Compost Logistics for Beginners

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! 

From the kitchen to the compost bin/pile:

  • Live in a place that has curb side pick-up, how awesome Portland, Seattle and more!
  • Have animals that eat food scraps like pigs and chickens
  • Hire a pick-up service. Vancouver, WA: 
  • contact a farm that you can drop off scraps
  • 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.
  • Spinner, Rotating, tumbler compost bin
    • or you could DIY your own 
  • 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
  • Youtube to make your own
  • 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. 
  • Electronic (pricey one-time fee) like this. 
    • never tried but seems awesome! for those who aren’t too garden-y/outdoorsy, get-your-hands-dirty people
  • Stacking Terracotta composter like this 
    • 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).

composting for beginngers

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!

My Anti-Black Friday Accident

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.

Three Bath and Body Hacks for When You’re On a Tight Budget

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!

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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.

  1. 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!
  2. Use inexpensive oil- for everything. In my frugalness, I used olive oil and grapeseed oil for a plethora of uses, like body and face moisturizer, facial oil cleansingDIY dandruff treatment, nail bed treatment, hair conditioner, and MORE!
  3. 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!

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Outlive the Test of Time with the Most Rewarding (and free) Father’s Day Gift

Go outside.

Hike. Walk. Camp. Kayak. Backpack. Rollerblade. Skateboard. Go to a dog park (with or without a dog ha!). Being outside is nice and it seems like I don’t appreciate the sky and fresh air ever enough. Might as well share that with our dads while spending time together and creating comfortable places and fun memories?!? And most simple activity of walking outside. Free. A win-win to me.

Those who don’t have a special father-figure to spend the day with?

Go outside.

Spend time with your Father our God. The most powerful, loving and perfect father. To chat, grieve, vent, cry, breath, rest, exercise, have fun and just plain ol share life with.

Enjoy.

Dad, if your reading this, can’t wait for our backpacking adventures! Thanks for being you. Love you lots.

DIY Zero Waste Face Powder Foundation With Pressed Option

Makeup can be expensive, wasteful, an enabler and crutch of insecurities, toxic, and time-consuming. But it can also be easy, fresh, natural, balancing and healthy.

The past 6 or so months I’ve been using this DIY face powder. It’s not my original idea, much smarter people figured this out way before me. But the goal of this blog to be an encyclopedia of environmentally friendly, DIY, low consumerism insights, ideas and inspiration. This face powder is perfect to use solo for light coverage, or in junction with liquid foundation for heavier coverage. I feel that it balances natural fluctuations of skin tone on the face instead of just covering up everything. I am a firm believer in less is more. This doubles as my bronzer (not shimmery kind). I strive for zero waste. I have goals of demolishing societal beauty and rewriting my definition of beauty starting with Beauty vs Makeup, trust me theres a difference. So to conclude, I am an eco-freak  (I seriously want to coin that term<—-I don’t even know what that means), which makes this DIY perfect for my fellow frugals.

DIY All Natural Face Foundation Powder Makeup with Pressed Option Made From Common Household Items.

Ingredients

(bought them all in bulk stored in mason jars)

1/4 cup Arrowroot powder

1-4+ tablespoons cocoa powder (1.5-2 tablespoons for light/medium)

Optional Ingredients (these are estimates)

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground ginger

To press half the recipe 10-20 drops Other Oils (oil you like for your face) Jojoba, grape seed, fractioned coconut, almond, argon oil etc.

1-3 drops essential oils (optional)

Rubbing alcohol or vodka in a spray bottle

Instructions

Start with a base of 1/4 cup arrowroot powder. Mix/sift/whisk in cocoa powder 1/2-1 tablespoon at a time until desired shade (aka test it on your face to see if color matches). Add ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon for added warmth and yellow tones. This all depends on your skin tone and shade and so therefore optional. Best to start with a little and add more if needed. But if you add too much of something slowly stir in more arrowroot powder, no biggie.

For pressed method

Drops other oil and essentials oil in and stir. Pack down. Spritz powder with 1-3 sprays with rubbing alcohol or vodka press down with a spoon, fingers or lid of some sort until packed down. It might take a couple rounds of oil and spray and packing since the powder is dry. It gets a little messy but you don’t want it too wet so slow and steady. Have patience. Eventually it packs down (about 1/3 as much as the powder). It may look darker and uneven color in some spots, that’s okay! Let it harden/evaporate overnight with the lid off and use as normal the next day.

