In this day and age, living green is becoming more beneficial by the day. Green living helps to look after our precious planet by reducing waste and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as being gentle on your wallet. One of the best ways to contribute to living green is composting, and kitchen composters are easiest, simplest, cheapest, and most convenient types of composters. So how do kitchen composters work?
Kitchen composters work the same as other composters. They provide a stable, clean, food-safe container for your food scraps to decompose into compost. Food scraps are layered in the composter as available and decompose into useable compost over a few months.
Composting is a fantastic way to cut down on waste, and the compost that you produce is great for your herb garden or veggie patch. Kitchen composters are growing in popularity because they are so convenient and work well in every home.
They are ideal for small homes with little kitchens and large homes with large families, as well as being very convenient to keep inside, instead of constantly having to make trips outside to a composter every time you do something in the kitchen.
Let’s look at how kitchen composters work, what makes them great, and some good products to purchase if you are looking for a kitchen composter.
What Is Composting?
Composting is the process of decomposing waste food and other natural materials that would normally just be thrown away into a nutrient-rich fertilizer used for gardening and farming.
The production of compost occurs when food products and other natural materials decompose over time, usually a few months to a year.
The natural materials are broken down by microorganisms as they decay, releasing all of the useable minerals and nutrients that are still within the materials, which makes for great plant food.
Natural materials that can be included in the production of compost include scraps, off-cuts, pulp, and waste from most vegetables and fruits, as well as eggshells, coffee grinds, tea leaves, plant trimmings, ink-free paper, blank cardboard with no ink or plastics and many other natural materials.
What Is A Kitchen Composter?
A kitchen composter is a convenient and easy to use compost bin that is specifically designed to be used in-doors.
These composters differ from other types of composters because they are much more compact and stable enough to be kept inside; they usually have seals and filters that do a great job of containing the smell that is produced during the production of compost, which makes them ideal for indoor use.
The best kitchen compactors are made from food-safe materials that will not seep toxic chemicals into your compost that could damage the plants that you use it for.
These kitchen composters are usually made from non-flammable materials, such as stainless steel and ceramic, which is necessary for indoor use because as the natural material used for compost decomposes, it often releases a substantial amount of heat, which can be a fire hazard.
Kitchen composters are relatively easy to clean, and some of the smallest varieties can even be washed in a dishwasher.
How Do Kitchen Composters Work?
Kitchen composters are designed to be kept close at hand. Food scraps are usually produced – near a kitchen countertop where food is prepared for cooking, under a kitchen sink, or inside a kitchen cupboard where food scraps can be easily transferred into the composter.
Kitchen composters work much like regular outdoor composters, except that they are designed for use in-doors.
Collect all of the scraps and waste materials you have produced by preparing your food for cooking, clearing out last month’s veggie stew from your fridge, and placing the material into the kitchen composter. Leave it there for a while, and your compost production has begun. It really is that simple.
Compost is not produced overnight, and it will take time to accumulate enough material in the composter to be used as fertilizer. The more material you place in the composter, the more quickly the compost will be produced.
The natural material is layered on top of itself as you place more into the composter every day. The material at the bottom will begin to decay before the fresher material at the top of the pile.
This process produces what is called humus, which is the nutrient-rich plant material that decomposes in soil that becomes fantastic plant food. This is the goal of composting.
This humus can then be used to fertilize your flower beds, herb garden, or veggie patch, and saves you having to buy expensive fertilizers from the store.
Will A Kitchen Composter Make Your House Smell?
Generally, modern commercial kitchen composters have well-designed seals and filters that are good at keeping the odor of composting contained within the unit.
When the lid is opened to place new material into the composter, some smell will escape, but not enough to instantly clear out the room.
Kitchen composters can produce very pungent smells, and if they are left to work for extended periods, the smells will eventually start to seep through.
Some kitchen composters have replaceable carbon filters that can be changed when they stop absorbing the odors that are produced by the compost. These filters are great, but they are disposable. They reach their limit of how much of the smell they can absorb and will need to be replaced regularly.
The best practice for keeping the compost smell at bay is to keep a larger receptacle for the compost outside if possible and empty the contents of the kitchen composter into it every few days. This will maintain the convenience of having a kitchen composter and will ensure that your home never smells like fertilizer.
Are Kitchen Composters Worthwhile?
These handy home composters are a great way to reduce the waste that your home produces and reduce the cost of maintaining your home garden.
These composters are small enough to be used in any size home, even small apartments with small gardens.
For those among us who are more serious about composting, kitchen composters are very convenient because they provide a place to instantly put your natural material for composting, right where you are producing it, where it can begin the process of decomposing to become compost without having to make a trip to your outdoor composter every time you make a meal.
These composters are clean, safe, easy to clean, and designed to keep odors trapped.
Kitchen composters are worthwhile for anyone living green, for any gardener or home farmer, and for all those who are committed to reducing their carbon footprint.
Which Kitchen Composters To Buy
There are so many kitchen composters available on the market, and there are some that are better than others.
Here is a shortlist of the highest-rated kitchen composters that are easily available right now:
Utopia Kitchen Stainless Steel Compost Bin
This 1.3-gallon kitchen composter boasts a sleek design, but it is very useable. It is made from scratch-resistant stainless steel, a well-sealed lid, and effective charcoal filters to contain odors, and is very easy to wash by hand.
Exaco Trading Co. ECO-2000 Plus Kitchen Compost Waste Collector
This is not the prettiest kitchen composter, but it one of the most effective. This composter is dishwasher safe, comes with a year’s supply of replacement carbon filters, is large enough for the average family, and will last longer than other plastic kitchen compost collectors.
Bamboozle Food Composter
This kitchen composter is on the pricier end of the spectrum, but it is sure to do the job well. This composter is made from bamboo, so not only are its contents biodegradable, but the composter itself is biodegradable too.
This composter is durable and dishwasher safe, which makes cleaning a breeze. Another upside to this composter is the carbon filters that it uses are easily available at most DIY or hardware stores, so there is no need to special order specific filters.
Kitchen composters are a very convenient way to produce compost at home by utilizing natural materials that would otherwise be thrown away.
Kitchen composters are very easy to use, small enough to be used in any home, and are even kept easily out of sight.
This type of composter is ideal for the casual gardener and serious homesteader. These composters work very well, and they produce compost just as quickly as other composters, albeit on a smaller scale due to their size.
Kitchen composters eliminate the need to make trips to an outdoor composter after preparing every meal. Kitchen composters are ideal for small households that do not produce a lot of waste.
Kitchen composters are a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, cut down on waste, and save money on expensive fertilizers for your garden or veggie patch.