Shia lives in Germany, where she writes the blog Wasteland Rebel. She and her husband use a vermicomposting setup in their home (yup, that's a picture of Shia holding a baby worm, above!). Here, she explains how it works:
Oh, I just love to say it: we've got worms!! And you bet we got a lot of ’em! Around 3,000, and of course we named each and every one of them. Nah, not true, we didn’t name them. We are bad with names so we didn’t bother.
We live in a one bedroom apartment in the shopping district, so we were looking for an eco-friendly way to get rid of our kitchen scraps because throwing it in the regular waste bin is such a waste. Kitchen scraps don’t decompose properly in a landfill because the whole environment is too toxic for the necessary and important micro organisms.
A worm bin is called a vermicomposting system: a composting setup that uses worms to turn organic waste into fertilizer. It’s literally a bin with composting worms inside. You put your kitchen scraps and some paper into the bin and the worms will help to make compost out of these things.
However, both my husband and I are, um, not the most talented people when it comes to taking care of plants… so we give the worm castings (the composted material, which can serve as fertilizer) to a friend who happens to have a green thumb and grows her own veggies .
Vermicomposting is odorless, unlike the regular kitchen waste bin. Our worm bin smells a bit moist and like whatever we put in there recently: coffee, cabbage, or freshly mowed lawn because we just weeded the pots in our balcony. If your worm bin reeks, then something went terribly wrong…
It is the perfect urban composting system, and worm bins are easy to make, too! There are so many tutorials to get you started - YouTube is a good place to start.
Thanks so much for sharing, Shia! PS - If you compost, I'd love to feature you for this series. Just send me a note if you're interested!