Apartment Living

How to Compost in an Apartment 

How to Compost in an Apartment 

If you’re interested to learn how to compost in an apartment, you’d be doing both yourself and the environment a favor. Composting is a natural process in which organic waste turns into a nutrient-rich, decomposed matter which helps plants grow. It happens by itself in nature, but you can replicate it at home with food scraps and other organic waste. The resulting compost is a natural and highly nutritious method to feed your plants and reduce food waste. If you have a home garden, house plants or just want to recycle your food scraps, here are the why, the what and the how of composting in an apartment:

Why You Should Compost in an Apartment 

Organic waste, such as food scraps, yard trimmings, and paper, makes up 53% of landfills. Out of that waste, we could recycle at least 40% into compost. But why do it? First, you’re protecting the environment. In landfills, this organic waste produces methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to the climate crisis. Also, compost is a valuable resource. If you use it in your home garden, your plants will get better nutrition and retain more moisture without chemical fertilizers. And even if you just store your compost and use a collection service, you’re still making sure less methane pollutes the atmosphere.

What You Can Compost in an Apartment 

You can recycle most organic waste in your apartment, but there are a few types of food and plants you should keep out of the composting process. You can compost a large amount of food waste, such as fruits and vegetables, eggshells, tea bags, and coffee grounds. When it comes to your home garden, feel free to recycle all trimmings, cuttings, leaves, and dead houseplants. You can even compost items from your bathroom and home office, such as paper, cardboard, and rags or towels made out of cotton and wool. 

How to compost in an apartment without worms

However, there are a few things you should steer clear of when it comes to composting. Don’t try to recycle dairy products, fats and grease, oil, animal-based scraps (except for fur), and animal feces. At the same time, while a little bit of dairy or oil won’t harm your compost, they will generate unpleasant odors, which can attract pests such as insects and rodents.

How to Compost in an Apartment  

Compost Method #1: Composting with Worms 

When thinking about how to compost in an apartment, worms might not be the first thing that comes to your mind. However, vermicomposters, as they’re called, are actually easy to set up and maintain. You’ll need a few items you can get at any home supplies store, such as some storage bins, a drill, dirt, and some worms, of course. Worms are easy to purchase online, so you can get started at any time. 

How to compost in an apartment with worms

This indoor method will get you the highest quality compost. If you’re not too squeamish, it’s also the most natural way to go about it. You can find a quick and easy step by step guide on how to set up a vermicomposter on the EPA website, and you can buy a ready-made worm composter online.

Compost Method #2: Electric Composters 

Food recyclers are a great option if you don’t want to spend too much time managing your compost bin. They automate the process, which means all you need to do on a regular basis is to add your food scraps and wait for your compost to be ready. However, it comes with a drawback: electric food recyclers do just that — recycle. Technically, what they produce can’t be called compost and doesn’t have as much nutritional value, but will still be healthier for your plants than chemical fertilizers. An electric composter will dry the waste, heat it, grind it down, and then cool the material off. 

The food recycler is quiet and doesn’t take up much space, so if you’d like to avoid the hassle of taking care of a worm-based composter, this solution is right for you.

Compost Method #3: Bokashi 

Bokashi is another easy method to compost at home. The word comes from Japanese and means “fermented organic matter”, which is exactly what it produces. This method requires more maintenance than a food recycler but produces higher-grade fertilizer. How does it work? You use a special airtight bucket to mix in layers of kitchen scraps with an inoculant such as wheat germ and molasses and wait for it to do its magic. After a while, the fermenting waste will start producing a juice that you need to drain to avoid unpleasant odors. However, the juice is highly effective in feeding houseplants.

Bokashi produces higher quality fertilizer than electric recyclers, so if you’d like to learn how to compost in an apartment without worms, this is the best method for you. You can get stared easily with a ready-made Bokashi composting kit and find a great guide on how to set it up and get the most out of your fertilizer here

Compost Method #4: Collection Services 

 Finally, if you don’t have the time or resources to start composting by yourself, check if you can find local collection services. Some local governments provide curbside organic waste collection, and in bigger cities, you can also find non-profits that will either pick up your food scraps or have drop-off boxes around the city. 

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Published at Tue, 21 Apr 2020 06:32:38 +0000

10 Dog Breeds with the Highest Paw-tential for Apartment Living

With so many of us spending more time than ever at home, now seems like a great time to have a furry friend. Navigating pet restrictions and/or making a case to the landlord about your four-legged companion is worth it when you get to enjoy their tail-wagging at the end of the day.

Granted, some apartment complexes have stricter pet restrictions than others. But fortunately, much like apartments, dogs come in all shapes and sizes, so you can have your pick. There are the furry energy balls, the cuddlers, the runners, the shedders and the ones who don’t let you out of their sight.

However, as fun and rewarding as it is to have a dog, it’s also important that your living environment suits them, as well, which is why we’ve compiled a list of the best dog breeds to keep indoors. In no particular order, here are the best dogs to keep in an apartment:

1. Pomeranian

Yes, brushing and grooming these fluff balls is a must, but it’s worth it! Pomeranians are great if you’re looking for an independent breed that can fare just fine when left to its own devices. These dogs are highly active but do well in smaller spaces due to their tiny stature (about 10 pounds). What’s more, they love to communicate, so expect barking and every sound in between, although good housetraining can sort that out. Pomeranians are also known for being incredibly smart and can quickly pick up on tricks and commands.

