I am loved by God. I am passionate about this beautiful earth. I am trying to figure out this crazy life! I strive for fun DIY'ing and crafting, ethical shopping, and reducing my impact on the earth. Here is me living and sharing the tale about it. EST 4.1. 2017
A Quick Rundown of Logistics for Composting as a Beginner, Featuring Vancouver, WA, USA Options.
Hello, I recently have gotten a few people asking me about how I compost. Well its most likely all different for everyone. I am not an expert! I have little experience, but I tried a few of these methods and read into them a bit. Composting is a crucial element for sustainability. It’s a beautiful thing that God created for organic matter to be re-purposed, re-used and honored. It becomes something else in creation that we all need, food for our food made from our food.
Options for in the home and the main compost bin/pile (pick one of each)
In the home/Kitchen: for the initial disposal of scraps/compostables: On kitchen counter, under kitchen sink, right outside kitchen on patio in:Ice bucket with lid (pretty)
Ice Bucket with lid
Large mason jar, glass jar with lid
old tin, coffee, nut, yogurt container with lid (ugly but inexpensive)
Any kitchen compost pale or bucket, they come in stainless steel, bamboo, ceramic, wood and more!
Drop off at your friendly compost-friendly neighbors house
if you live near a large forest or ravine, ditch it there, it’ll decompose!
Pile- pick a corner or area of your yard to be your designated compost pile, you can set up 3 sides if you want it more container and cleaner looking. They also sell these – just look up Wood composter or something like that. You’ll need a pitch fork or good shovel.
Worm composting, I have never tried it, but it sounds like a fun. I believe the process of composting goes faster. Downsides are you must be mindful that the worms don’t freeze, and you order the worms online (kind of weird?)
Usually called Worm Factory, or Tray Worm Compost bin, there are DIY versions with plastic tubs, I am not a fan of plastic but at least the Worm Factory ones are recycled plastic, the upside to plastic ones is its light to ship, store, move. here’s one website Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm
There are wood box style bins or even tumblers to buy on Esty
Bury method- no turns needed. You just collect scraps and bury them at least 12 inches in your ground. good for if you are preparing a section for gardening. The slugs and worms will have at it and your soil with be nutrient rich for gardening
Aerating method. this person built there own and let nature do its thing with since (like the forest ground) things will compost with oxygen and bacteria- they are everywhere and free.
Terracotta Solar Composter. This is the one where you bury the bottom, it looks pretty and you don’t really need to mix it, it may fill up depending on how much food scraps you produce,/size of composter.
The smaller tumbler could work with small yards or patios. If you only think in-home will work for you than a small electrical or solar powered. Check the last few out on this list for small in-home ones.
If I were you….
I personally am going to contact the pick-up people! But if I were you and I had the space I would make my own like the very first picture (because it’s the least expensive). If I didn’t have the space and I wanted it to look nicer I would do one similar to the terracotta solar composter. If I didn’t have space and I could spend the money I’d do one of the smaller in-home electric/solar ones. If I had kids and I was trying to teach them about waste and gardening I would do a worm bin. If it was all too overwhelming for me or I didn’t have space (studio apartment) but I wanted to care about the environment I’d do a pick-up service. The Vancouver Landscaping business that does food scrap pick up doesn’t say the price, but they give you a free estimate (maybe neighbors could go in together).
What to Compost
all food scraps except meat, cheese, highly processed and oily stuff (we don’t eat much of that)
cotton (like the top of vitamins, cotton scraps from sewing, ripped up socks, thread, twine, unbleached paper towel/napkins shredded up a bit)
coffee grounds with filters, tea bags, plant matter like house plant trimmings or flowers I bought for a vase, plant decor.
cardboard (limited dye), paper bags, newspaper, un-glossy paper again with minimal dye (paper stickers only, no plastic coating or foil coated stuff) (just tear it up a bit, or reuse it til it literally falls apart)
Compostable cellophane (very little of it), those stupid compostable straws, utensils (this is for my experimentation because some need to be industrial composting but I am annoyed at all of them and want to see if they break down)
small wood chips, wood things like chopsticks, toothpicks, skewer sticks
Compost needs some moisture (comes from veggie most likely), turning/stirring (unless stated otherwise with specific bin) and more brown than green material Carbon/nitrogen, browns are (usually brown colored) wood matter, paper, coffee grounds, eggshells, and green is veggie scraps (the colorful wet goopy stuff).
Clear as Compost?
You are encouraged to comment on any advice that I missed or stories you have had with composting. Contact me or comment with questions and how it all goes for you. Thanks!
For 2018, I decided to not partake in social media as my resolution. I am not sure why we do resolutions but if there is ever a good time to really dedicate yourself to something moral and challenging, its in the new year.
It is more rewarding, more joyful, more meaningful, more freeing than you could’ve ever imagined.
