On April 22, 2011, follow me as I make my promise to the planet, and join in to make our only home a better place to live. Earth Day is set aside each year for us to honor the planet we live on. It is our chance to make a promise to the planet to take care of it; to clean it up and keep the environment sustainable. Many people take part in activities that help clean up the environment or increase people’s awareness of how fragile our ecosystem is.
My Earth Day Promise
My Earth Day promise to the planet is to start a compost bin, and to use the material it produces to grow organic crop foods. I will build my compost bin using a a clean, previously used barrel instead of purchasing a new one. Once the compost bin begins to produce organic soil, I will make hanging planters out of used 5-gallon buckets and grow tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and squash. My reward for keeping my Earth Day promise will be many healthy meals and a sense of personal accomplishment.
Why Plastic buckets?
For my Earth Day promise to the planet I will only use materials that have been previously used for other purposes. Converting plastic items to alternate uses will not require additional resources or energy, and they can be used again and again for years. If I were to use new products for my Earth Day promise I would not be doing the planet a service because I would be creating additional waste, while using recycled items reduces energy usage and turns trash into containers that produce food I can eat.
A Simple Compost Bin
My compost bin will be a cylinder with a square door cut into one side and mounted with hinges and a heavy door latch. I will insert an old oven rack into the opening and mount it so that the barrel can be rolled and the material it contains will be filtered by the rack. I will then place a long bolt or piece of threaded rod through each end of the barrel and attach them to posts made from used 2-inch PVC pipe. The completed compost bin will spun by hand, breaking breaking my household refuse and yard debris into smaller pieces and mixing them together to promote composting.
Compost Active Ingredients
One of the most important factors for a natural compost bin is the lowly earthworm. Worms slowly eat vegetable peels, grass clipping and other vegetable matter and then excrete material that will eventually become soil. I plan to start my compost bin with at least 50 large earthworms, and to periodically harvest some of the worms from the bin for distribution across my lawn. I will be put my household vegetable matter into the bin, including tea and coffee grounds, vegetable scraps, and even shredded old newspapers. Each day I will “operate” my compost bin by giving it one full revolution, turning it slowly so that the refuse rolls over inside the barrel.
University of Missouri: Build a Compost Bin