2. Boston Terrier

We continue our list with the “American gentleman,” one of the most adaptable and easily trainable breeds. Perfect for apartments and condos due to their compact size (12 to 18 pounds and standing at 1 foot and a half max), Boston Terriers are affectionate and get easily attached. Plus, their short coats and minimal shedding make them ideal for indoors. They’re also not prone to excessive barking. And, even though they are high on energy, they handle small spaces well and are content as long as they get their daily dose of exercise.

3. Dachshund

If you need a small companion with an easygoing temperament and loving nature, look no further than the Doxie. As important as it is for owners to keep their pets happy, “sausage dogs” are one of those breeds that can find happiness in just about everything. Believed to be more on the loud side, they can also be very docile and tend to cling to their owners. Due to their short legs and long spines, they are prone to accidents if they run around too much, so living in smaller spaces suits them just fine. And, because Doxies have short hair, you don’t have to worry about excessive shedding, making this loyal dog perfect for indoor living.

4. Bichon Frise

The perfect dog if you suffer from allergies, the fluffy Bichon Frise is great for apartment living because of how little they shed. Between 12 and 18 pounds and never taller than 1 foot, these cuties make for the perfect companion. Although quiet, they have a lot of energy, so make sure daily walks are always on the table to keep them happy. Take note that these white fur balls get attached very easily and don’t like being alone for too long. So, if you like to play around, take long walks and spend quality time with your pup, there’s no better breed for you.

5. French Bulldog

Frenchies can be the best of both worlds, which is why they are one of the most popular breeds on our list. They love snuggling as much as they love running around, are pretty low-key but in high spirits as long as their owner entertains them, and don’t require lots of exercise but won’t say no to playtime. Around 20 pounds, Frenchies are very good-natured and not very fond of barking — a perfect combo for apartment living. They also tend to overheat, so make sure your unit has AC just in case.

6. Basenji

Barking is often the number one concern when considering whether to own a dog. Known as “the barkless dog,” Basenjis are great if your neighbors love their silence or you have to deal with thin walls. These dogs rarely grow larger than 25 pounds and shed very little. However, beyond their silence, the Basenji is one of the most complex breeds on the list. For instance, they are extremely curious and might be tempted to leave the apartment and go explore. Therefore, it’s important to train them, walk them and make them feel safe at home. Although full of love, this breed is also very stubborn and mischievous, so pay extra care in training them and imposing limits.

7. Greyhound

Yes, really. They might be one of the tallest and fastest breeds out there but, surprisingly, these racing dogs are pretty low-maintenance and don’t require lots of exercise and space. First, make sure the breed is welcome in your apartment complex. Somewhere between 60 and 80 pounds, Greyhounds might not fit the weight limit imposed by some pet regulations. If your heart beats for larger dogs — but you aren’t sure if an apartment is the best environment for them — consider retired racing dogs, who acclimate best to a sedentary lifestyle following their careers. They don’t bark too much, don’t shed too much, are very calm and an absolute pleasure to have around.

8. Scottish Terrier

One of the most dignified breeds there is, and it has the mustache to prove it. Right off the bat, you must know that these dogs are more independent than other terriers, but also fiercely loyal. Alert, energetic and curious, they need a good deal of training to reach their full potential. But, once they do, they’re the perfect companion to share quarters with. Ideal for an active owner who enjoys walks and playtime as much as them, Scotties are also great with children. Although small, they are strong-willed and make for great watchdogs that usually bark only if they must. The breed is also known for not shedding excessively, but you will need to make time for grooming due to their longer coat.

9. Brussels Griffon

Don’t dismiss the Brussels Griffon as just another high-maintenance pooch because of its 7 to 8 pounds and beady eyes. In reality, this sturdy breed is very affectionate and tends to bond with one person. Often in need of its owner’s undivided attention, Griffons are also known as one of the funniest and most intelligent dogs out there. They’re also very agile, but adapt well to living in small spaces. Griffons also love cuddles as much as they love brisk walks. However, training is a must if you don’t want to deal with relentless barking.

10. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

We can’t talk about the best dogs to keep in an apartment without mentioning the Cavalier King Charles. Around 18 pounds, these dogs are the perfect breed for snuggling due to their friendly and affectionate nature. They’re also sociable, which is ideal if you want your pup to be able to interact with other pets. Cavaliers can also adapt to their owner’s personality, so they can lounge all day long inside the smallest of studios, but won’t say no to hikes or long walks through the neighborhood. While you will deal with minimal shedding, despite their long coat, a weekly brushing is enough.

Having a furry friend in your life is incomparable, no matter the size of your apartment. But, there are a lot of things to consider before getting a pet — like the time and effort you’re willing to invest, their noise and energy level, and potential shedding. But, regardless of breed, every dog is different, and that’s what makes it so fun to share your life with one.

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Published at Mon, 20 Apr 2020 07:00:46 +0000