Compost Pails — a great way to collect nitrogen rich composting materials from the kitchen.

The key to a successful compost pile is made up of many factors, but one of the most important factors is a proper balance between Carbon and Nitrogen – rich materials. Having a proper balance between the two will result in some of the best “black gold” you could ever hope for.

Carbon-rich materials can be found in the household, or around the yard. These items include things such as leaves, woodchips, newspaper, cereal, and sawdust. To balance out the Carbon rich materials and aid in faster decomposition in the compost process, you need to make sure there are plenty of Nitrogen rich materials as well. The best place to find Nitrogen rich materials will be in food scraps – such as fruit and vegetable trimmings. That’s right, everyday household food items such as bananas, pears, potatoes, carrots, and more will be excellent for your compost pile.

So that brings us to a compost pail. These are excellent ways to help collect Nitrogen rich materials for your compost heap. By using a compost pail and keeping it in the kitchen, you can toss your excess food scraps and fruit and vegetable peelings in the pail. For example, if you are cooking and are peeling potatoes, just rifle all the excess potato peelings into the compost pail instead of the garbage disposal. Every few days or so, just take the compost pail out to the pile and empty it. It’s that simple.

These pails also come in a variety of colors – from black, white, red, to even stainless steel and bamboo. This means that there is most certainly one that will fit the overall décor of your kitchen. So from an aesthetic aspect, you are as good as gold. If you are worried about a potential smell, have no fear – these compost pails typically come with a carbon or charcoal filter that will suppress and eliminate any chance of an odor. These filters only need to be replaced every 3-4 months, and replacement filters can be purchased separately.

A compost pail is nice because not only will it help you remember to collect those Nitrogen-rich materials with ease and frequently, but it will also add in less trips outside to the compost pile. This way, you only have to go there every few days instead of every single time you need to throw some food scraps in the pile. Give a compost pail a try, it will be essential to happy composting, and you will wonder how you ever lived without one.

Kitchen Composters let you make compost indoors

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Composting doesn’t require a big back yard… or even a backyard at all. There are several types of composter that can be used indoors, and are perfect if you have a postage stamp sized yard or live in an apartment. These composters work through one of two methods – they’re either aerobic, or anaerobic.

An aerobic composter uses bacteria that consume oxygen. These bacteria are “more advanced” than anaerobic bacteria, in the sense that they can outcompete anaerobic bacteria as long as they have oxygen to work with. Oxygen acts like an accelerant – it allows aerobic bacteria to breed faster, break down organic molecules faster, and generate more energy. What this all means is that aerobic composters can work very quickly. But, aerobic bacteria can quickly use up all the available oxygen and die off. The key to an aerobic composter is good ventilation.

Aerobic composters, such as the Nature Mill Indoor Composter, require mechanical help to inject fresh air. Compost naturally tries to settle into lumps, and these lumps are not very permeable to oxygen. With a tumbling screw to break up the clumps, and an air pump to bring in fresh oxygen, the Automatic Countertop Composter makes sure that aerobic bacteria have everything that they need. The filtering system keeps smells to a minimum and actively eliminates odor.

Anaerobic composters are also available. These composters work without oxygen, and odor isn’t a concern for them because they’re airtight. Composters like the Indoor Kitchen Composter rely on the bacteria found in Bokashi. Bokashi is a Japanese term that describes a mix of bacteria in a growth medium (usually rice hulls or saw dust mixed with molasses, corn syrup, or sorghum). Each time that new waste is added to the bin, it’s important to add a new layer of Bokashi on top.

Anaerobic composters will break down the compost at a microscopic level, but they require the help of aerobic bacteria to complete the process. After the composter fills up with partially digested waste, it’s important to bury the compost outside in a small trench, or in a pot full of healthy soil. This final stage will happen very quickly (anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks depending on temperature and soil conditions), and will not produce much odor.

Both aerobic and anaerobic composters will get the job done. If you want faster results and don’t mind the noise of a pump or mechanical screw, then the Nature Mill Composter is a better bet. If you want a less expensive model and prefer your compost to be out of sight, odor-free, and silent, then a Bokashi Composter is the right one for you.

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