, and even though we don't throw out that much food, we're far from calling our kitchen zero waste. Because of course that phrase - "zero waste kitchen" - was mentioned, and of course I latched on to it immediately. I like a goal, especially when it's a catchy one. It helps that the goal of using up everything in our kitchen (either by eating it, giving it to the chickens or the worms, or composting) dovetails nicely with my recent personal finance obsession. Waste not, want not. We're on it. 

The event ended with a raffle, and right before they pulled the winning ticket I turned to Nathan and said, "I'm going to win this." Sometimes I just know when I'm going to win a raffle, and I'm usually right. This time, I was the lucky recipient of my very own spinning compost bin. (It was that or a worm hotel, and since we already have a great worm set up I went with the bin.) 

We put it in our backyard, just off the deck, so we can easily toss kitchen scraps into it each time we cook. In a few months, those scraps will transform into black gold, and I can't wait to put it to work in our garden.