Most of the time people want to better themselves and make resolutions as fitness goals, which is a great thing to do when it’s needed but year after year it turns into a self confidence issue. So that is part of the reason I jumped into the ice cold water of no social media. NO Facebook, no Instagram, no Twitter, no snapchat stories, nada. Refraining from social media has been like the polar bear swim at church camp; you get up early, you are tired and cold, you just want to do what’s warm, known and comfortable, but you get up anyway because you have a slight hope it’ll be fun and rewarding. GUESS WHAT? It is more rewarding, more joyful, more meaningful, more freeing than you could’ve ever imagined. The water is actually better than being outside.
So with my intentions to go on and on about how the ways social media is bad, how I had a great year without it but also was challenged. I don’t think I will. I think I’ll let you decide if this is something that speaks to your heart.
Happy New Years and Cheers to all the perfectly imperfect, not-social-media worthy moments, memories, and pictures of 2018.
I hope for a fruitful 2019. My New Years Resolution? Read the entire bible from start to finish. oh, and wash my produce…What will your resolution be?
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! I like to fully embrace the Christmas season starting the day after Thanksgiving, some people it’s the first of December, if your a department store its July. In celebration of our new place, my husband and I are hosting an all-apartment complex party- don’t worry its only 30 units rather than 100’s. With that, we are trying to go all out for decorations.
While I was going through my craft box to find white printer paper to cut out snowflakes, I came across my paper doilies that I have had a knack for hoarding a bit. I grabbed them and did a quick google search. I came across this wonderful YouTube video! So easy and quick, whereas snowflakes from plain paper is really hard, well for me at least! This is a good one for kids too.
DIY Snowflakes from Paper Doilies
Use any size you want! Fold 3 times (4 times for an extra little challenge and intricacy). Cut different shapes out along the folded edge. The more you make the more you learn and explore different shapes and styles. I kind of went crazy. It was a blast. I hung them from my ceiling with sewing thread. They are 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable. Have fun!
I’m super anti-Black Friday. Sorry if you are for it but I just feel it takes away from togetherness with family and abuses the holiday season by pushing impulse and excessive consumerism. People wait in lines out in the cold at crazy times of the night to get a ‘deal’. I know this because I’ve done this a few times. It’s not fun and I don’t believe worth it but I’m also trying to live simply and minimally and buy more sustainably and ethically.
My Wonderful Anti-Black Friday Accident
I got this at my doorstep this morning, not wanting to see or hear any commercials, buy anything or go shopping today. So this amazing broom is my accidental anti-Black Friday purchase that I actually purchased a few weeks ago.
A BROOM! It’s a handmade-in-Washington, all-natural, corn husk broom from American Broom Shop! Moving into a studio and trying to have fewer electronics, we don’t have a vacuum so this was needed. I don’t even know where all this dust and stuff on the floor comes from!
So far I love it!! It’s beautiful, supposedly will last years and years, plastic-free made and shipped, handmade, local, sturdy, small business supporting and importantly cleans like no other broom I’ve swept with. It gets in all the cracks and crevices easily with its flexible bristles. It ALSO is rigid enough to grab stuff and hold onto it instead of just move it around and leave a trail of goodies. Now a dust pan…
Don’t know what review blog posts are but I think I just did one. Have a great day everyone.
What a seriously beautiful time of year for mankind. As much as Thanksgiving is an “American” holiday, people all around the world celebrate it and/or have a similar holiday. Warms my heart that people all over gather around a table and have lots of good food and commune with one another. I pray for people today who don’t have much, that they have a full belly today and hope for the days to come to have food stability. Amen.
Vegan Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies
1/4 cup Pumpkin Puree *
1/2 cup Organic white sugar
1/2 cup Coconut oil *
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Pumpkin Spice
1&1/2 cup Flour of your choosing *
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
1 teaspoon Cinnamon and 2 tablespoons white sugar for rolling
Instructions- makes about 24
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, lightly oil cookie sheet or use a silpat
Blend melted coconut oil and sugar together with hand mixer or really strong arms and whisk.
Mix in pumpkin puree and vanilla
Sift all dry ingredients together except those for rolling
Mix wet ingredients in the dry ones and mix (this part is best using your hands) and it’s fun!
Mix cinnamon and white sugar together with a dash of pumpkin spice on a small plate
Using your hands roll into 1 inch balls and roll into sugar/spice mix on plate
Place on cookie sheet (I fit all 24 on one cookie sheet) about an inch apart and use two your hand to flatten them a little (this step not necessary but I like flatter, even cookies rather than domes)
Bake for 8 mins, take out of oven and let cool for 10 mins on cookie sheet
Eat, Enjoy and Celebrate
*I made my own pumpkin puree out of the large green/teal pumpkins, it's amazing. Here's how - easy as pie albeit messy.
https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/22935/pumpkin-puree/ Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Cut the pumpkin in half, stem to base. Remove seeds and pulp. Cover each half with foil. Bake in the preheated oven, foil side up, 1 hour, or until tender. Scrape pumpkin meat from shell halves and puree in a blender. Strain to remove any remaining stringy pieces. -Freeze extras and use throughout the year.
