Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tutorial Tuesday

I am on a quest to learn as much as I can. It is important to exercise your body as well as you brain. With that thought, I came up with Tutorial Tuesday. Every Tuesday I will be posting a tutorial on something new. The tutorials will be mostly focused on re-purposing, but I may throw a couple of different things your way. I have some fun stuff planned, so make sure you tune in every Tuesday.

Here is an example of a tutorial I wrote a year ago about composting. 

Simple Composting

Materials needed: compost bin, browns, greens

What are browns and greens?
Browns (carbon) - these are leaves, very small twigs, dryer lint, hair (animal or human), paper, card board, hair
Greens (nitrogen) - non meat by products, fruits, vegetables, egg shells

You can use a commercial compost bin or a large plastic container. I would recommend a large bin if you have 2 or more people in your household. The large plastic container would be good for a 1 person household. I would also recommend a container that will allow you to stir the contents easily.

Standard composter

Tumbler composter
Location, location, location
A good spot for the bin would be close enough to the house so you will be inclined to dump your stuff, but not too close to the house just in case it smells. Behind a garage or down wind of the house works best.

Outdoor stuff
Walk around your yard and collect leaves, mulch, small twigs (do not put a lot of twigs in the compost it will take forever to break down! I did this the first year I composted. A pain in the butt.) Throw that stuff in the bin.

Kitchen scraps
Designate a container in your house for your veggie food scraps. I try to dump my household scraps everyday, but of course I am not that dedicated, especially in the winter. Don't be lazy like me and put your kitchen compost scraps in the freezer, just go ahead and take it to the compost bin. I have since stopped doing that because I would end up with a freezer full of banana peels. Geez!!

Basement lint
I have the hardest time remembering to save my dryer lint. I just put a bucket next to my dryer to help me remember.

Misc stuff to add
**I collect my dogs hair after I brush him. He likes the brushing and doesn't mind sharing some of his excess hair.
**hair from my hair brush
**I tear up the card board inside of toilet paper rolls
**paper bags
**paper napkins and paper towels that do not have any meat products on them

Let's speed up the process (For more tips....Make better compost)
If you are in a hurry to produce some brown goodness, then you will need to be more exact about what you add to the bin. You will need a good ratio of browns to greens. Technically, it should be 30:1. I think this is hard because I typically have more greens than browns. If you add too many greens the compost will smell. Yuck! If you add too many browns it will take a long, long time to compost. 

A couple of tips;
**Water the bin. If I know it is going to rain, I will take the lid off my bin or I will empty the old ice out of the ice maker into the bin. You want the compost to be moist, but not soaking wet.

**Keep it hot. A covered bin is better for maintaining a warm temperature.

**Do not put weeds or other plants in the bin unless you want to grow weeds everywhere you deposit your compost.

**No dog or cat poop. You don't want to contaminate the compost with intestinal parasites.

**Stirring the mix every couple weeks will allow air to circulate so bacteria can thrive.

What is the most creative things you have added to your compost bin?  Q-tips, I got that idea from Recycle bank. What about you?

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