GEOBIN Composter Coloring Contest

Are you looking for creative at-home learning opportunities to keep your kids engaged while schools are closed? Now is the perfect time to teach them about composting! Incorporating composting into your child’s curriculum will not only provide a valuable science lesson but will also teach them the importance of reducing waste and helping the environment.

Get started with our GEOBIN Composter Coloring Contest!

All participants will be entered into a drawing to win a GEOBIN Composter. Download the coloring page to get started. Once your child has finished their artwork, complete the entry form below for your chance to win.

Click Image to Download Coloring Page

 

 

 

 

 

Contest Rules

Celebrate Earth Day Every Day with Seasonal Composting

Reduce, reuse, recycle. We’re all familiar with the concept, but it’s easy to get bogged down by everyday life and take it for granted.

Earth Day—which is April 22—serves as a nice reminder to appreciate the planet and do our part to help the environment. However, it takes more than one day to reverse the negative effects of some of our habits, and we should be conscious of our actions all year. Recycling things like plastic, glass, and aluminum is a great start, but what about our food waste? Shouldn’t we be recycling that, too?

Don’t Blame It All on the Cows

When our organic waste ends up in landfills, the lack of air in the environment causes the decaying matter to produce methane gas—a greenhouse gas roughly 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a heat-trapping gas.

Composting helps divert waste from landfills, which can significantly reduce methane emissions, resulting in an all-around cooler planet Earth.

 

Composting Tips for Each Season

Despite your region’s climate, you can compost year-round. In fact, each season offers its own unique composting benefits.

 

Spring Composting

Whether you have an established compost bin or you’re just getting started, spring is a great time for composting. If you have organic material from winter in your bin, the rising temperatures will help accelerate decomposition. If you’re just starting your composting journey and have plenty of “green” food waste, you’ll want to make sure you balance it out with some “brown” carbon materials. Adding dried leaves left over from fall can help. If that’s not an option, you can also source some straw or wood chips to add to your bin.

 

Summer Composting

The summer heat speeds up decomposition, which can help decrease turnaround time for your compost. If the weather is dry, you will need to keep an eye on moisture levels and add water when necessary.

Between grass clipping and food waste from your summer BBQs, you may find yourself adding a lot of nitrogen-rich “greens” to your pile. Be sure to layer in additional autumn leaves, paper, straw or other carbon-rich materials you can access.

 

Fall Composting

Come fall, nitrogen and carbon materials are both readily available. Your compost will love the combination of grass clippings and autumn leaves. Remember to preserve some of your leaves to add to your compost in spring and summer.

Don’t forget to compost those jack-o-lanterns! Adding your decaying pumpkins to your compost pile will reduce the amount of waste in landfills and help nourish your soil.

 

Winter Composting

Cold winter weather doesn’t have to bring your composting to a screeching halt. Although decomposition may be slower, you can keep your compost pile active during this time so you have nutrient-rich fertilizer ready for spring planting. Continue to compost kitchen scraps, such as fruit peelings, vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, and eggshells. You should also add brown materials, such as dried leaves, straw, and other plant debris.

Insulation helps to ensure the compost remains active in colder months. Snow acts as an efficient insulator for your compost, but if you don’t live in a region that sees much snow, you can use cardboard or straw to cover your bin. If possible, keep your compost bin in a sunnier part of the yard.

 

Next time you’re making dinner or cleaning out your refrigerator, take an inventory of the food waste that ends up in your trash bin. The amount may seem insignificant at the time, but when you think about the millions of people doing the same thing as you, the impact is huge.

This Earth Day, consider setting up an at-home composting system, such as the GEOBIN® composter, to do your part to reduce greenhouse emissions and help return vital nutrients to the earth.

 

Check out past blogs:

• 5 Steps to Make a Difference on Earth Day
• Composting Eggshells
• Composting Citrus Fruits

Get started by ordering your GEOBIN >>

Show the Earth Some Love this Valentine’s Day by Composting Your Flowers

A Valentine’s Day Tradition

You may not be surprised to learn that roses are the most popular Valentine’s Day flower in the United States. In fact, an estimated 250 million roses are produced for the holiday each year. Some die-hard romantics may preserve their wilting petals and turn them into potpourri, but more likely than not, those week-old flowers are getting tossed in the trash. Eventually, they’ll make their way to local landfills to join the millions of tons of organic waste that does not belong.

