Really, I need your help with this one. I’ve tried many things and can’t find a good solution. It drives me crazy.
In the past I had thought that all those potato peels and apple cores and pasta left overs and strawberry leaves that I’m throwing in the trash are simply composting in the landfill and turn into soil and that’s it.
That actually doesn’t happen. In Landfills my food scraps and your food scraps and everyone else’s food scraps (in total 70+ million tons per year) turn into a toxic cocktail that drips into the ground water and creates a huge amount of methane, a greenhouse gas that is much worse than CO2.
The solution for this problem is easy: Composting the food scraps instead of throwing them in the trash can. Through composting the food scraps turn into nutrient rich soil.
While living in a house I was able to figure out a good composting option for our family. Now I’m a full time traveler though, changing locations often, sometimes every other day and we travel with a tiny camping trailer. So we don’t have space. And additionally we’re going to travel through different countries, does that make it more complicated?
We cook a lot and always from scratch so our little kitchen compost bucket fills up fast with onion roots, avocado pits, bits and pieces of food that the kids didn’t finish, things like that.
How do I get this valuable material back to mother earth?
The problem is, that it’s not a common thing to compost. There isn’t a compost pile on every corner next to the trash can. If we’re lucky, there’s maybe a recycling bin and if we’re really lucky it has a sign that says what is actually recyclable in this region.
So, why aren’t there more composting options? Why doesn’t every campground have a compost pile? Or the city at least?
There are all kinds of rumors going on about composting: it’s stinky, it attracts animals, it’s hard work. But in reality if it’s done right, and it’s no magic needed to do it right, non of those bad things will happen.
I’ve asked at most campgrounds if they offered a compost option. One out of 23 campgrounds so far had a compost container at their amazing trash center with all kinds of recycling options: Honeyman State Park Campground. All the others are like ‘Why do you want to compost?’. When I answer ‘It’s good for the environment’ everyone appreciates my effort but unfortunately there is really no composting option.
In the beginning of our journey I had tried bokashi. In short words, for bokashi you add a granulate to your kitchen scraps that pre-composts them, speeds up the process. The problem here is that you still have to get rid of the stuff somehow. You could put it in a compost pile but … daaarn… there is none!
Ok, other alternatives I had evaluated: worms, burying, anonymous drop off:
- Worms are too slow for us and need a very precise temperature and humidity condition that we can’t offer in our tiny trailer. Also border crossing might be difficult with a couple of pounds of living worms in tow.
- I’ve buried the content of one kitchen composter bucket in a forest. Giving it right back to nature… Since someone said the best bacteria to digest the material would be in the first 20 inches of soil, I didn’t dig deep. Soon after that I felt bad because forest animals could have smelled it and dug it out again. Human food isn’t good for wild animals. Deer can even die from eating bread.
- Anonymous drop off that was only two times and I felt bad about it too. Since I know the location of a community garden compost pile, I went there twice to add our little bit to their pile. I felt bad because I wasn’t officially allowed to do that. I haven’t found compost piles even since.
That’s a big dilemma, isn’t it?
I really want to do the right thing for planet earth! But can’t find composting options.
Please send me your ideas. Is there an app for that like ‘find my compost’ or a website with composting location search or a magical tool that helps with composting much faster? Where should I go? Whom can I ask?
Any idea is very welcome! Please write them in the comments below. I’m in desperate search of a solution and every idea, even the tiniest would be highly appreciated!