My Earth Day Presents to Myself

Today is Earth Day. I’m celebrating with two gifts to myself.

earth day

First I purchased a book. Colin Beaven’s new e-book How to Be Alive which for Earth Day is reduced to $1.99.  I haven’t started it yet but I’ll be sure to share a review when I do.

And the big purchase

compost tumbler

A compost tumber!  For many years I simply buried my waste both brown and green in one of my raised beds and let it rot for that season. I had more space to do this in the apartment than I have here so it was time to break down and purchase a composter

This one has two compartments inside to allow you to use half while you wait for the other half to cook.

tumbler door

The door is reversible allowing you to see which side is ready to use.

tumber interior

Inside it has a solid piece which keeps the scraps separate.

This was super easy to assemble although the assembly instructions left a bit to the imagination.

tumbler frame

This was the first step, assemble the frame.  You can see it tells you to attach the top bar prior to inserting that bar into the tumbler pieces.  If you did that you wouldn’t be able to attach the tumbler to the frame, and the whole point of being able to spin the compost pile or the need for the frame would be moot.

The reason I decided to purchase a tumbler instead of building a compost pile was first to keep the cats out and second because I know I don’t have the arm strength to turn a heavy compost pile.  Spinning the bin will ensure my compost is properly mixed.

If you decide to assemble a compost tumbler don’t do what I did and assemble it on a deck. Luckily, the manufacturer thought ahead and included a couple extra screws because I dropped one which promptly found a wide enough gap between the wood boards and fell under the deck. 🙂

Happy Earth Day

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27 thoughts on “My Earth Day Presents to Myself

  1. it looks wonderful. I can hardly wait to get your report on its use. Have long looked at pics of these and thought they would be just the ticket.

    will you use/leave it on your deck? that might attract varmits rather too close?

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    1. No I won’t be leaving it on the deck, although the thought briefly crossed my mind. It would be so easy in the winter to take scraps out if it were up there. I want to have a table and chairs for meals on the deck and am a bit skeptical that there won’t be any smells coming from the compost. I also thought briefly about putting it in the driveway off to the side but while that would make taking scraps out in the winter it would be a distance to haul compost to the majority of the beds…..so it’s going in the yard near the shed. That will keep it a distance from the house and windows yet almost central to all the beds. I don’t see how rodents could get in there so I think that at least is safe but we’ll see how it goes.

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  2. Oh I want one of those! I gave up using the compost bins because we couldn’t keep the rats and mice out – despite all our efforts. I took to burying the scraps in the garden – but the rodents are getting in there too! I was just thinking today that I want one of those – will put it on my Christmas wish list. Make sure you give us a review.

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    1. Must be your climate, I never had a problem burying my scraps with rodents. Although, I did find a mouse made a nest in one of my raised beds along the wood and had her babies there. I didn’t realize that would happen. 🙂 I’ll be sure to give you a review of the tumbler. I am now emptying my freezer of all my scraps. Frozen scraps tend to break down much faster so hopefully I’ll have compost real soon.

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  3. Oooooo… I’m so jealous of your composter. I didn’t realize they made those with separate compartments… that makes it even more attractive. Honestly, I’ve sort of ended up just using the municipal compost service lately because getting out the pitchfork over the winter is just too much work. But maybe if I made it really easy on myself I could get back into the groove of composting at least the easy stuff at home.

    I’ve also been toying with getting Colin Beavan’s new book too – I LOVED No Impact Man, but something about this one, and the tone of some of his recent blog posts sorta rubs me the wrong way. Perhaps this is just me reading things into it that aren’t there, but what I loved so very much about his other book was that he spoke completely from his own perspective and experience. It was all about describing what he did and what he learned from doing it. But lately his work seems to have taken on much more of a “you need to do this…” sort of a feel. Perhaps I’m overreacting to the wording or something, but I’m very curious to hear what you think of his new book.

    Anyhow, a very happy Earth Day to you!

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    1. This was really quite inexpensive compared to what they cost when they first came out. I paid $99 for mine from Home Depot and had my kids pick it up and bring it to me rather than have it shipped, although there is free shipping for it. This one is a bit smaller than some of the models but it was the divided bins that made me choose this one.

      I know what you mean about Colin Beavan. I loved No Impact Man, the book, but wasn’t as thrilled with the documentary. I found his personality off-putting especially in how he treated his wife. I got the male-dominant vibe from him and that bugged me. I also think for me some of his wording bugs me but then I think it’s just a geographical thing. For instance, he and his wife are divorced and he refers to her as “my other co-parent” I mean who says that? 🙂 I started How to be Alive and while it’s not bad it’s very different from No Impact Man. This is written very much as a self-help book both for the individual who feels overwhelmed or lonely by getting involved in the community. I’m not trying to put the book down but I’m glad I didn’t pay full price ($18.97 for print). The best part of the book are the stories from other people about how they changed their lives.

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  4. Haha. Well, of course the screw fell between the slats on the deck. If you had wanted to do that on purpose, it would have been near impossible.

    Great device you have there.

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    1. As I watched the screw slip from my fingers was when I first realized my choice of where to assemble the tumbler was a bad one. 🙂

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    1. If they do I’ll have compost ready in no time. 🙂 The children have participated in my composting from the beginning, they loved burying the food scraps and turning them. It was hard to keep them away from the plot with the scraps because they loved playing in it. 🙂

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    1. It’s good to hear from someone who has used a tumbler. I’m sure it’s going to be a wonderful addition here and now I just have to empty all the scraps in my freezer and fill it.

      I bet you miss yours now, will you get another one?

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          1. I’m sure you are right my surprise has more to do with the fact that the Northwest has been so active in environmental issues that little things like compost I assume is encouraged everywhere in the Northwest. My biases are showing. 🙂

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  5. My sister has had one of those for 10 years and they love it! I hope yours works out well for your garden.
    I gave us an Earth Day Present, too. I bought –new not used! — stainless steel straws for our travel cups for our iced coffee.

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    1. Cynthia, that’s good to know. I don’t know anyone, personally, who has even a compost pile not a lone a tumbler so I bit the bullet and decided to be the first. 🙂

      Love your present to yourself this Earth Day! I’ve thought about glass straws here as I’m a bit concerned not being able to see through the stainless steel ones would bug me as I wouldn’t be able to see how clean they were inside. I know I’m a bit ODD.

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    1. Sue, compost tumblers have been out for a while but they can be pricey. This is a bit smaller and more in my budget. The bin method is just too hard for my weak arms. 🙂

      Happy Earth day, Sue.

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  6. That tumbler looks awesome. I’ve always just had the passive type pile where I let everything take forever to rot, but kept thinking of getting a tumbler. Now that we’re in a townhouse, we save our food scraps in the freezer for a friend but I may get worms again, one of these days.

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    1. Christy, I have never tried worms. I read up on it a few times but it seemed to me more like keeping pets with having to be sure they have enough to eat and not too much at one time.

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