I usually don’t write much about the basics of being green, like composting. When I lived in a more rural area, composting was fantastic. I gardened and left a spot in the corner for yard waste and food scraps. I usually didn’t even mix it, I just let it sit and do its thing. Now I live in a small apartment in the middle of town. There’s a small yard shared with my neighbors. I’m not sure my landlord would be too keen on a compost bin next to the building either. So I need something else.
Vermi-composting, or worm composting, is quite the possibility if you don’t mind keeping worms in your home. Nothing against the squiggly little guys but I can live without that. There are definite benefits if you want to go that route though: the worms eat tons of scraps, produce little odor, and make fantastic compost. They’ve been doing it outside forever. However, I don’t want any loose as I have young kids in the family and they need not eat them. Plus the worms aren’t so swell with animal byproducts (meat, dairy, eggs, et cetera). So scratch that.
Now, if I had $300 lying around (oh, if only I did!) I would really be looking at the NatureMill. The device is really a simple concept. The folks at NatureMill basically took your standard outdoor garden compost pile/heap/bin, stuck it a box, added a little power to mix it up and keep it warm, and made it easy to pull out the finished product. I know, in theory it sounds easy. This composting bin sounds worth the money.
The makers claim that the NatureMill Plus can handle up to 120 lbs of waste every month. And it only draws about fifty cents worth of electricity so its solar/wind friendly (although I imagine if you’re running off renewable energy, you’re probably composting outside). It can also be used outside, just keep the power supply dry.
If you’re doing a lot more heavy use and you don’t think that 120 lbs a month will suit you, go for the Pro. This bad boy isn’t available yet but when it is, it comes standard with a 3 year warranty (the Plus only has 1 year) plus its built stronger for large family or even restaurant use. If you’re worried about somebody tossing it something they’re not supposed to, you can also toss a padlock on this one. The Pro will sell for $400.
Finally for the pet lovers, get the Pet Friendly NatureMill. This version will still take your kitchen scraps but is recommended for your pet’s lovely waste. Just be sure to use this $400 model outdoors. Please don’t keep your pet waste inside. Eck.