Category Archives: food scrap compost

Day 133: MLwC, food and the 4th

Here’s what the 4th of July looks, smells and sounds like in my neck of the woods:

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Wall-to-wall people camped out at the beach from early morning on in order to have a good spot to watch the fireworks over Elliott Bay and Queen Anne.

Traffic backed up from the bridge all the way to and from the beach all day and until the very early morning hours.

The twin smells of barbecue and wood fires, combined later with sulpher from the fireworks themselves.

Boom boxes blaring, kids running around laughing, squealing, adults talking over too much beer and sun…but all having a pretty good holiday.

And food. Chips, hotdogs, hamburgers, pizza, take-out chicken, store-bought cherry pie…a cornucopia of processed american food.

Which brings me to the Slow Food, an international organization with over 80,000 members started in 1986 as a reaction to McDonald’s and other american fast food enterprises. They focus on the intersection of community, farming, food production, taste, health, and the pure enjoyment of real, unprocessed food. Their mission statement:

We believe that everyone has a fundamental right to pleasure and consequently the responsibility to protect the heritage of food, tradition and culture that make this pleasure possible. Our movement is founded upon this concept of eco-gastronomy – a recognition of the strong connections between plate and planet.

Anyone who gets their food at a local farmer’s market is part of the slow food movement, whether they realize it or not. Anyone who takes the time to prepare their meals, who cares about what goes in their body, or who enjoys real, unprocessed food, or prefers restaurants that use local fresh and organic produce is part of the slow food movement. Because in our culture, it is much easier to just buy a bag of chips, pick up some hot dogs or burgers, grab a mass-produced pizza and knock back a six pack of fast-brewed beer.

We have come to expect so little from our food. In a fast food world, it’s all about quantity, not quality. In a slow food world, those values are reversed.

So, anyway, I spent the day with pals (so great to hang with your girl gang, Di!) and had lunch at the Pike Place Market. Later I rode home to spend the evening with some more friends; we had slow cooked spicy black beans, rice, guacamole, corn tortillas, salad, and a fresh fruit crisp with cherries from our own pie-cherry tree in the backyard…and man, was it good! How was your 4th?

Daily stats: (Wednesday)
Car: 0
Bike: 15 miles
Bus: 1.5 miles
Water taxi: 2 miles
Ped: approx 2 miles

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Seattle’s composting program

Just a note to all Seattle area readers: are you composting your food scraps yet?  Seattle has a truly exemplary program in place to reduce landfill by as much as 50% or more…if only we could get our seattleites to put their vegetable food scraps in their yard waste bins.

Sound easy?  It is.  Couldn’t be easier–we’ve been doing it now for several months and it’s a pretty sweet deal.  We now have the smallest trash container allowed which means reducing our monthly solid waste bill, and we feel good about turning our estimated 10+ lbs. per week of veggie + fruit scraps into rolling hills of compost for our parks and gardens.

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So, just do it.  It’s simple and it works.

Day 102 & 103: WLwC and doing more, not less

Seth Godin has a recent post about global climate change and marketing. I hate it that the two are inextricably connected, but they are. His point: don’t ask people to do less, ask them to do more. We, as humans (at least in this hemisphere and on this continent), are hard-wired for more–we don’t like less.

I agree with the more idea and think we can expand it endlessly, whereas less can be sort of a dead-end discussion.

In fact, I think that’s what we’ve been discussing here for the last few months–do more! Walk more, recycle more, compost more…and in its own systemic way, those actions will lead to less. No muss, no fuss.

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For example, compost more. At our house, a few months ago we began taking advantage of Seattle’s compost program wherein you can put veggie/food scraps in your yardwaste bin, which then goes into a massive composting process and becomes the basis for gorgeous flower and P-patch beds all over the city. We’ve done it big-time: recently when taking the garbage out, it seemed almost empty…and it was! The only thing in it was a couple of bags of cat-sand. We’d managed to compost and re-use almost everything during the week.

So, do you think Godin’s onto something when he says do more, not less and what kinds of good-more are you seeing in your neck of the woods in response to climate change?

Daily stats (Tuesday and Wednesday)

Car: 0
Bike: approx 10 miles
Foot: 3.5
Bus: 0

Day 37: My Life w Car

In Seattle, we have this great program for composting food scraps that’s just working out so well and reducing our overall garbage production. It just started in December, and it’s been part of our ongoing discussion regarding what to do with our food scraps.

As vegetarians, our food scraps are easy and ideal for composting; the biggest issue is we have more food scraps than a small worm bin can really handle. I, particularly, eat a lot of fruit everyday which results in a lot of peels, cores, and other fruit scraps. Then we eat a lot of fresh veggies that create a pile of scraps–cores, peels, etc. We’ve always wanted to compost everything but haven’t been able to, mainly due to the amount.

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Well, now we just add it to our yard waste! What could be easier! At first we were skeptical because we figured the neighborhood raccoons would dig into it, but turns out that with all the other green material in the bin–leaves, grass, prunings, etc–the smell of our veggies and fruit scraps gets overwhelmed. So, so far, so good. And it has reduced our garbage by about 30% each week–amazing!

We still do the worm composting, by the way. The vermiculture output is so good for the garden soil, we could never stop that entirely. Anxious to get the garden going this year!

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Daily Stats:
Car: 8.5 miles/ 3 tasks
Bike: 0
Flexcar: 0
Bus: 0
a pie: 0