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I have to take 60 steps to get to and from my new compost bin. I know this because I counted during one of the seven or eight compost bin runs I made yesterday.

First I had to get rid of the watermelon rinds left over from breakfast. At lunchtime my cargo was a bunch of strawberry stems that needed to find their way into their new home. A dustbin full of cheddar bunnies around 2 p.m. came next. Then I came across the SunChips bag I had stowed away for when I got my bin. I had to throw that in before my husband tossed in a bunch of lawn clippings. Around 5 p.m. there were more watermelon rinds. By the time dinner scraps made their way outside — broccoli stems, left-over smushed up potatoes and an apple core — I realized that this bin might end up doing more than just reducing our garbage stream. It actually might reduce my rear end while boosting my mood, too.

Let’s do the math. Okay, I’ll concede that right now I am in the honeymoon stage. Eventually, I’m going to start using a coffee can or some other receptacle so I will only be making two or three trips a day. Still, that’s 180 steps a day. 5,400 steps a month. 64,800 steps a year. That’s more than 30 extra miles of walking. Incredible and important. I’ll be able to keep my metabolism humming more effectively while at the same time doing great things for the earth.

It’s going to get me outside more, too. Those brief forays into my backyard will expose my arms (but thankfully not my super-sunscreened-at-all-times-face) and legs to Vitamin-D-enriched sunshine. The light will also boost my mood. I’ll be getting fresh air and getting a glimpse at nature. Maybe I’ll even linger for a few minutes, gazing up at the clouds or — at night — the stars.

And what about the byproducts of the compost bin? All that great, sweet-smelling (mostly) organic dirt might inspire me to garden more. Or maybe I’ll get really excited and start a vegetable garden. Gardening is in my blood, after all. (Check back this week for a blog post about my wonderful Italian grandma and her many gardens.) At the very least I’ll have fresh soil to sprinkle in my flower beds and scatter under my bushes.

Bottom line: I think my compost bin is a good example of how one small change can create a tidal wave of new experiences and habits. I can’t wait to see how it all plays out.

Happy Monday! Hope you’re enjoying your day. I was so pleasantly surprised to see how many people stopped in and commented about the new compost bin. Would love to hear about how your bin has inspired changes in your life!

2 Responses to “Composting Can Change Your Life”

  1. Trish Riley says:

    Hi Karen!
    Glad you’ve made the switch to composting! I discovered that i could reduce my garbage by about 80% when i started putting my dinner scraps back into my yard! i got a price break from the garbage collectors but of course they soon raised their prices… no matter… it is so much more sensible and fulfilling to let the fruits of the earth migrate back to continue nourishing us. You should get a counter-top bin so you don’t have to hike out to the back of your yard every time you’ve got something to compost. our extension agent suggested keeping your compost in the freezer to keep bugs from discovering it. congrats! t*

  2. MarthaandMe says:

    I grew up composting and was the one who took the long walk to the back of the garage each night with the leftovers!

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