Living in the San Francisco Bay Area has it’s perks, I’m surrounded by a bustling city full of culture and never-ending beautiful landscapes as well. Another perk that is less talked is the Earth-friendly like-mindedness that I am constantly surrounded by. From banning plastic shopping bags at the supermarket to San Francisco’s Zero-Waste by 2020 goal, I’m proud of the progress we’re making. Today I’ve partnered with SF Environment’s Real Foodies Compost to share 5 steps to simple composting. I know it’s not a popular topic, but hear me out: it’s easy, effortless, and good for the future of our planet (a.k.a. us!)
I’ve always thought I needed a fancy system or huge yard to compost, but it’s simply not true. You can put your compostables directly into your green bin and it will be picked up with your other recyclables and landfill bin. Doesn’t that sound easy? When I first started it took me a little time to learn what I can and can’t compost, and also to remember it in the heat of the moment. I am happy to say that it’s definitely gotten easier over time and is now just a part of my daily routine. The kids know what to put in the compost pail for the most part, sometimes our youngest (he’s 4) needs help. It’s always a proud moment for me when I see them making an effort to take better care of our Earth. Trust me, if my 4 year old can do it, you can too!
How to compost in 5 easy steps:
1. Choose a pail.
You’ll need a good composting pail, bucket, or other container and a good place to keep it. I love this white ceramic compost pail, it cleans easy and looks nice. I keep it under our kitchen sink for easy access when I’m prepping dinner or cleaning up. You can begin using your compost pail right away. Once you feel like emptying it just dump it into your green bin.
- All food scraps and spoiled leftovers
- Meat bones and seafood shells
- Oily pizza boxes and paper takeout containers
- Small parts of plants
- Waxy paper
- Coffee grounds and paper filter
- Cotton balls/cotton swabs with paper stems
- Small pieces of wood including chopsticks, coffee stirrers, toothpicks, clean (untreated) wood
3. Don’t Compost
- Aluminum foil or trays (foil goes into recycling even if dirty)
- Liquid dairy products (pour down the drain)
- Clean cardboard or paper (recycle)
- Cooking oil (must be taken to a grocery store or other take back location)
- Glass (recycle it)
- Plastic bags (not labeled compostable)
- Plastic labeled “biodegradable” (can not be composted)
- Juice or soy milk type boxes with foil liner (usually square. They go in the landfill bin)
- Metal cans and lids (recycle)
- Diapers and feminine products (landfill)
- Kitty litter and animal feces (bagged go into landfill bin)
- Small construction debris (must be properly disposed of by a contractor)
4. Quick Tips
- Check plastic containers and plastic bags to see if they are labeled compostable
- Make sure to compost used paper napkins and paper towels
- Empty dated food from its container into the green bin
5. Empty into the Green Bin.
Once it’s full enough or at the end of the day, simply empty your pail into the green bin. That’s it!
For more tips and tricks on easy composting, visit the Real Foodies Compost website and follow along via facebook, twitter, and instagram.
Do you compost? If so, do you have any tips or tricks to add? I’d love to hear!
This post is sponsored by SF Environment’s Real Foodies Compost, a helpful website offering tips on something I’ve done for years, composting! Thank you for helping to support the sponsors that make this blog possible.
What is a green bin? If you’re from a town that does not collect compost, is there another alternative if you don’t have a yard (I live in a condo)?
A green bin is the bin for putting things like leaves, yard waste, gardening waste, etc. Perhaps your condo has bins for this and you just can’t see them? I’d start by asking management, and looking into sites where you can drop off your compost although that may not be the most convenient. I have recently started seeing under cabinet composters like this one, but I’m not sure how well they work or what you would do with the compost after. Perhaps using it in a potted garden on your patio/balcony, gifting it to friends with gardens (alternatively craigslist is an easy place to find people who want garden supplies), or adding it to the landscape outside (if there’s no bark or stone on top)?
I wish Montana in general was more forward thinking about recycling and being more green. To recycle up here I have to pay for the service. Growing up in another state, recycle was just part of the trash pick up. It makes me sad that one of the most beautiful place to live, doesn’t think about keeping it beautiful. Definitely going to give a stab at composting! Thanks for the great article!
Great tips on composting!! I’ve been composting for years now but I still appreciate learning more about what I can and cannot compost as there isn’t a lot of information available. Thanks!
Charlene The Frugal Fashionista
Love this! I have never composted before either, but I love love this! Pinning this to reference this weekend or next! XO
Anna || alilyloveaffair.com
Great tips. I’ve never composted before but I have family members who often do and do it at my house when they visit. I’ll make sure to pass these tips along and use them when I start my own household.
Iesha aka Lesh
Great tips, We compost in my house hold we have for a very long time, Such a great post show casing all the great way to compost.
I am going to so pass this along to my friend! She was researching a lot about this when we hung out last! Very informative!
I really enjoy your life posts, because these are things NO ONE teaches us ever and you have to figure out. It’s nice to read this real posts from you & know that I appreciate them quite a bit! xx Adaleta Avdic
Thanks! I was never taught this stuff growing up either, so I’m happy to share with others.