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Black Gold. Dig It.

July 23, 2013

CompostI’ve been composting in my small apartment for nearly three years now. I find it to be simple and clean. Then again, I don’t actually have a compost pile out back. Full disclosure: I haven’t had the greenest thumb with plants lately, and thankfully, since I live in an apartment, almost all of the gardening is done for me, so I don’t have the space or need for compost of my own. However, my dad has all of the things I lack. He has a large garden to use compost, as well as space for multiple compost piles, and a green thumb. This comes in handy for me. I can save my table scraps in a countertop bin and bring it to him when I visit. Perfect.

You are probably thinking: Good for you, but what’s this got to do with me? I think it has a lot to do with everyone. There are a multitude of reasons why composting is good for you and good for the environment. They’ve been written about too many times to count, but in case you’ve missed it:

  • The EPA lists: enriches soils, remediates contaminated soil, and helps prevent pollution. Plus it offers economic benefits by reducing resources needed for growing plants, as well as offering a commodity that can be sold.
  • Earth911 takes it a bit further, adding that it also helps ward off plant diseases.

I find that many people think composting is only for gardeners. Then on top of that, they have a bunch of excuses why it wouldn’t be for them: no space, it smells, takes up too much time, sounds complicated, don’t know how, fruit flies, don’t want to clean out the container, plus many people just have poor throw-away habits. If you can be open minded though, I’d encourage you to check out some of the alternatives below:

  • Residential curbside collection service, Compost Columbus now serves Columbus residences with weekly pickup service. What could be easier than having someone take it all away and handle it for you while diverting your food scraps from the landfill where they do no one any good at all? This is perfect for the urban dweller with little space, and no garden to use the compost in.
  • For those fortunate ones with a moderate amount of space and some gardening skills, using a specially made container with bokashi is a great alternative to get usable compost in weeks, plus compost tea to feed your plants much quicker. This alternative solution is something you can keep indoors, year round, and you can be a little less concerned about what goes in the bin. I find this solution to be the easiest to get started with since it is so compact and has very little smell. I used this type of composting for a while until my dad got hooked on it and swiped my bin. ;)
  • For the adventure-type, check out vermicomposting. This is not for the faint of heart. I am not afraid of worms, but I also prefer not to have them inside my home nor do I wish to see them on a regular basis. However, I do appreciate all they do for our environment and for that reason, I recommend looking into using worms to compost your food. Got to love worm poop. In addition to helping break down your food scraps into compost, they add another component to your compost that you wouldn’t otherwise have … their mucous; sounds gross but its beneficial and only present in vermicomposting.
  • Lastly, there is the all in approach, where you have plenty of space to collect food scraps in your home and for a compost pile outside. This way is the most involved and you get the added bonus of knowing you take care of it all yourself. Give yourself a pat on the back for this one for sure. You’ll need a place for your pile; either build an open container or purchase one to get going. Then you’ll want to make sure you start adding your “ingredients” into the pile in such a way as to make your black gold exactly how you’re plants will grow best. Make sure to turn it and keep it damp but not too wet. Not enough details for you? Find everything you need to know here and your compost will be perfection.

That doesn’t sound too tough, now does it? There is certainly a compost solution for any space, budget, and commitment level. For more information on composting come to Green Columbus’ Green Drinks event Wednesday, July 24 where you can ask all of your composting questions and also meet others in the area with similar interests.

Our city’s population is almost as large as San Francisco, crazy to think about, but is much farther behind them in terms of composting. San Franciscans divert over 100,000 tons of compost from the landfill annually. Columbusites are getting better at this with the number of restaurants and festivals jumping on the compost bandwagon, but we need to do our part at home as well. There is a lot we can learn from San Francisco, but choosing your composting style from above is a definite start.

Interesting Local Events – Week of July 19 – 25, 2013

July 19, 2013

This summer has been a bit of an interesting one weather-wise, but make sure you keep it an interesting one about town too. You don’t want to get in a heat funk and miss out on the whole summer. There are far too many fabulous local events happening for green-minded folks that you won’t want to pass up.

Kick off the weekend by giving back this Friday; Homeport is stuffing backpacks full of school supplies starting at noon. More interested in making a dent in your wallet and supporting your local retailers?…Cruise through the Short North Sidewalk Sale. Finish off your Friday evening at one of these exciting events: Eat UP! Supper Club, A Taste of Worthington, outdoor movie at Columbus Commons (Wreck it Ralph), Walk & Woof at Glacier Ridge Metro Park, Actors Theatre Twelfth Night at Schiller Park, Almost Full Moon Hike at Blendon Woods Metro Park, or 15 & Killin’ It (comedy show) at Wild Goose Creative.