How to use

Skip pressing if you like loose powder. Dip brush and tap off excess. Brush it on your face gently before and after liquid foundation. Or after DIY Tinted Daily Sunscreen to soak up the oils for a natural SPF-kind of day- look. Store in a sealed container in a dry, cool place. I.E a make up bag in a drawer in the bathroom.

Tips/tricks/insights

  • I like the press method, it’s not as messy as powder to apply. Mine broke apart and clumped up a bit towards the end but still works fine when I rub my brush on it to get the powder (I guess I could sift it..too much effort). See photo below
  • I use little mason jars or a cardboard container that was the packaging for the blush I use. check out Zero Waste Makeup vs Beauty I give some reviews of products.
  • Other liquids for spritzing could be witch hazel, vinegar, aloe juice, rose water etc but I’ve only used rubbing alcohol- worth a try though, let me know how it goes!
  • This supply lasted me about 6 months, so frugal? um yes
  • Test on a small patch of skin to make sure your not sensitive to any ingredients
  • No I don’t smell like chocolate during the day but yes you may smell the ingredients when applying it
  • My skin felt happier and healthier once I ditched my store crap and switched to this, my wallet loved me and I think the earth loved me a tad. Traditional powder foundations can contain harmful chemicals/plastic as well as the cultivation of the minerals to produce them can harm the environment. See resource link. and The Dirty Dozen, cosmetics to avoid
  • Don’t throw away your old stuff, use it all if you like and properly dispose of containers. Posts coming in June on disposal, alternatives and reasoning about makeup during my Month of Zero Makeup Challenge, contact me to join.
  • Yes this isn’t literally zero waste, rubbing alcohol usually only comes in recyclable plastic and some oils are hard to find in bulk, but we do what we can right?
  • Shout out to all my sisters, God’s daughters are meant for greatness now go have a great week & weekend!

Disclaimer: I am not a professional aesthetician, dermatologist, shade artist, herbalist or cosmetologist and have zero responsibility when it comes to your face or life. It’s nice that way for both of us.

ZERO WASTE: Makeup vs Beauty. It Takes Years. Advice, Triumphs and Fails

img_8163.jpgBefore we dive in (warning: this is a long one), let’s clear this up. Lets change the way we look at Beauty. I just welcomed another baby girl to my extended family. I don’t want her or any little girl growing up unsettled about her looks, insecure about flaws, and worried about makeup. I do NOT like that the word Beauty has taken over in the makeup/skincare industry. The term ‘beauty products’ now means the same to almost everyone, me included, until I realized it. Literally, I just posted a week of Zero Waste DIY Challenge: beauty edition. Ha! This is a societal or even a worldly NO-NO. The crap we smear on our face is NOT a ‘beauty product’. It’s a cosmetic, makeup, blemish hider, balancing product, foundation, mascara I really don’t care what it’s called, just as long as it’s not Beauty product. This stuff covers, uncovers (whatever you want to call it) only about 1/16th IF THAT of our actual beauty. I’m into women empowerment. So let’s start by changing our verbiage to do just that?

ZERO WASTE: Makeup vs Beauty. It Takes Years. Advice, Triumphs and Fails.

BONUS: 4 practical steps to reduce your waste and rethink beauty and 3 all natural product reviews below.

If you are like me, zero waste kind of hit you over the head, and you fell into it full on. I had a platinum membership plan with ULTA (really?) and was buried in half used, unopened, free samples. I was always searching for the best products, the prettiest, the easiest, the cheapest, but it was all an empty cover up and distraction of what really mattered to me. Inner beauty. Inner beauty that I was trying to portray outwardly in all the wrong ways.

