“Save the neck for me, Clark” cousin Eddie so comically requests in America’s beloved classic, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Whether it’s Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, most of us over-plan meals to guarantee no plate is empty, tummies are filled, and leftovers are on hand for the munchies that follow. If your family includes an Aunt Bethany, like the Griswolds, you may have more leftovers than you counted on—especially if her jello mold is dotted with cat food!
What do you do with food waste at your house? Process it through the garbage disposal? Toss it in the trash can? Fling it out the nearest open window? If you aren’t already composting, the holidays are a great time to start! Forget the turkey carcass though—meat and meat products don’t belong in a home compost bin. Start with these common, everyday items:
Vegetable and fruit scraps
Flour endowed scraps such as bread, noodles, cookies, cereal, and stale crackers
Coffee grounds and tea bags
Crushed egg shells
The No-no’s of home composting are easy to remember:
• NO meat or fish scraps
• NO dairy products
• NO grease or oil
What happens if you include one of the forbidden morsels? In addition from not getting enrolled in the Jelly of the Month Club, your compost pile will have a stench, it will attract unwanted critters, and will create an imbalance in your pile’s composition that will impede the composting process. After you place a new layer of food waste on your pile, it’s important to cover it with something brown—soil, leaves, sawdust, etc. Periodically stir your pile to help materials breakdown faster. Eventually, you will produce nutrient-rich compost that will revitalize your plants and gardens.
Get the kids involved! Equip them with Target Marketing Group’s Picture Me Composting coloring book, and they might even give you a few tips on home composting. Their science teachers will be impressed, and they will have a chance to enjoy the fresh air. The great thing about composting is that it can be scaled to your lifestyle. Rural families have space for larger composting piles than urban ones, but the process still works the same. We promise that composting your food waste won’t cause a lip fungus they ain’t identified yet like Cousin Rocky!
Remember, most of us will be spending the holidays with family whether we like it or not! The outdoor food composting pile gives you a chance to escape. Like Clark Griswold with parking the cars and retrieving the luggage, you’ll have your own excuse to say, I’ll be outside for the season! http://www.recycledpromos.com/compostingbook.aspx