Each year, the average American throws away about 1,200 pounds of organic material that could be composted. This Valentine’s Day, show a little love to planet Earth by composting your expiring bouquet—whether it’s made up of roses, carnations, or any other flower. In addition to reducing methane emissions in landfills, your roses will pay it forward by creating a nutrient-rich fertilizer for your garden. Just remember to remove any inorganic elements, including ribbon, decorative twigs, and plastic components.

Your red roses may be green or brown 

You may be wondering, “Are my cut flowers considered to be greens or browns?” Well, it depends on how long you keep them before deciding to add them to your GEOBIN® compost bin. If they are just wilted, but not dry, they can be added to your compost for nitrogen. If they have dried out, they’re considered to be a “brown” and can be added for carbon.

No matter when you decide to add them to your compost bin, your cut flowers are a welcome component to your healthy and well-balanced compost.

For more composting tips, download our Guide to Backyard Composting.

Freshly Brewed Compost

Written By: Jennifer Vander Linden, Product Manager

Did you know that drinking coffee could benefit your garden and enrich your compost pile?

Lets DIG IN to see how coffee grounds go from that ‘Cup of Joe’ to your luscious gardens—all while diverting organic waste from the landfills.

From the Coffee Pot to Compost

According to The National Coffee Association and The Specialty Coffee Association of America, “Americans consume 400 millions cups of coffee per day making the U.S. the leading consumer of coffee in the world.”

With all those coffee drinkers, coffee shops are looking to make use of their coffee grounds.

Pictured here is a coffee shop in Appleton, Wisconsin, All Seasons Coffeehouse. Not only do they give away coffee grounds, they also compost food scraps from their restaurant operation and offer the compost to customers.

Coffee grounds are a great additive to your compost pile—adding beneficial nutrients. So next time you visit your favorite coffee shop, ask if they have any coffee grounds or compost to share with you and add them to your compost pile or garden.

If you prefer to enjoy coffee brewed at home, unbleached, paper coffee filters are an ideal carbon source for your compost pile. For best results, tear the filters into smaller pieces before adding them to your compost pile.

I, myself tend to use a compost turner to shred the filter as I am turning it into my GEOBIN composter. The GEOBIN compost bin is an economical way to get started with creating a large, contained compost pile.

May Your Coffee Be Green

Do not let the brown color of coffee grounds fool you into thinking they are a “brown” additive for your compost pile. Coffee grounds are actually a nitrogen-rich “green”, while “browns” are carbon-rich materials like leaves, sawdust, hay and paper.

For composting with the GEOBIN Composter, your pile should consist of the following combinations:

  • Air + Water + Carbon + Nitrogen = Compost
  • 1 Part Greens + 3 Parts Brown + Water

Coffee Grounds are Happiness for Your Garden

Coffee grounds are a great source of nitrogen, phosphorus and other trace minerals for your compost pile. The nitrogen assists with seed germination and plant growth, while the phosphorus can help improve overall the composting process. (Compost piles made up of mostly yard waste and food scraps tend to be low in phosphorus.)

There is a perception that coffee grounds are too acidic for composting. The truth is coffee grounds are highly acidic, but easily manageable–experts recommend no more than 20% of your total compost volume should consist of coffee grounds.

Plants that Prefer Acidic Soils

Since only 20% of your compost pile should consist of coffee grounds, you can always use extra coffee grounds in your garden and around plants that prefer acidic soils.

There are acid-loving plants like hydrangeas, and daffodils, so adding a sparse amount of coffee grounds to the soil around them will help them flourish. To select the color for your blooms, typically a more acidic soil with a pH lower than 6.0 will produce blue blooms. An alkaline soil, with a pH between 6 and 7, will produce more pink or purple blooms.

How to Add Coffee Grounds to Acid-Loving Plants:

  1. A recommendation by many gardeners is to rake coffee grounds into the existing soils—making for a health soil amendment.
  2. If layering coffee grounds on top of existing soil is preferred, add a ½-inch layer or less of coffee grounds–more than that could crust over, keeping water and air from the root system.
  3. Keep coffee grounds off leaves and other yard waste—so they can penetrate into the soils.

