Indoor Composting 101 (Even if you live in an apartment!)

Indoor Composting 101 (Even if you live in an apartment!)

So, you want to start composting but don’t have space/time/energy to build an outdoor compost? Been there. This is often seen as really the only way to compost. Build a worm bin compost away! But this isn’t accessible to everyone.

But that shouldn’t keep you from composting! It can be done whether you have a backyard compost or no backyard at all!

One of the biggest perks of composting indoors is that you can use it all year round whereas outdoor composts are trickier: they need to be shielded from sun and rain.

There are so many ways that you can compost indoors making it perfect for almost anyone!

But I will say, there are also many ways to reuse your food scraps. So check out these posts and try to make the most of your food before composting:

How to re-grow kitchen scraps

How to reduce food waste

Now that you’re ready to compost, let’s get into it!

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Indoor Composting 101

The idea behind composting is to take organic materials such as food scrap and layer them with each other. Moisture and heat them work to break the materials down over time turning them into nutrient-rich soil.

Most people assume this is what happens when we throw our food in the trash and they go to a landfill. This is a common misconception, but there actually isn’t enough air in landfills to break down even the most organic of materials. Instead, they can release harmful methane gases that help contribute to climate change.

So composting is the perfect solution! Like I said there are a few ways you can compost indoors.

1. Countertop compost

This is by far the easiest method and the one that I’m currently doing. All you need is a bin to sit on top of your counter. 

I have this one from earth hero and it’s a dream. The lid is fitted nice and tight and it comes with replaceable charcoal filters that soak up all the smell. You seriously won’t even know you have compost rotting on your counter.

(Since Earth Hero currently only ships to the US, you can find a similar one on Amazon, here.)

It’s big enough that depending on how much I cook, I only need to empty it every week or two.

But all you have to do is fill it with your food scraps, you can also use these compostable bags (Amazon, Earth Hero) that can go straight into the compost with the scraps!

What you do with the compost when you empty the bin is up to you. If you do have the space for an outside bin you can go ahead and dump it in there!

I know a lot of cities and communities offer some sort of compost service whether it be a drop-off or a pickup service. You can also look into local farmer’s markets that might be willing to take it off your hands. If bringing your compost to a drop-off location every week seems like a bit much you can also store your compost in the freezer and take a big batch once a month. Keeping it in the freezer also helps to neutralize odor. 

I’m lucky enough to have a backyard with a garden so I will take the compost, dig a trench in between the rows of vegetables and bury it so it can help feed my plants.

indoor composting

2. Use a blender

The countertop method definitely takes a bit more time since the scraps aren’t exposed to any natural elements. A tip to speed up the process would be to pop your scraps in the blender and blend it up! (Make sure not to put any fruit or vegetable pits in the blender or it’ll wreck the blades.)

When it’s all blended you have a head start on the decomposing process and you can throw this directly into your garden, use as fertilizer for your plants or sprinkle right onto your lawn!

3. Worm bin

Yes, you can have a worm bin inside. I wouldn’t recommend this method to anyone except those that have a backyard and require a steady stream of compost. This isn’t something to just compost and take away and there are living beings in this bin. 

Basically the worms munch on your food scraps and then poop out (do worms even poop? I don’t even know!) nutrient-rich worm castings that are excellent for the garden and plants.

I’d suggest more of a Rubbermaid bin, fill with a little bit of dirt before adding in your food scraps. Then you can add in the worms and let them munch away! 

You can also purchase worm bins that have all the tools you need to get started! 

Other tips to make your indoor composting a success: 

1. Don’t leave the lid off your compost bin for too long or it’ll attract fruit flies.

2. You’ll want to keep your compost slightly moist to help it break down so periodically spritz it with some water.

3. Make sure all your food scraps are small before adding them to the bin. (I.e don’t throw a whole piece of lettuce in there.)

4. Clean your countertop bin each time you empty it to ensure it stays smelling fresh.

5. Save the leftover liquid that can gather at the bottom of the bin and dilute it with water (1 part liquid to 10 parts water) and use it to clean the leaves of your plants! 

Related reading:

How to store food without plastic

The ultimate list of zero waste cleaning recipes

Now you’re ready to start your indoor composting adventures! I get that it can seem like it’s more trouble than it’s worth but all it takes is a little research and conscious effort and before you know it it’ll be part of your daily routine!

Thank you for reading, I hope this post was helpful in your journey to composting! Please don’t forget t share this post and follow me on Instagram for daily low waste living inspiration!

indoor composting


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