Saturday should be fun for those who got tickets on the Bike the Breweries Tour, but if you weren’t able to, check out the Year of Yay! Bike ride with a grocer theme kicking off at Goodale Park. This Saturday there is something for everyone. If you are into shopping, the Short North Sidewalk Sale is still going on and Etsy Team Columbus is having a yard sale. Want to take in the beauty of your surroundings then swing into German Village for the Art Crawl, Scioto Gardens is hosting a Gardening & Arts festival, and the Bonsai show is back at Franklin Park Conservatory. Into giving back, pitch in at the Near East Side cleanup or join in the conversation about how to Make a Difference in Your Neighborhood at Glenwood Park. Learn something new by attending a discussion on human trafficking at Abolitionist U, A Simple Guide to Herb Safety at the Ohio Herb Center, or try Tai Chi at Wellness in the Garden in Inniswood Metro Garden. There’s more yet. Columbus Crew play at home, taking n the New England Revolution, Westland Library is hosting the 4th Annual Local Author Book Fair. Good Vibes Winery is throwing their Anniversary Wine & Food Pairing. Complete your evening with a Moonrise Walk at Blacklick Woods Metro Park.

Sunday partake in an active rest day. Stroll through the Idea Foundry’s open house, North Market’s Artisan Sundays, Westerflora garden tour in Westerville, Franklin Park Conservatory’s Horticulture Walk, or Inniswood Metro Garden’s Evening Garden Walk. If you have more energy left after your very active weekend, try Family Creekin’ at Battelle Darby Metro Park or head over to Studio 35 for Beer Tasting & a Movie.

Keep the week going with Restaurant Week (starts Monday and runs through next weekend) or some of these events:

I hope you enjoy these green events as much as I will this week!

Interesting Local Events – Week of October 19-25, 2012

October 19, 2012

Fall Foliage

So far, the weather hasn’t been too bad this fall. So there is no reason not to continue taking advantage of it and getting outside. It isn’t too late to enjoy leaf peeping, apple picking, or pumpkin patches.  (For some good ideas on where to go, check out my post from last week and this one from the week before.) This weekend, the Circleville Pumpkin Show is still in full swing, with plenty of tasty pumpkin sweets and treats. Plus don’t miss this weekend’s Apple Butter Festival at Roscoe Village either.

Saturday is once again packed with fall events all over town. Clintonville Beechwold CRC is having a fun fundraiser from 10AM-1PM with lots of family fun activities, plus each family that donates 3+ cans of food gets to take a pumpkin home for free. Grandview Theatre kicks off its annual 24-hour scary movie marathon at noon (Shock Around the Clock). Can’t handle 24 hours of movies? Try Studio 35, where they are showing Shelter, a movie filmed right here in Ohio. Have seeds? Stop over to OSU Urban Arts Space for the Seed Swap.

Sunday should be a perfect day to enjoy the Slate Run Fall Fest in Canal Winchester.

Looking for something a little more frightening for your weekend? I’m personally petrified of haunted houses and the like, but what is October without a little scare? Since I’m not a haunted house connoisseur I leave these listings to the “experts”: Top 31 Haunted Houses by HauntedHouseRatings.com, ColumbusOnTheCheap.com list, OHHauntedHouses.com list, and TheColumbusTeam.com list. Boo at the Zoo sounds like a great event too at The Columbus Zoo.

Our Metro Parks have plenty of outdoor activities. Blacklick Woods is having a 10K nature bike ride Saturday. Check out the Backcountry Dog Hike Saturday at Clear Creek. Chestnut Ridge is playing host to this week’s Commit to be Fit Hike on Sunday or try to Big Tree Hike at Prairie Oaks.

Keep the week going with these events:

I hope you enjoy these events as much as I will this week!

Interesting Local Events – Week of October 12 – 18, 2012

October 12, 2012

Pumpkin Harvest

Our weekend in Columbus is going to be gorgeous! No better time than now to get outside before all the leaves have dropped and the temps stay low. There are plenty of festivals and activities taking place all over town where you can take full advantage of the fabulous fall days.

Saturday is chalk full of fall fun. Check out one of these autumn celebrations:

If you are looking for something a bit different Saturday, try Om-H-I-O yoga on The Oval, Market to Market ride where you can start at either North Market or Hills Market and bike to the other, WOBtoberfest at World of Beer, or get shopping at the Short North Reduction Sale at Skully’s.