Coffee Grounds are for the Worms

As it turns out, earthworms enjoy coffee grounds. If you favor vermicomposting, sprinkle some grounds into your container to keep your crawlers happy.

A healthy soil supports earthworms, who in turn offer better drainage, make soil more absorbent, increase nutrient availability and improve soil stability. They feed on organic matter in the soil and leave behind valuable castings.

So the next time you enjoy a cup of coffee, share your joy with Mother Earth and relax in your exquisite garden.

Join the Movement this Earth Day

Written By: Rebecca Mleziva, Business Development Specialist

Earth Day was first celebrated in the United States on April 22, 1970—49 years ago. But: why and how did this start?

How Environmental Concerns Founded Earth Day

During the late 1960s, mainstream America was holding anti-war marches, singing the Beatles, and watching as the first man walked on the moon. People cruised around in their ‘muscle cars’ without any concern for the negative environmental impact these had. This generation was not troubled with environmental issues—until 1969—when the largest oil spill in history occurred in Santa Barbara, CA, sparking major environmental concerns.

Gaylord Nelson, a former US Senator in Wisconsin, founded Earth Day after witnessing the severe damages from the oil spill—upsetting marine mammals, fish, and birds to damaging beaches, coastlines and islands throughout southern California.

Earth Day LogoSenator Nelson used the anti-war movement ‘energy’ to force air and water pollution topics onto national political agendas. As a result the ‘National Teach-in on the Environment’ was formed and gained national attention, helping to educate and assemble people across America to demand that Congress act on protecting the environment.

In spring of 1970, over 20 million Americans celebrated their love of the Earth by holding rallies in public parks, on streets and in auditoriums nationwide. People from all walks of life organized protests against environmental degradation: oil spills, pollution from power plants and toxic waste from factories. Pollution was not only affecting the environment, but wildlife was going extinct suddenly and the forests were depleting quickly. The first Earth Day was successful in uniting so many different people, with different views, to fight for one cause—our planet.

By the end of 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency was established, consolidating many environmental responsibilities under one agency.

Today, Earth Day is celebrated by more than 1 billion people across 193 countries. It is a day to not only increase awareness of what we all can do to protect our plants, animals and environment, but also to take action.

 

5 Steps to Make a Difference on Earth Day

This Earth Day, join in the movement to make a difference for our planet with these simple activities.

  1. Invest in Reusable Containers
    • Replace plastic bags and single use coffee cups. Not only will this save money in the long run, but it keeps non-degradable plastic out of our landfills.
  2. Keep the Keys on the Counter
    • Instead of driving, use alternative methods of transportation such as walking, biking or public transportation. These are a few good ways we can lower car emissions.
  3. Fix the Leak
    • Maybe it’s the kitchen faucet that drips or the shower handle that leaks. Taking steps to reduce the amount of water we use
      saves energy required to gather, clean,
      and deliver water.
  4. Start Composting
    • Reduce the amount of organic waste that goes into your landfill. Start backyard composting—in a GEOBIN Composter. Deposit your household kitchen scraps, grass clippings, and yard waste in the composter.
  5. Enjoy Nature Around You
    • Whether it is going on a hike or visiting your local park, take some time to look at the world around you, reminding yourself why it is worth saving.

 

 

Earth Day may only last 24 hours, but if we take the time to change just one of our daily habits, imagine the positive long-lasting impact this could have on the world around us.

Why Every Municipality Should Have a Backyard Composting Program

By: William G. Handlos, PE

With the average landfill tipping fee rising to over $50 per ton, and with pickup and hauling costs rising every year, a low-cost backyard composting program just makes sense. About one-third of household waste is currently recycled, but very little of the recyclables are food scraps. In fact, 20% of all waste that goes into the landfill is food scraps.

This presents a tremendous opportunity for municipalities to save money – while doing the right thing. Whether tipping fees, hauling equipment or labor costs are tax-funded or privately billed to the homeowner – constituents can see a reduction in their annual costs, while producing nutrient-rich compost for their gardens.

Elected Officials, Solid Waste & Recycling Coordinators, and Public Works Directors all could benefit from a program facilitated by free or subsidized compost bins disseminated to homeowners.

If you are reading this blog, check with your municipality to see what the elected officials are doing to save residents money through municipality-organized backyard composting programs.

Share the below video with your municipal professionals and elected officials.

