DIY Composter: Take 2
I blogged in 2012 about making a homemade composter. But I made one on such a small scale it didn’t make sense. I am moving up in size ladies and gentlemen! I am just going to use a garbage pail, one that is small enough to roll around on the ground, but not large enough for it to be bulky and difficult to hide. I have seen a lot of cool composters people have made and designed it with a door, and on 2 by 4′s so you just have to turn a knob to mix it:
With my vacation coming up I don’t have the time to make this so I made a simpler one.
This is what you will need:
Round Garbage Pail with a lid (one that locks in place if possible).
Food Scraps/Yard Waste (I will get into more detail below on what you need here).
Soil or finished compost
In order to make good compost you need a good combination of green ingredients, brown ingredients, water and air. Green ingredients are things like, fresh cut grass, fruit and veggie scraps, egg shells, plant trimmings, coffee grounds and filters and hair (I had 3 cats so I have an abundance of cat fur) Brown ingredients are dead grass (if you need to rake, this will give you a lot of brown ingredients you can stock pile), saw dust, newspaper, pine needles and straw. I mixed mine in layers. I started with brown, mixed in some green, soil, greens and brown. Add just enough water so it’s as wet as a damp sponge that has been wrung out.
Make sure you drill enough holes in the lid to get good air flow. This mixture should create heat, but you don’t want it to get too hot.
Pop on the lid and secure and you are done. I will keep adding food scraps and yard waste until it is full. In the mean time I will ensure it is properly mixed every few days by rolling it over the ground on it’s side. This will be easy that the garbage pail is round. I will update on the progress as it gets closer to complete compost.
One Mans Trash is My Treasure
Spring cleaning is next week and people are loading up there boulevards with as much crap as they have been collecting up until this time of the year. I end up seeing a lot of stuff that can be repurposed, if the right person comes along. Enter me. I found this!
I am not sure what I will do with it yet, but for now I absolutely love the texture of the wood, and the old look of the brackets. I am pretty sure I can put it to use somewhere. I am looking forward to finding some other cool things this week. I spied a saw horse in a neighbors lawn and I was thinking about carrying it home to see if it could be of use for me, or my dad. The City of Fargo suddenly changed back the Spring Cleaning week to this week so I won’t have much time to search for treasures.
We also see a lot of people collect metals of all sorts to trade in for cash. I honestly love seeing this, because some people make a ton of money from this, and it also prevents a lot of metal from going to the landfill. An article I had read recently in our local paper stated that our landfill has about 11 more years left before it’s at capacity. This is happening in a lot of more cities than Fargo. If we can all be a bit more mindful of what we throw away we can extend the life of the landfill. The city collects food scraps with it’s yard waste during the warm months, Fargo has electronic recycling day where we can turn in computers and TV’s and also has free curbside recycling. There should be no reason why we have to put our trash can on the boulevard filled to the brim each week.
10 Things to Do With Toilet Paper Rolls
Last week I found out that the spring cleanup week will be postponed until September because of the Fargo Moorhead flood fight. The flood crest prediction has been lowered and cleanup of the city afterwards will start sooner than we all predicted so the city announced spring cleanup will resume as the first week of May. This is great news because I like to garbage pick for reusable items and things I can blog about. I am hoping I can find some old wood to make furniture with. In the mean time…while people are loading their boulevards with other people’s treasures, I am going to compile a list of things you can do with toilet paper rolls.
1. Hamsters/Gerbils love them. See: picture of hamster loving toilet paper rolls.
2. Make Fire Starters.
3. DIY compostable peat pots.
4. Artwork: Creativity 1, Creativity 2, Creativity 3 (and my favorite)
5. Add to your compost pile.
6. Make bird house mobile.
7. Crafts for children.
8. Chic Christmas Ornaments.
9. Use as a stencil.
10. Christmas garland.
If you had 260 square foot of living space…
What would you keep? What would you donate? Would you get bored with only the small amount of things around you? Is our livelihood, happiness and popularity defined by what we own, or how little we own?
I live with my husband and 3 cats in a home the size of about 1400 square feet, included in that a 2 floor sunroom-loft and living space above the garage. I believe I can live with half this amount of space. If I did not have the loft or the garage living space I wouldn’t miss it. The space we spend the most amount of time is the living room, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. These to me are the only required spaces and they do not need to be large. More space makes us believe that we require more stuff to fill it.
Check out this link. I could live here. You can pick where you want to live (it’s on wheels). We ought to spend more time in the outdoors, rather than indoors anyways. Do you think you would be happy living in a house this small?
