Monday, January 30, 2012

Composting in New York City

Nope, that's not a typo. I really meant composting, not composing.

Yes, in New York City... Manhattan, even!

And no, we don't have a townhouse or ground floor apartment, no backyard or roof deck or access to any outdoor space that is not public property.  And while we jokingly call Riverside Park "our backyard" I don't think the parks department people would take kindly to our appropriating a bit of it to create a family compost heap.

I had not thought it possible. But then the wonderful folks at Mom Central Consulting contacted me to participate in the Glad / New York Compost Blog Tour and giveaway...

And even though I already have so much (too much!) on my plate, I just couldn't say "no." For, you see, even though I am a thoroughly urbanized city-gal now, at times in my (distant) youth, I have lived in the country and been elbow deep in the fragrant, fertile earth of a garden, and the compost that facilitates that.

Also for a number of years running my family has gone to visit my cousin Jessie and her family in Burlington Vermont in the summertime. And they? Have a wonderful, abundant organic vegetable garden, a BIG healthy compost pile, and... chickens!

So for a week every summer I am mindfully sorting every scrap of garbage we create into their respective chicken, compost, trash and recycle containers. And then when we come home to New York City it has felt so odd and so thoroughly WASTEFUL to be throwing out all that wonderful compost material and chicken food.

So you can see how I jumped at the chance to do something about this in an easy and fun way, and in my very own (small galley) kitchen here in NYC. So this, my friends, is a double first - my first giveaway and my first sponsored post!* (And you are here to witness it!)

When the composting kit arrived and I unpacked it, I found:
  • Glad Compostable Bags. 
  • An "Easy Household Guide" to composting by Nicky Scott, called, well "COMPOSTING."
  • An appropriately sized, lidded, dark green compost bucket, labelled an "ODOUR FREE Compost Caddy." And yes, it IS made in England, how could you tell? ;-)
  • A sunflower growing kit (that I shall pass on to a Brooklyn friend with a back garden).

The compost bucket settled very comfortably on my kitchen counter. Due to an ingenious filter in the top of the lid and lined with a Glad Compostable Bag, it indeed lived up to its "ODOUR FREE" claim, in spite of the many apple peels and garlic pulps that have been dumped into it.

Also? As yet, no fruit flies (the bane of open compost buckets everywhere).

It was interesting to see how much fruit and vegetable scrap waste we generated in just a few days. Did I ever mention Ethan eats 2-3 apples a day and they must be sliced and peeled?

When it became clear that the bag would quickly fill, I emailed Adam at New York Compost and arrangements were made for an easy right-to-my-door pick-up. And of course, the vehicle for this is human powered by clean, green bicycle!

I hand my tidy, unsmelly, tied-up bag of luscious, gooey compostable stuff over to Adam and away it goes to ferment away in a community compost site, ultimately to enrich the soil for some lucky gardeners.

OK, I am feeling so environmentally virtuous and green now. I plan to keep doing this even after the official compost blog tour is over.

So, if crazy stressed - SQUASHED - me can do this, then you certainly can, too! You in? Good!

To learn more about the Glad environmental programs, go to their site Glad to Waste Less. I did, and was pleasantly surprised to see all that this plastic-bag-selling company is doing to help people go green. Who knew?

Something else cool and green and philanthropic that Glad is doing is supporting youth sports programs by providing 10, $2,000 "One Bag" grants (and counsel from sustainability experts) to help youth stadiums or sports leagues’ waste diversion efforts. Entrants will be asked to share a brief description of their need and plan to take their high school stadium, community fields or youth sports league “One Bag.”

Grant submissions will be accepted at their site and the grant entry period runs from October 18, 2011 through February 29, 2012.

Also, if you are my neighbor here in NYC and want to know more about the wonderful New York Compost folks, visit their website: New York Compost! 

And here's a handy dandy little video of the venture, featuring the kind of cart that comes by to pick up our NYC compost.
And now, to give you a further nudge in the right direction (drumroll, please).... 


I have a Glad Composting Kit to send to one, randomly selected, lucky reader. It contains:
  • Your own handy green "Odour Free" composting bucket
  • A box of 20 Glad Compostable Bags for the bucket
  • A small, easy to read book on the ins & outs of composting
  • A sunflower growing kit
How to Enter:
First off, I'm easy.
(And don't tell me you've already heard that from my husband.)
#1. Just leave a comment here. That's it, you're entered once.

For additional chances, you can do any or all of the following (each one gets you an additional entry): 
#2. Follow me on Twitter @SquashedMom and tell me you did it - or that you already follow me - in another comment.

#3. Like my Facebook Fan Page and tell me you did it - or that you already like me, you really like me - in another comment.

#4. Go check out the New York Compost website - and tell me you did it in another comment. (On the honor system here.)

#5. Go check out the  Glad to Waste Less website - and tell me you did it in another comment. (Again, I trust you.)

Contest runs until NOON, NYC (Eastern Standard) Time on Sunday, February 5th, 2012. The winner (selected at random by their entry number) has 48 hours to respond after email notification of their awesome luckiness, or the package will go on to another randomly chosen entrant.

Did I forget anything here? I hope not, I'm new to this blog contest / giveaway game after all.

Good luck and happy composting y'all!

*In accordance with transparency and legality, I am letting you know that I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Glad and received a composting kit to facilitate my review, a sample to giveaway, and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.  The opinions expressed herein, however, are uninfluenced by this compensation and are completely my own.

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