GEOBIN Backyard Municipality Program

When Life Gives You Lemons, Feed Your Compost Pile

Written By: Katie Bocskor, Digital Marketing Manager for MyGreenGloves

Summertime Lemonade Stands

When you think summertime, what adventures, activities and memories come to mind?

I think of bike rides and lemonade stands. Summer is my favorite time of year and has been since I was a kid. As I reminisce about my childhood, I think about sitting in the driveway with my three sisters and selling lemonade to the people passing by. I bet you remember your childhood lemonade stands, as you are probably now helping your children with theirs.

Lemonade stands can teach a child so many things: from how to make lemonade, to running a small business, to sales, communication and teamwork—so why not teach children about food waste and the benefits of composting as well?!


Benefits of Citrus Peels are Too Good to Throw Away—Compost Them!

Did you know that in the U.S. alone, about 150,000 tons of food is thrown out every day?

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, fruits and vegetables are the most tossed out items, followed by dairy and meat.

The rotting food waste releases dangerous methane gas into the air, adversely affecting the environment. (Reference Article)

 

So how can you help reduce food waste going into the landfills? Compost It!

Note: If you have a vermicomposting, there are some worms that prefer not to eat citrus, but if you have a traditional compost pile you can throw the citrus peels in without worry!

Composting lemon peels, and other citrus fruit is a simple and easy way to reduce food waste. Even though citrus fruits are very acidic, there are great benefits to adding them to your compost pile, such as:

  1. The strong scent will deter pests and animals.
  2. The chemical oils break down quickly, so there is no threat to friendly insects.
  3. Citrus peels bring in phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium—which helps maintain a nutritious pile.  (Citrus peels fall into the ‘green’ part of your pile.)

For composting, your pile should consist of the following combinations:

  • Air + Water + Carbon + Nitrogen = Compost
  • 1 Part Greens + 3 Parts Brown + Water

 

 


Helpful Tips on Composting Citrus Peels

  1. Cut the peels into small pieces to speed up the composting process.
  2. If your pile acidity increases, add more grass clippings to maintain a healthy compost mixture.
  3. Keep your compost pile hot by actively turning your piles every few weeks.(This will keep mold from growing on your citrus peels.)

 

 

For more composting tips, download our ‘Guide to Backyard Composting’.
To order your GEOBIN Composter, visit our website: www.geobin123.com.

So remember, when life give you lemons, make some lemonade — then feed your compost.

Backyard Composting Meets Raised Bed Square Foot Gardening

Backyard composting growth is exploding as residents of all ages become aware of how much compostable materials are unnecessarily entering our landfills. 30 to 50% of the residential waste stream is made up of compostable materials—food scraps, newspaper, dried plants, grass clippings and other yard waste, leaves and even cardboard. Many of us are doing our part by recycling glass, plastic and cardboard each week in our community containers, but only a small number of us are composting. The burden of all the compostables being thrown in the trash causes the premature closing of landfills and drives up tipping fee costs for private and public waste haulers. New landfills are expensive, unpopular with neighboring communities and claim valuable land.

Landfill effluent gas is a natural byproduct of decomposition of organic materials in landfills, and roughly 50% of that gas is methane. According to the EPA, municipal solid waste landfills are the third-largest source of human-related methane emissions in the United States, accounting for approximately 15.4% of these emissions in 2015.

Another benefit of backyard composting is that residents are rewarded with nutrient-rich compost that came from his or her own kitchen scraps and yard waste. That compost is ideal for planting beds and vegetable gardens.

An easy way to get started with backyard gardening is by building raised gardens, or raised square foot gardens. Such gardens are as their name implies—raised off the ground by several inches to several feet.  Novice and master gardeners alike understand the benefits of raised square foot gardening, and appreciate the increased organization and yields of their plots. Many prefer raised garden beds due to poor soils in their area and the ability to decrease effort in creating and maintaining the garden. They are typically laid right over lawn without rototilling, so are fast and easy to set up.

Typically, potting soil with roughly 1/3 blended compost mix is utilized to promote good root growth. The nutrient-rich compost feeds the plants and promotes soil microbes that aid in plant growth. Residents can reduce their cost by incorporating their own compost, made in their own backyard using their own compostable materials. The compost can also be added to the surface of the garden to help retain water, inhibit weed growth, and protect tender root systems from the sun. The eco-cycle of reusing your own waste materials to create healthy plants and vegetables is easy to manage in your very own backyard compost bin and raised garden.

