On average, each American throws out 30 pounds of wasted food every month! The New York Times created a great visual to show consumers how much food this amounts to for a family of four. If you’re like me, you feel guilty and ashamed to have wasted both money and good food when it goes bad before you’ve eaten it… so you can make a compost worm bin aka vermicomposting to help both your conscience and your trash heap.
Apartment dwellers, I know you’re about to close the page- but keep reading! This easy to make and store worm bin does not smell at all, can be stored under your sink in a 5 gallon bin (lid necessary!) and my 3rd grade nephew can build it (so you can too…). If you’re slightly hesitant to build your own compost bin (with or without worms) here’s a great YouTube video to get you started, you can skip a minute or so until he really gets going.
Side note: I swear your worms will not escape out of the bin to attack you in your sleep unless they’re starving, dehydrated or drowning… so make sure you feed them (your gross old/moldy food) and make sure the bin is moist but not a swimming pool.
If you’re going to go vanilla-style with your bin, just add fruit and vegetable peels, leftover or molding veggies, grains (bread, rice etc), coffee grounds, tea bags, etc…. if you want to experiment with what your worms can digest, try a small amount of meat, dairy or slightly greasy foods, but do it slowly with small portions.
You can order worms online, go to a fishing/bait store or probably dig around in a nearby park if you’re feeling so adventurous. For deciding how many worms you’ll need, about one pound of worms can take care of a 1/2 pound of food scraps daily! Now imagine eating half your body weight- those worms are working hard to compost your discarded food!
***Now let’s time-travel a few weeks into the future *whoosh!* Okay, now you have a bunch of great vermicompost and you can choose to add it to your indoor potted plants, outdoor garden, donate it, sell it on Craigslist, eBay or Etsy (seriously, it’ll go quickly…)