Over a year and a half ago I started to become very interested in reducing my waste and plastic consumption as well as the health concerns about toxic chemicals used in every day consumer products. ESPECIALLY cosmetics. As well as my journey with animal cruelty! So whoever you are and wherever you are on the spectrum of zero waste and healthy home, mind, body and spirit, I urge you to take a look at your goals in life. To be freed from consumerism and poisonous self rituals. To be a part of the greater good for the environment, our children’s, children’s children and so on for physical and mental security and nourishment from this earth. Embracing the lighthearted adventure and pure beauty of nature. Most of all, make time for the things that really matter to you, things that are actually life; chasing your passions, volunteering, raising a family, creating art, making things, fixing things, nourishing relationships.

I’ve been wanting to BE zero waste at home and ideally out and about as well. I have learned many things but this one thing may be the most useful; You don’t just become zero waste. It’s not in an instant, I would even argue that to do so would be extremely wasteful. You don’t just BE zero waste. Not in a day, a week or even a year. You can’t, not really. You research and you take baby steps, and you try, and you fail, and you try again, and keep trying until you’ve reached your goals, then you make new ones, and you try all over again. It takes years. Beauty in creation and progress is outstanding. I pray we all strive to do that in all aspects of our life, but with most things, it takes time.

What are the practical steps I can take?

  1. Use what you have. Its definitely a personal battle of what you want to ditch right away and what you want to use till the end. Using what you have is most likely less overwhelming and more frugal, this I like. I had two eyebrow pencils when this all started. I decided to use them to the very nubbin. I still have one for VERY special occasions. Still trying to figure out a zero waste alternative (not all of them are this hard). Check out my DIY eyebrow/mascara fail. Another example is that I gave a friend my Q-tips, she uses them all the time and was grateful. I didn’t want to partake in that trash but I also recognized that wasn’t the perfect solution since she most likely will throw them away. Is anything really a perfect solution, except in math equations?
  2. Make better future choices/purchases. In my attempt of semi- minimalism, I take a month or two to buy something. I like to do research and narrow down if I really need it. In a perfect world all makeup would be; carbon neutral, zero waste, cruelty free, all natural, organic, fair trade, give back for charity, plant a tree, (you get the picture). This doesn’t exist, yet. In the meantime, you search and keep eyes and ears open. You try DIYs and email a lot of companies if you can’t find information on packaging, production, ingredients, shipping etc. That’s the useful part of the internet most Americans have access to. Try Think Dirty app. It rates products 0-10 by their toxicity.
  3. Less is more. Simplify your routine. Spend less money. Do less. Say no to subscription boxes that send you samples every month. Ask yourself; Do I really need 3 different face primers, eye highlighter, cheek highlighter, lip liner, lip stick, lip gloss, on top of lip exfoliating daily? No. Change your priorities and seek after the top ones. Everyone’s routine will be different and THAT’S OKAY. My old makeup face routine used to be WILD, 20 steps minimum. Now its my DIY’d powder, liquid foundation, powder again, blush, eyelash curler and mascara. Still looking and trying different eyebrow, mascara and lip color options. That’s the journey though!
  4. Oh Baby You Should Go And Love Yourself. With being more simple, sustainable and eco-friendly I advise to take time reflecting on your self perceptions of your appearance, I’m not going to pretend like they don’t matter at all because it all does (to a certain point). I’m also not a psychiatrist, but I do know that everyone could benefit from revealing what they think about themselves. And get the negative ones OUT, recognize them, acknowledge them, process through. Can you change it? Great, maybe start eating healthier, IDK? So you can’t change it without surgery? Well than embrace the heck out of it, come to terms with that amazingly long nose, that lopsided smile, that awkward seeming chin. You’re probably not a model for Vogue (sorry to break the news, but you probably wouldn’t want to anyway!) and to be honest most people probably don’t notice it at all or care, they love you and if they do seem to notice or care you say (mentally) screw you or BYE BYE BYE. You should strive to have positive influences and healthy relationships in your life. It builds an armor of confidence and self worth. Priceless things. Inner beauty and YOU. ARE. BEAUTIFUL.

Eco-friendly, Natural Products I’ve used

(and I don’t even like to promote brands)

RMS Beauty “un” cover up. If you get it from their website directly and select no free sample than there won’t be any plastic. I’ve ordered from DermStore one time and they sent me free sample of other products in non-recyclable pouches, I was quite mad. So I will be going through RMS directly. It lasts from 1-3 months, depending on how much and how often you’re using the product. It comes in a glass pot with metal top. I re-use the empty ones for things like my DIY Lip Balm. I really love this product. My skin felt better using this than other icky chemical foundations like Born This Way. It’s not greasy and is long lasting. I have acne and it ‘un’ covers it very well. The “best seller” shade 22 is perfect for my skin color/tone and 33 for tanned-skin Kelly, welcome summer.