Amazon offers both a square foot raised bed garden kit and an industry-leading backyard compost bin.

Let’s get gardening!

Earth Day is April 22nd! Why Not Start Composting?


Did you know that Earth Day is an annual Worldwide celebration that started in 1970?

Each year various events are held to show support, create awareness and educate on environmental protection. Composting is just one of the many topics discussed at Earth Day events.

Why? Because each year, the average U.S. household generates 650 lbs of compostable materials. By composting kitchen scraps, yard waste and grass clippings, you can reduce the amount of waste that goes into the landfill by as much as 25%.

If you are just getting started with composting this Earth Day, here are some tips:

Put it in the Bin:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Food Scraps
  • Plants
  • Grass Clippings
  • Garden / Yard Waste
  • Manure
  • Cardboard / Newspaper
  • Leaves
  • Coffee Grounds / Filters
  • Ashes

 What not to compost:

  • Bones
  • Meat Scraps
  • Dairy
  • Twigs / Branches
  • Seafood
  • Oil / Grease / Lard / Fats
  • Tissues
  • Containers
  • Pet Waste / Cat Litter
  • Anything Treated with Pesticides
  • Coal / Charcoal

Winning Combination:

  • Air + Water + Carbon + Nitrogen = Compost
  • 1 Part Green + 3 Parts Brown + Water

Compost is typically ready in 2 months!

You can also download our ‘Guide to Backyard Composting’, for more information.

Composting is a great way to give back to the Earth!

Easter: the Perfect Time to Start Building a Stronger Compost with Eggshells.

Do you ever wonder what happens to all those colorful eggshells each year? The majority of them end up as waste. But, eggshells have a number of attributes and qualities that can serve other purposes, and thus save them from the landfill. If treated properly, with natural dyes, eggshells can be composted and used in the garden, as both a supplement and a pest deterrent.

Coloring Your Eggs Naturally:

Dyeing eggs naturally is simple and most of the ingredients may already be in your cupboards. Adding the colors with natural dyes is important, as it avoids putting unwanted substances into your garden, and thus into your diet.

Vinegar, a mild acid that will not weaken eggshells, is the main ingredient that allows the color to absorb into your eggs. When combining vinegar with colored water, the mixture colors the outside of your eggs. To color your water naturally, you can use turmeric, paprika, onions, oranges, beets, raspberries and grapes. Below is a list of ingredients that will help you get started:

Colored Easter Eggs

Yellow: Turmeric, Carrots, Chamomile, Oranges
Orange: Paprika, Yellow Onions
Red/Pink: Beets, Cranberry Juice, Red Grapes
Blue: Blueberries, Red Cabbage
Brown: Coffee/Tea Grounds, Dill Seed
Green: Red Onions, Yellow Apples
Lavender: Grape Juice

You can find full instructions online at ‘Better Homes & Gardens’.

Composting Your Colored Eggs:

Eggshells are an important nutrient for your compost. They add calcium into the soil, which helps build strong plants. These nutrients will also help with preventing ‘blossom end rot’ in tomatoes, squash, peppers and other fruiting vegetables. Eggshells can help prevent slugs, snails and other insects from getting into your garden and can also deter deer.

Be aware that dirty eggshells can attract unwanted pests and animals, so be sure to wash out your shells in warm water and leave to dry, before adding them to your compost pile. This will also help with eliminating Salmonella bacteria from entering your garden. If desired, you can bake eggshells in the oven for about 10 minutes at 350-degrees to remove the bacteria without eliminating the calcium, although most bacteria is killed naturally at the temperatures reached during the composting process.

 

Compost Eggshells in a GEOBINCrushing or grinding eggshells is not a requirement for your compost, but it does help speed up the compost process, as the smaller pieces will break down faster. Using a coffee grinder will get the smallest, most effective size pieces, but a blender or any other method of crushing them can also work.

Using natural dyes can be a fun way to color your Easter eggs this year as well as provide a nutrient boost to your compost and protection from unwanted guests.  Even if you don’t color your eggs, help minimize waste by recycling your eggshells and add all the nutrients they contain to your garden.

 

Purchase a GEOBIN Composting System today >>

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