September 26, 2016

How to Compost Anywhere

One of the best ways that I avoid sending trash to landfill is by composting. If you haven't heard of composting before, it is essentially taking organic waste (food, yard trimmings, paper) and breaking it down into soil again using heat, time, and sometimes worms (also known as vermicomposting). In the United States, based on the EPA chart below, 14% of our landfill waste is composed of food waste that could be composted. In addition to food waste, we could also compost yard trimmings, wood, and paper, so we have the potential to be composting 61.3 percent of what we are currently sending to landfills, cutting our nation wide landfill waste IN HALF. Composting is easy, fun, and natural and in this video I will show you how I do it in my Brooklyn apartment so you, too, can compost wherever you live.


  1. Lauren,

    I also do this - it's amazing - and I feel very lucky to live across the street from a Project Compost drop-off point. But what if you don't live near a drop-off point or a community garden? I'm sure many people fall into that category. I wonder if you might have some research or suggestions as to how they can also participate in this wonderful way of cutting down on waste?

    1. This definitely applies to me - I don't live near a drop-off point or a community garden. And as I mentioned below, I have a phobia of worms so vermicomposing would not work for me.

    2. Hi Faye and Annie,

      For drop points, I would suggest that people who don't have pick up look for community gardens near them, look online for permaculture, gardening groups or swap groups (Facebook is a good place), or even consider starting a Facebook group all about compost exchanges. I did in Sydney Australia because we don't have established food scraps recycling infrastructure and I am not going to not compost! I have met some wonderful people through the group I started who share their garden spaces and outdoor compost bins with me and share their knowledge with others in the group. So my advice is to seek out the gardeners :)

      In terms of methods of composting, Lauren's way works for her, but I use my freezer for food (a full freezer is actually more energy efficient - weird right?). I would suggest instead the bokashi system for small space indoor composting. You'll still need to drop it off, but I only do this once every 6 weeks for a house of two, and because it's anaerobic, you can leave it sitting in your apt for 6 months if you wanted to. I went overseas for 3 weeks and didn't have to worry about my compost smelling or even having to empty it before I left. You can buy or even DIY your vessel, just make sure you are able to drain once in a while - that keeps things smelling fine.

      Happy composting : )

    3. Hi Lizzypoo,

      Thank you for suggesting the bokashi system - it sounds great! However, I just Googled it and started reading an article on how it works...and when I got to the part of what the compost looks like at the end, I could've sworn I saw worms but I didn't look at the picture long enough to know for sure. Do you know if the bokashi system produces worms at the end?

  2. Hi Lauren! I want to watch your video but I have a phobia of worms. Are there any worms in your video?

    1. No worms. She just freezes her compost scraps, and transfers the cold material to a paper bag, then takes it all to the farmers market where it is composted.

    2. No worms. She just freezes her compost scraps, and transfers the cold material to a paper bag, then takes it all to the farmers market where it is composted.

  3. Composting is such an easy way to cut down on waste! I usually like to save food scraps and use them to make broths and then compost once I've used whatever I could! Love these types of videos!
    Modern Beauty Girl

  4. I feel deceived by the video. I was hoping it would show exactly how to compost INSIDE an apartment and it didn't.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  8. you are not teaching people how to compost in an apartement like teh title suggests

    you dont compost, you keep your trash and someone else composts it

    valid but not the same

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  10. I am drawn to the idea of producing less waste from the beginning, but keep finding that things in the 'zero waste' movement have misleading titles. Why?
    No one can be zero waste and live a western lifestyle. I think the only way is if you were 100% living off the land. So why title this video "How to compost anywhere" if it's just how to compost by taking it to a drop off point?

    bob (feeling miffed)

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