When I signed up for the Urban Composting workshop at the 2013 Field to Fork Festival I knew that the focus would be primarily for those in situations unlike mine. Clearly I'm not in an urban environment, but I reasoned that composting is the same regardless of location, and as long as the focus was on the act of composting, and not how to disguise backyard bins, etc, then I should learn something. I'm glad that I chose to attend, as I not only learned some useful tips, but more importantly, was motivated by the workshop leader to step up my composting routine.
The gentleman leading the workshop explained that he included things normally on the 'do not compost' list, with no ill effects, such as meat, dairy, and oils. In addition to this he talked about the lengths he goes to in search of material to add to his compost, including collecting material from around his office which he takes home daily. Surely, I thought, I could do the same.
Over the past month and a half I've found myself more active in seeking out item to compost. I've noticed small things which were being trashed before, which I'm now adding, such as oil soaked paper towels used to oil the grate of the grill. We also bought a bucket for collecting liquids from the kitchen, which is now being regularly added to the compost. This includes water used for boiling foods such as pasta or corn, as well as water used for washing vegetables, etc. While the compost may not always need the additional liquid, there are bits of organic material in this water, along with starches, etc that are beneficial to the pile.
I've also started bringing home things like boxes and paper bags from fast food restaurants, including pizza boxes, to tear up and add to the compost. Clearly it would be better, for other reasons, including health and finances, if I wasn't accumulating such items, but when I do, I figure I might as well put them to good use rather than let them end up in the landfill.
While the things I've mentioned are just small steps, they are also the type of changes that are easy to implement and keep going. Whether its energy conservation or composting, small steps add up over time, making them well worth the effort. I'm thankful for the motivation received from the workshop to undertake these changes.