100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Pot Rouge Blush. I have a store locally in the mall. It was interesting going to the mall because it had been so long but I will only go to this store like once a year, their makeup lasts so long- a little goes a long way, at least the blush pot does. It comes in a glass little pot with plastic lid, within a circular cardboard container. They have a recycling program that you can return empty containers of their makeup or even other brands to recycle. After ten times of doing this you get a percentage off your next purchase. I also re-used the cardboard container for my DIY’d powder.

Zao Organic Makeup Organic Pencils: EYES, LIPS, EYEBROWS – dark brown. Downsides are it has a plastic BPA-free lid that’s recyclable and comes in a Kraft Paper Bubble Mailer (info about Recycling them here). Not the best, but better than most. The dark brown is too warm/redish tint for my eyebrows but I will use for eyeliner or what not and maybe get a different color. The good thing is its texture, goes on smooth and easy! And the nature of their company is wholesome and has great customer service with questions.


Eating this up and want more?

In June, I will be doing a month of ZERO Makeup Challenge. Like literally not wearing makeup for a month. I’m excited and nervous at the same time. Stay tuned for more about DIYs, zero Waste tips, shopping, reviews, and more! Wanna join me or interested for more info? Contact me to dive into the challenge. Follow me via WordPress, Pinterest or email to join the community. Thanks!

DIY Daily Sunscreen Face Moisturizer. Friday- A Week of Zero Waste DIY Challenge: Beauty Edition

TGIF!! Day 5 of A Week of Zero Waste DIY Challenge: Beauty Edition. Summer is just around the river bend, which means the sun is out and I am outside. The past year I’ve been feeling a little guilty for my future self of not wearing sunscreen every day. Half of that I think is just myths we’ve been told, BUT it doesn’t hurt and yes the sun CAN damage your skin. I think everyone can attest to that. This DIY daily sunscreen is light enough to use under make up or just use the tinted version for a natural look.

DIY Daily Sunscreen Face Moisturizer

I’m really not going to get into the SPF debacle about “other oils” like carrot seed or coconut, uncoated, non-nano zinc oxide does work! My recipe is ~%20 in weight zinc oxide so about 20 Sun Protector Factor or SPF.

what you need (makes a small major jar amount, will seriously last for a long time because you really don’t need to use that much to apply)

.4 oz (~1 tablespoon) shea butter ( are you recognizing a theme to this DIY)

.4 oz (~1 tablespoon) coconut oil (non fractioned)

.2 (2 teaspoons) uncoated, non-nano Zinc Oxide Powder (see label in photo below)

.2 (1 teaspoon) Other Oils of your choosing for your skin properties (I used argon, carrot seed and vit E combo)

~ 1 tablespoon coco powder (option for tinted version)

Hand mixer

Food scale

Mason jar or tin or reusable container

instructions

Have ingredients room temperature. Put glass container on scale and tare it to 0. Add all ingredients except zinc oxide and coco powder (for tinted). Mix and whip it up with hand mixer for a minute. Use food scale to correct amount of zinc oxide. Mix again until incorporated. Add coco powder while mixing (or bronzer/powder foundation) slowly until desired color.

Use prior to make up application and multiple times if in direct sunlight. I brush on powder make up to soak up the oils. I’ve made other sunscreen like a SPF lotion bar and loved it but it’s sticky and waterproof to stay on. Will do that recipe another day!! Have fun in the sun. Like my kitty!!

Day 1- DIY Soothing Detox Face Mask

Day 2- DIY Lip Balm

Day 3- DIY Anti-Dandruff, Moisturizing Hair Mask

Day 4- DIY Healing Lotion Bar

Day 6- DIY Eyebrows and Eyelashes FAIL; lessons learned

Day 7- Rest, Celebrate and Mourn Earth Day

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or a skin expert, use caution with homemade stuff (but I’m proud of you)