Compost with the most

You know what I love? Worms. You know what worms love? Digesting organic material and making it into compost. Isn't that awesome? Worms are so great.

When I was a kid, we had a huge compost pile in the back yard (putting a bunch of organic crap in a pile and letting it sit and marinate over a period of years is called "passive composting"; we were big into "passive" I think, there in suburban New Jersey), and there was something so wild and exotic about it to a young me. It seemed like such a Dad thing.

Later, I dated someone whose family kept a small ventilated compost bin in their kitchen, filled with egg shells and banana peels—more recognizable everyday things than my childhood Mount Kilimantrasho ever had on it. It seemed like such a cool your-parents-used-to-be-hippies-didn't-they thing.

Personally, I haven't kept compost myself since I reached double digits, even though I know its benefits outweigh its relative inconvenience (and I fully cop to this "relative inconvenience" being a BS excuse, since most major cities are actively making it easier and easier for individuals to manage their waste effectively). Recycling, reusing and reducing has always seemed like a more easily achieved sort of lifestyle, and one my husband and I actively maintain. But surely there must be more we can do…

And then Joe started a composting program, and my eyes were really opened.

When I first heard about the plan, I was skeptical for sure; how can already-overwhelmed baristas in a busy shop be expected to effectively and efficiently compost roughly 75% of a day's basic rubbish output? But it is as natural as though we had been doing it for years, and after a few times of having to fish Post-it notes out of the compost bin, even I got the hang of it.

Commercial composting can be so amazing, especially in an industry that naturally produces so much organic waste. Not only is composting coffee grounds and foodstuffs in one large, wheeled container that gets emptied nearly nightly by a professional crew vastly better for the environment than tossing roughly 200lbs of plastic-bagged trash every evening, but it also makes the actual rubbish so much more manageable and less messy. Win-win!

Here is some more information about composting on a small scale in New York, and how the Department of Sanitation can help residents be more earth-aware.

On the topic of the environment, get a load of these little beauties:

Available for purchase here, $20. (NB: back-ordered until mid May)

(Also, I'd like to say that I never, ever recommend doing a Google Image Search for "worm," even when writing a blog post about composting. The results are profoundly unpleasant.)