Things You need to know before composting
Composting seems like such a simple concept, but preparing to start can be a bit overwhelming. Which pail? What scraps? Should the bin you buy turn or be stationary? Will it stink? We know you need the answers, so here are 5 things you need to know before composting.


Once you get started, composting does the work for you. There are a few rules and ideas you should follow when you get started to make this process as simple, and odor free, as possible.

1. Get a good (indoor) pail. This OXO compost bin is one we've used for about four years now. I love that it's small enough to fit on our counters, while still holding a good amount of food scraps. The lid isn't tight fitting but, unless we overfill it, we never smell it. For stainless steel or tighter lid, go for a indoor compost bin which comes with charcoal filters. We (try to) empty it out to our outdoor bin every couple of days.

Related: Subpod: The Compost Companion You Must Have

2. Decide on the type of outdoor one you need. We have this one that rolls but have had a stationary one before. The difference? With a rolling one, it's easier to move it to turn the compost which promotes decomposing and gets the air in there to prevent mold. The downside is you can't use worms because the rolling will kill most of them. With a stationary bin, you can use worms which work to help decompose scraps, but you'll still need to get in there with a shovel or rake to move it all around.

3. Know what you can't compost. You can't compost everything - any kind of meat/fish is a no. While it can decompose, the stink will bother you, your neighbors, and attract animals that will destroy your bin to get to it. Dog and cat poo are also no go's (use this if you want to compost them). So are tea and coffee if they are in netting/noncompostable bags. Too much citrus and onions are hard on your compost (and worms if you have them) so be sure to go easy on tossing these in.

Related: Composting With Worms: Sounds Gross, But Kids Love It

4. And know what you can. Did you know that most paper can be composted? Make sure it isn't glossy or coated (like a magazine) and toss it in! Eggshells, egg cartons (cardboard), dryer lint, what you vacuum up, cooked rice and pasta, q-tips (not the plastic kind), hair shavings, domestic bird and rabbit droppings, the list goes on.

5. Use it! Plant a garden or add it to one already started. Be sure to mix with your current soil. Sprinkle it on your lawn, use it in your flower posts, and use it to mix into tree beds. Save any leftover for next year, or ask your neighbors if they want some.

Now that you know how to get started, share with us about how you compost and what worked and maybe what hasn't as you've experimented.