The fun doesn’t stop Sunday. Whole Foods Dublin will have a Pumpkin Fest. The Metro Parks have plenty of outdoor events happening as well like: Commit to Be Fit Hike at Sharon Woods, Autumn Splendor at Three Creeks, Off-Trail Hike to the Apple Barn at Chestnut Ridge, and Fall Color Walk at Inniswood.

Another way to enjoy a perfect fall day is with apple picking. Head out to one of the pick-you-own apple orchards in the area like Lynd Fruit Farm or check out this list of other Ohio locations.

Have a great week, and remember that the Circleville Pumpkin Show starts on Wednesday, October 17. It’s always a great event!

Interesting Local Events – Week of October 5 – 12, 2012

October 5, 2012

This weekend is packed full of plenty of events and activities. Some that you might want to check out:

Friday COSI plays host to TEDxColumbus; if you weren’t able to get tickets to this sold out event, you can still catch it streaming live at Studio 35. The always fun Italian Festival kicks off tonight and runs through the weekend.

This Saturday football is king, with Ohio State taking on Nebraska for a night game under the lights. There will be plenty of fans tailgating the day and night away. But if sports aren’t your style, there is still plenty of fun to be had all around town.  It’s the first Saturday of the month, so head over to the Short North for Gallery Hop. Bring your empty bags and load up at ZeroLandfill Columbus at Eartha Limited. The Harvest Festival is at Ohio Village. Meet up with photographers at Blendon Woods Metro Park for the Photo Prowl. BeardCon takes over the Convention Center. Glacier Ridge Metro Park is taking folks on a Green Energy Tour. Or snuggle up at Columbus Commons for Movies in the Park, where you can catch The Hunger Games on the screens.

The fun doesn’t end on Sunday. Take part in the Audobon Hike at Blendon Woods Metro Park. Take your pooch out to Fido Fest at the Village Green in Worthington, or enjoy food on an open flame at Live Fire at Franklin Park Conservatory.

Need an interesting dinner option for Monday? Franklin Park Conservatory has you covered with Taste of Bexley.

Time hasn’t run out on some of the ideas from last week. You can still head out to Devine Farms Pumpkin Farm for family fun and pumpkins, Franklin Park Conservatory for the must see Sacrifice and Bliss: Aurora Robson exhibit, or help out with the Furniture Bank‘s Tables for Thanksgiving drive.

Have a fabulous week!

Interesting Local Events – Week of Sept. 28 – Oct. 4, 2012

September 28, 2012

Looking for something fun to do this week? I have a couple of ideas for you:

Friday head downtown for the Autumn Food Truck Festival at Columbus Commons and the idUS Launch Party at CCAD.

Saturday isn’t all about football in this town. (Especially since it’s an away game.) Columbus Design Week kicks off, Devine Farms Pumpkin Farm opens for the season, its National Public Lands Day (so you can get your volunteer on “helping hands for America’s lands”), and the Franklin Park Conservatory is having a “Retired” Plant Sale. While your are at the Conservatory, check out the Sacrifice and Bliss: Aurora Robson exhibit. Its a must see exhibit.

Sunday is huge. EcoSummit starts and lasts the week. There is a Commit to be Fit hike plus Freeman’s Farm Fall Festival should still be going strong.

The rest of the week, check out more of the EcoSummit and Design Week if you can. The Furniture Bank is starting it’s Tables for Thanksgiving drive Monday. Wednesday join MORPC for the Summit on Sustainability & the Environment. And who can pass up Local Brews & Burgers at Columbus Commons on Thursday?

Have a fabulous week!

Every Once in a While You Need to Reboot

September 27, 2012
Falling Leaves

Wow, life has changed so much for me since I started this blog. For starters, I moved since my last post. Moved in with roommates no less. So far, it’s been a great decision, even if some moments I doubt myself. Anyone who has ever lived with another human being has had those thoughts, so I know I am not alone.

Some other 2012 changes include becoming more involved with Green Columbus and their Earth Day Columbus events, promotion at work, and I celebrated my first anniversary of my MBA. All in all, it’s been a good year so far.  Not everything changed though. I’m still devoted to living sustainably (to the best of my ability), my new apartment is also a residential GreenSpot, and I’m still tackling it as a single girl in the city. Not too shabby.

I’ve decided to reboot this blog. I love sharing my experiences with you. I wanted to just give you a quick update on where my life has taken me so we can start fresh. You’ll see me posting regularly again and I hope you’ll be commenting some more as well. I love hearing from you.

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