• Learning to Compost -- The Hutchinson-Young-Ray family, Denver, CO

    Will YOU be next? I hope so!

    Who would have thought that making compost could be fun?! Our 14-year-old boy appeared to enjoy the process of assembling our compost bin (essentially a large, black, square box that we keep in the yard, made of durable plastic, which includes a lid that can be fastened down and which was given to us by the city of Denver. This style of bin is sometimes known as a "high rise composter"). He also pitched in to help us till a few inches of earth below the bin so as to help introduce the microbes that live in the dirt to the organic material that would be added to it. Since then, every member of our five-person family has been known to add various odds and ends to our scrap bucket (a small green plastic container with a flip-up lid that we keep near the sink and which was provided by Denver Recycles as part of a program to educate our community on the benefits of composting and recycling). We’re definitely glad that our scrap collector includes a charcoal filter in its top – as we create a pretty fecund mish-mash that generally includes items such as banana peels, apple cores, avocado peels, dryer lint, finger nail clippings, dog hair, used paper towels, house plant trimmings and more. It can get a little funky at times, but that's part of life's process and with just a little regular maintenance, the smell can be reduced. It's sometimes amusing to open up the lid and watch a fruit fly come spiraling out as you toss in what will eventually be rich, brown compost for the summer’s herb garden. And we've actually figured out how to eliminate flies and smell (by rinsing all sides of the bucket well after each bin dump). And the end product, compost, has almost no odor, other than the faint aroma of earth and the promise of fresh vegetables and green grass. So, with a little effort and by engaging in a process that has helped us tune into life's cycle of growth and decay, we have saved quite a bit of "garbage" from the landfill. Organic waste does not have to leave your home! If you don't already compost but are interested in learning, just Google it -- there's lots of helpful information on the topic available online.

    The following Composting for Dummies article is just one of many helpful links you can find:


    Next up for us: Water Harvesting


  1. Thanks, Nick! Good luck with your garden this year! Please keep us "posted."

  1. How wonderful of the city to manage the waste cycle in such a proactive manner. If I can make a productive suggestion; a quick spray of dilute EM•1® in the kitchen collector daily will cut the minor funk odor, begin the compost process faster and accelerate the activity in the larger bin. Amazing results.

  1. Unknown says:

    Thanks for the great tips! I especially like the website you referred to. I might also add that constructing your compost "within view so that you don't forget about the pile" as recommended on the dummies.com link is a great idea. Constructing it within view of your neighbors will help spread the message as well. Thanks again and best of luck on the water harvesting project that will be coming.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the tips TR and Icy. The spray sounds like a great idea. Thanks for posting Nate. We'll try to post about our water harvesting project as well.

Leave a Reply

The final frontier.

These are the musings of an engaging enterprise.
Its thirty-year mission:

To create a greener planet.

To seek a better life in our lumbering civilization, and

to slowly go where we are all are headed anyway.


Is an unproven system for generating wide-spread sustainability.

it asks for 10 minutes a day for a year. At the end of the year, it asks for 10 more.

So in the second year, you spend just 20 minutes a day, in the third year, 30 minutes.

If you keep up this pattern, 27 years later you spend over 4 hours per day being extremely green.

Share Here!
Describe your attempts At a sustainable life.