I am inspired by a lot of things. My interests in the environment and being healthy have been formed by many things that I have seen on the internet, watched or read. I am even inspired by others. I watched a really inspirational documentary last night and I wanted to share with you all. Living On One Dollar is the name of the film and it is about Americans spending time in Guatemala living on very little income and trying to survive. They show the difficulties local families endure deciding on whether to buy food or to educate their children. It’s quite sad. But it makes me want to do something. I want to be happy with what I have and seeing these families happy yet struggling to get by makes me really think about all that I have and why I constantly want more. If you want more information on this documentary or to donate, check out this link.
I have also seen several other documentaries that you should check out if you have not already:
- An Inconvenient Truth-you all probably have heard of this one by Al Gore. This is the science behind global warming.
- No Impact Man-a small family spends one year without environmental impact.
- Supersize Me-made me swear of fast food.
- Food Inc.-overview on corporate farming.
Also, if you have a chance, you should read the book, Not Buying It by Judith Levine. A woman goes one year buying only the specific list of agreed upon essentials prior to starting the year. This means not eating out, going to movies or going shopping. Wine is not a necessity, neither is travel. To me, these types of videos and books are inspirational to me. They make me want to make a change, as I hope they will inspire you to make simple changes.
Paper Pulp Planters
Do you a simple project to use all of that junk mail, newspapers or wrapping paper? These planters are easy and you can repurpose waste that is otherwise destined for the trash or recycling into planters that you can plant right in the ground once it thaws.
All you need is:
Newspaper/Paper or Wrapping paper
Flour sack or wax paper
1. Put half a blender full of torn up paper shreds into the blender and add enough water to saturate it. Blend until it looks like paper pulp and you can’t see much of what the paper used to look like.
2. Strain the pulp in the colander and let drain until much of the water is out. You can wring it out a bit to get more of the water out.
3. I applied the pulp to the cupcake tins without anything between the pulp and the tin and most of then got stuck. Next time I will try a flour sack and wedge it down into the groves before I apply the pulp. Or you can try wax paper or even butter to grease the sides.
4. Allow to dry for a couple of days. Once fully dry, lift the flour sack off the tin.
5. Plant seeds in each cup using soil and some homemade compost. Plant in garden once ready and water accordingly.
If you are like me and can’t wait for spring, these will be a nice way to start early.
Blog Spotlight: Refashionista
I absolutely love the idea of this blog. She buys the really ugly clothes at thrift stores for mere dollars if that, then turns them into beautiful outfits. A lot of times she has a inspiration outfit she likes, then cuts, pins and sews the “ugly” garment into the magnificent new one.
If I knew anything about making clothes I would try some of these redesigns. This is re-purposing at its finest. You definitely need to check out this blog.
Get Rid of Cable and Satellite
Our decision to cut satellite service was an easy one. I wanted to save money. On top of money, we are still getting all of the shows that we want anyways. Some shows are not as easy to get as others, but with the internet, you can see almost all shows just a day later if that.
My husband told me about Roku. It is a little box you buy from Best Buy, or online and it works as a link between the computer and TV. I think it cost about $60 (approximately $2.50/month if you assume an upgrade in 2 years). You even get a little remote. You then subscribe to Hulu, Amazon Prime and/or Netflix streaming. $7.99 for Hulu Plus, Amazon is $79 per year ($6.58/month) and you get movies, shows and 2 day free shipping from Amazon. Netflix I haven’t signed up for yet, but will soon. With that all tallied up the approximate cost for all of this streaming is $17.07 per month. Previously we were paying just over $70 for satellite service for the same TV. We are saving over $50 per month. If we add Netflix streaming it would be $7.99 per month in addition.
I find the quality of the TV is better. There is limited commercials, maybe 30 seconds tops. The only difference between Roku and having satellite is you have to know what you are going to watch. You can’t just turn on a channel and just watch whatever is live. All of these shows are previously aired and you essentially pick what you want to watch. The only other thing is you never watch anything live. So watch out for spoilers.
Is saving $600 per year worth waiting a day to watch your favorite programs? What does $600 buy or pay for? It pays for 1 entire month of mortgage payment on one of our properties. Or it would pay for 5 full gas tanks worth of gas. Or 3-4 nights stay at a fairly good hotel. A lot of nice clothes. 20 meals out with your significant other. Pretty tempting, eh? Why not do some research on streaming and give up the bill!