April 21, 2011

Compost Salad with a Side of Hairball

April 22nd is Earth Day.   In celebration, I'd like to share with you a recipe that's made every day in our house.  It's so simple, my 2-year-old can make it with his eyes closed!  The beauty of this recipe is that it requires no measurements, no cooking, and you already have all the necessary ingredients.  And it's great for the earth!

First, you take some egg shells:

Then you throw in a couple banana peels:

Then add chopped watermelon rinds:

Some onion peel:

For added fragrance, throw in a couple used tea bags (the one shown is Celestial Seasonings Black Cherry Berry but really any flavor will do):

Some coffee grinds and filter (there's never a shortage of this in our house):

And when you're done wiping down the counter, you can throw in the paper towel:

And the piece de resistance?  Dryer lint with just a touch of dog hair to add a nice garnish:

And if you really want to go all out and impress your guests, you can also add the hairball from the shower.  But I'll spare you the image because even that would gross me out.

Then you take all this, mix it in a large bowl, and it's ready to serve! 

Okay, because you just never know who's reading this and thinking "really?", here's the disclaimer.  No, not really.  PLEASE DO NOT actually try to serve this to anyone.  Unless it's your pet rat, in which case means we could probably never be friends. I HATE rats.

All these ingredients actually go into a plastic pail like this one:

And then when the pail is full, the contents make their way to The Earth Machine.  Meet Beartha.  She sits in the far back corner of our backyard.

The contents will eventually decompose and look something like this:

In summary, composting is one of the easiest ways to reuse and recycle.  Our town actually encourages it and supplies the Earth Machine at a fraction of the cost.  It even comes with a helpful handbook.   

So why compost?
This article on Planet Green does a good job of summarizing the benefits of composting.  Waste reduction, methane reduction, and free fertilizer.  Reduce, reuse, and recycle.  What could be a better reason?

What can you compost?
You'd be surprised.  Here's a fabulous list from Planet Green.  Almost everything but the kitchen sink!

How do I get started?
Purchase or make your own compost bin (Simple Mom offers a great tutorial on how to make your own using a trash can).   If you don't want to bother making one, be sure to check with your town before purchasing a bin.  Many counties encourage composting and will provide a bin at discount.

I live in a small space.  Can I still compost? 
Absolutely!   Here's some great tips from Planet Green on how you can compost in a small space.  You can use worm bins and/or Bokashi.  I'm not very familiar with these, but I'd love to hear how it's working for you if this is your method of composting.

What about the smell?  Doesn't compost reek?
If you're doing it properly, it shouldn't give off a bad odor.  If it does start to smell, turn it to help air it out and add "browns" (i.e. leaves, paper napkins and towels) to dry it out.   

How long before you get compost you can use?
Depending on how well it's cared for, you can get usable compost in as little as 6 weeks.  But 6 months is probably the average.

So my question to you:  Are you making this recipe at home?
If you're composting, I'd love to see your pictures!  Yes, really.  I never knew taking pictures of trash could be so fun until this project (granted it would have been better with the digital SLR but that's in the shop).  :)   I've love to see your compost pile.  Just post them on the Eaternal Bliss facebook page.  

And if you're not already composting, I hope you found this post informative and would at least consider it.   I think you'd find that it really is a simple way to reuse and recycle.  I'm happy to answer any questions you might have if you can't find what you're looking for on the internet.

Happy Earth Day!


  1. I never knew you could make your own compost bin, thanks for the great links. Wishing you a Happy Earth Day.

  2. Hi Sylvie - Thanks for stopping by! I didn't know you could make your own bin until I did some searching on the internet. There's lots of great info available.

  3. Thank you so much Rachel! I must say that absurd is NOT to compost. Thanks for all the advice and tips, I will finally make my way into composting, as my flowers need good food and my son keeps me asking why we don't make compost : )) Happy Earth Day!

  4. Haha! Love this post, it's a riot! So glad to have found your blog. You have a great sense of humor and a real eye for creating a not-so-yummy but very Earth-friendly compost salad! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Rachel, we are definitely going to compost once we get back to the states. in korea, you have to separate your food garbage by law. after three years, it has become habit, and i cannot imagine mixing food garbage into our regular garbage anymore. we have also become very serious about recycling, again mandated by law. korea is serious about reducing waste. something i am proud to uphold!

  6. ahhh i need to start this in my house. both places i worked at (last year and this year) are awesome about it! i'm going to try gardening (mebe) some plants this summer, so composting might be my extra incentive?

    btw, your watermelon picture looks sooo good. i'm craving it right now!

  7. You had me laughing out loud!! Your salad photos is simply beautiful!
    Love the compost idea, I've really not embraced it, but need to try.
    Thanks for a great post!

  8. Fun and informative post! We DO compost, but it turns out we're only composting fraction of the items we can. Thanks for the link to the list of compostable items~

  9. Oh my goodness, you made me laugh out loud with your disclaimer. Epic. :-) What a great reminder to people to use what they already have and make something else out of it. Recycling rocks! :-)


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