The composting movement seems to work best when following by example. It’s especially helpful when actually watching
folks get down n’ dirty with their organic waste — grimacing, gagging, and, as seen in Gaiam’s Compost-Off
, on the verge on yaking. Somehow seeing others temporarily suffer for the sake of transforming trash into a nutrient-rich garden additive validates it. Look, how he handles that festering bin of rotting food with only minimal retching ... perhaps I can do that, too.
Wall Street Journal
scribe Gwendolyn Bounds (see Wendy chat about her book Little Chapel on the River
with MNN's Chuck Leavell here
) is the latest home composter to go on camera to show the compost-timid how it’s done. In a recent video
and accompanying article
, Bounds tests out four different composters marketed towards the squeamish, impatient, and those with not a whole lot of physical space.
Just because the devices Bounds tries out promise speed, ease-of-use, and minimal gag-factors doesn’t mean the video doesn’t feature gratuitous garbage shots. It offers plenty. You get to watch Bounds wrangle (and serenade!) dozens of slimy worms, prepare a “trash smoothie,” pull dog hair out of a bin filled with churned-up food scraps, and bury fermenting waste in her backyard.
After watching the video, I not only felt the urge to shower but was also somewhat inspired by seeing Bounds handle the NatureMill Pro XE
, a sleek, apartment-friendly plug-in device that Bounds dubs “the iPod of composters.” Buying an electricity-consuming appliance — a quite expensive one at that — to turn trash into compost seems a backwards, I know, but it for my situation, it would be the best alternative.
So what is my situation? Let's just say I'm a bit — okay, very — smell-sensitive, don’t garden, don’t cook for myself terribly often, live in a fourth floor walk-up in Brooklyn, and have long thought that the only way I’d go compostal is if my landlord were to install a pneumatic tube system in my building that would whisk away food scraps from my kitchen to a remote compost pile. I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for that to happen. But I’m also not quite ready to hold my breath around my small apartment as I let leftovers decompose. However, seeing Bounds yank dog hair out of a pile of hot garbage in the NatureMill Pro has piqued my interest.
Any urban composters out there want to tell me and other on-the-fence folks how it’s done right (gratuitous garbage videos helpful, but not mandatory)?