Product Review: The Nature Mill Indoor Composter

naturemillpro kitchencouple 216x300 Product Review: The Nature Mill Indoor ComposterUrbanites rejoice, because the Nature Mill company has created an odorless indoor composter specifically made to fit in the average kitchen cabinet!

A traditional composter can be impossible to fit into a small urban living space.  Generally they are bulky, messy, time consuming, and some can be odiforous. A traditional composter naturally breaks down food and yard waste through aeration, the addition of beneficial bacteria, and by exposure to the warm spots created in a bin through the heat generated by decomposing matter. Here’s the hitch though, traditional composters require labor, work slowly when exposed to cold temeratures, and cannot process meat and dairy, while this indoor model can!

The indoor composter from Nature Mill is energy star rated, and utilizes electricity to keep your scrap material constantly warm, rotated, and aerated, speeding up the decomposing process. This model will provide you with a new batch of compost about every two weeks, and can process about 120 pounds of garbage per month!  Another added benefit is that with this warm composter, meat and dairy products can be added and will break down with the rest of your garbage and scraps! The composting process is as simple as scraping you food scraps into the composter, and emptying the compost drawer when the “fill” sensor lights up!

diagram 150x150 Product Review: The Nature Mill Indoor Composter

Just one small bin full of this rich compost can feed and fertilize up to 10-40 square feet of garden, and it can be diluted with water to become a liquid fertilizer suitable for everything from house plants to fruit trees! Check it out either on the home website linked to above, or purchase one at Target or Costco, and turn your waste into compost gold.

Recycling Idea: Use Freshwater Aquarium Tank Water as Fertilizer

fishtank 225x300 Recycling Idea: Use Freshwater Aquarium Tank Water as FertilizerSometimes when we become used to a chore, we stop thinking about what exactly we are doing, and just focus on getting through with it.  I was doing this a few years ago with my large office fish tank, when I was mid chore, dumping gallons of slimy fish water over a sidewalk, and suddenly wondered “what in the world am I doing?”

I keep a very large goldfish tank in my office at work, somewhere in the ballpark of 70-80 gallons.  Once upon a time, the tank was the overwintering and emergency tank for the pond goldfish on my corporate property. It’s been a resort, and temporary home for Comet goldfish for years, used when the fishes ponds were either drained, or undergoing repairs. Being a practical sort of person, in recent years, I’ve been keeping a few fish in there year round as my living screen saver, to keep the tank ready at all times for any Biblical-scale water feature disasters. While I have devised clever ways to cheat the system, and prolong the time between tank cleanings, I inevitably spend an hour twice a month sucking filthy brown water into a tall office trashcan for dumping out on the lawn, or down a drain.

A few years ago I was going through my bi-monthly fish tank cleaning process, wheeling the waste-water trashcan out to the exterior door, when I really looked into the filthy water, and realized that what I was staring at was free liquid fertilizer – and a fertilizer I was about to dump indiscriminately on the nearest patch of land near the door! Feeling like a total bonehead for never having thought about the uses for this “grey water” source before, I began that day using fish water as both a water source, and a fertilizer for my office plants, and exterior potted plants.  A fish’s excrement, and the general waste that they sluff off, are excellent fertilizers for plant life, because they contain so many undigested and beneficial nutrients.

Whether you use a gravel vacuum Recycling Idea: Use Freshwater Aquarium Tank Water as Fertilizer and a bucket, or a long extension vacuum, to transfer recyclable water directly to plants, recycling “gray water,” is a great way to cut down on your total water consumption, using water that has been lightly used for one purpose again for a second purpose before disposal.  Fish water, while unsafe to recycle for any human benefit, will greatly assist your yard, or office plants, feeding and watering them at the same time, and reducing your need for more commercial forms of plant food.  If you own a freshwater aquarium in either your home, or your office, try saving the water you drain from your tank for your own plants, as a way to “go green” this month! Plus as an added bonus, vacuuming your freshwater fish tank in one area and using the exact same water for your plants is a more efficient way of conquering two chores at once!

TIP: For small tabletop fish tanks in the home or office, keep a large watering can available, and drain aquarium water directly into the can for easy dispensing in your flower pots and garden beds!