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The Green Life: Compost on the Quick

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October 22, 2009

Compost on the Quick

Compost.binl That’s what you get with a few devices that whittle the time and effort it takes to turn food scraps and yard trimmings into compost. The electric NatureMill Plus XE makes compost in about two weeks and uses about 5 kwh of electricity per month. The Worm Factory 360 sounds like an amusement park ride and holds thousands of creepy-crawlies working 24/7 to turn your scraps into “black gold.” Meanwhile, the spherical Ecomposter yields results in 4 to 6 weeks.

All these devices were reviewed in The Wall Street Journal, with guidance from Jennifer Schwab of Sierra Club Green Home. We agree that they sound great, especially for people short on space and time.

But if you're short on cash, no worries. Composting can be as inexpensive and simple as burying food scraps. While maintaining a compost pile requires some work and knowhow, it isn't rocket science. (It's compost science.) Traditional composting methods take longer than two weeks, but it can be pleasant and somehow reassuring to preside over a pile and watch nature do its thing.

--Année Tousseau


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