*You can use vegan butter if you want a more buttery taste, but I love baking with coconut oil- so versatile!
* I used organic unbleached flour but you could use any flour really, GF flour blend if you need
Big things are happening with YourEarthIt so stay tuned to new design and potentially a business out of this thing I started as hobby. Sorry is has been a little while since I’ve been on here!
With that, my husband and I have been a pretty strict budget these past few months. We’ve had job and housing transitions. Like-make veggie pot pie without the creamy inside…or mixing coconut yogurt to make ‘milk’ for cereal-kind of budget. Some of that was out of laziness or unplanned-ness BUT we did have to tighten up our budget quite a bit; and what came out of it was some pretty frugal and useful tips for bath and body. Less than $5-10 that lasted me around 4+ months!
Three Bath and Body Hacks for When You’re On a Tight Budget.
Don’t use conditioner. Really? Really. If you have average-ish hair (not too greasy, not too dry) than you can definitely can get away with no conditioner. Especially if you use a great all- natural shampoo like I use at Plaine Products. My advice would be to not shampoo your hair every day, ain’t nobody got time for that anyway AND use a tiny bit of oil (see below) or DIY body dew to give it a conditioned feel. As a good family friend always says- dot dot not a lot!
Use green tea as a tonic/moisturizing spray. Get a box or even better bulk loose leaf organic green tea or tea bags, brew some up, store tea in a glass container in the fridge and use to your liking for a week or so until you need more! It’s easy as that. I use this tonic prior to moisturizing my face, spritz before and after makeup application, spritz my face a dewy look, spray whole body for out of shower rejuvenation and moisture. It also fights acne, is anti-inflammatory and has great anti-oxidant properties (Source). BONUS!
On a side note, if you have access to non-toxic, no-pesticide flowers you can make DIY floral water for the same uses! $0 + time= YES.
On a whim, I bought a candy thermometer and decided to go for homemade, vegan, food-dyed candy corn again (last year’s was a droopy fail since the recipe I followed didn’t cook the syrup). I’m excited! Are you ready?
I fully intended on this being a very difficult, long, messy process. I had intentions of having to scientifically add a ‘wax’ of some sort or agar as a solidifier and GUESS WHAT?! It never got close to that point. One try and done, literally. Nothing complicated. Yeah they’re not the cutest or realistic in size but they are fun and easy to make not to mention vegan, naturally colored and yummy: triple bonus! The more I practice the more store-bought they’ll look, even though that’s not necessarily always the goal.
Stove and pot
Cutting board or non-stick/scratch surface
Pizza cutter or knife
Measuring cups and spoons
1 & 1/2 cups powder sugar (separated)
Pinch of salt
1/6 cup or 3 tablespoons corn syrup
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
Beet root powder
Stir together oil, corn syrup and sugar in pot on stove on medium heat. Once stirred leave alone to cook. Stick the candy thermometer in and wait for temperature to rise to 245-250 degrees F, the mixture should be bubbling. This will take 1-6 minutes depending on stove.
Immediately take off heat once at desired temperature (my candy thermometer had a hard and soft ball marker near 245-250 so I did in between). Stir in vanilla, it will bubble and is HOT so wear protective clothes and try not to be too aggressive with stirring.
Add powder sugar a bit at a time while stirring until a dough ball that’s not too sticky or wet looking. It may not need all the powder sugar or it may need more. It will be squishy because it’s hot. Put the dough ball aside on a plate or a surface to cool for 5-10 minutes.
Once it’s cool enough to work with your hands but not cold and rock hard, divide into three parts. Add 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric to one ball. Add 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric and 1/4 teaspoon of beet root powder to the other, leaving the third one white. Work in with hands careful not to stain clothes (this is where kids could come in!)
Roll out into snakes and line the colors up. Use a kid safe knife or have an adult pizza cut the strips into triangles resembling candy corn. It dries and hardens as you go so speed is of the essence (10-15 minutes) but still have fun!
Once all dough is rolled and cut use your fingers to round edges and shape to your liking.
Let dry overnight. Mix with peanuts, jar them up for display, serve on a cupcake and/or eat! Store in bowl (if you have self control) out for all your creepy guests!!
Example of strips and the recipe I used for inspiration and tweaking Here. They have great troubleshooting as well, I just didn’t come across any so hopefully you don’t too!
In conclusion: I am definitely adding this to our yearly October tradition. Would be a great activity with kids who love candy, play-dough, crafts and baking. As I am a giant kid, as we all should be ESPECIALLY during Halloween, all should enjoy this treat. Half the fun is making it! No Tricks here just Treats. Have fun and let me know how yours turn out.