Foodprint: Saving the planet from your kitchen table
Choices about what you eat can make as big a difference for the environment as how you get around. Before reaching for your favorite comfort food this Thanksgiving, join the David Suzuki Foundation for our 11-day challenge, Foodprint: Saving the planet from your kitchen table. Starting Oct. 5th, you could win an awesome prize just by sharing your story on Facebook. Plus you'll get helpful eco-advice from me, the Queen of Green.
Answer the daily Facebook question by adding your comment. Don't have a comment to share? Check out the others and vote for your favourite. We're giving out fabulous prizes for the comment with the most "Likes".
The planet doesn't need another fad diet. But how much do you know about where your food comes and the type of impact it's having on the planet? What are you doing to eat more sustainably?
Day 2 of Foodprint: Saving the planet from your kitchen table
Composting is easy. If you eat, and especially if you've ever purchased a bag of dirt, you have a vested interest in composting. It's black gold! And who wouldn't want to take out fewer stinky garbage bags?
Here are seven super reasons to start composting, including cut your household garbage by about half. Depending on where you are along the compost spectrum, here are some compost tips from my kitchen table to yours:
Tip for the first-timer: Location, location, location
People often assume (and you know what they say about assumptions) that compost stinks. As a result, too many locate their bin in the farthest corner of the yard. No matter where you live — whether it's a cold winter day in Edmonton or raining in Vancouver — this common mistake makes composting less enjoyable (yes, I'm suggesting it's enjoyable.)
Make your compost bin accessible. This way you're more likely to use it. Place it close to the door where you have a short path, allowing you to dash out at any time of year unscathed!
Tip for the veteran: Fruit flies are not the enemy
Too many fruit flies in your compost bin are only a symptom (see my handy Composting Do's and Don'ts factsheet with more troubleshooting advice.) If fruit flies are a smidge overabundant, it means you have too many exposed food scraps. You need more browns to cover your greens! It's that simple.
My compost suffers from this very problem — too many greens because I don't own a blade of grass. All summer long I eyeball my neighbour's lawn clippings, too chicken to ask if I can "borrow" them. Instead, I resort to tearing up the inside cylinders of my empty toilet paper rolls, any brown paper bags I can get my hands on, and even resorting to cutting up my weekly newspaper column in the Metro.
A few weeks ago I noticed I wasn't the only one aware of my fruit fly nursery. To protect his identity (from those who hate arachnids), I'll call him Spider. He weaves a web ever so carefully, attaching it between my compost bin and the fence. I think you know where this is going.
Each day as I dump in fair trade banana peels and eggs shells from happy chickens eggs, I look for Spider. As I unlock the lid he moves to the centre of his web, and then I watch in awe as the carnage unfolds!
The flies flee straight into the spider's web as he zigs, he zags and chomps his fair share. Moral of the story? I have a renewed love for composting, appreciating how quickly nature (Spider and a dozen of his friends) have come to my rescue!
Why did you start composting?
Lindsay Coulter, Queen of Green