Way back at the beginning of May, I wrote a post about my plans to purchase some biodegradable bags – specifically, ‘Biobags’. Well, I did end up buying some, and have been having fun testing them out ever since (and even selling them now that I have a composting biz).
Right after the bags arrived I had to go away for a couple weeks, so I decided to put some in a couple of my composters (with food scraps inside them) to see what would happen. Without a doubt, the most dramatic results came from my large indoor worm bin. I filled a doggy-poop Biobag will bean salad and buried it in the middle of the bin – I then added 5 lbs of Red Worms to the bin (the bin was actually set up as a holding bin for the worms while I was away). What exactly happened next I’ll never know for sure, but I do know this – when I arrived home from my trip, not only was the overall level of materials in the bin greatly reduced, but there was also no trace of the Biobag to be found…at least not until several days later, when I finally found one remnant – the knot I had tied at the top, along with the tattered remains of the bag itself.
I think I would have found it more believable if someone had told me the bag had been filled with blood, punctured then lowered into a tank full of man-eating Piranhas!
I guess those worms were hungry! One thing that certainly helped to speed up the break down (or should I say ‘slaughter’?) of the bag was the fact that I added some small holes before burying it. This would not only let some oxygen in, but also the worms. I imagine there were probably some other bag fragments in the bin as well, but I honestly couldn’t find any.
My other Biobag test involved partially burying a full (10 litre) food waste bag in my large outdoor worm composting bin. The results from that test weren’t nearly so dramatic. The bag had clearly degraded a considerable amount by the time I arrived home, but it was still pretty much intact.
I still want to see how long it takes for these bags to totally vanish. Unfortunately I’ve kinda been like a squirrel as of late – burying my treasure, but never keeping track of where and when I buried them!
Anyway – you’ll certainly hear more about my ongoing Biobag testing in the weeks ahead.
[tags]biobags, bioplastic, cornstarch plastic, biodegradable, compost, composting, worm bin, worm composting, vermicomposting[/tags]
Written by Compost Guy on June 30th, 2008 with no comments.
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Well, I must say these promised posts have been flowing out like cold molasses!
I guess it’s better to be slow than to not write at all!
As some of you undoubtedly know already (especially if you follow Red Worm Composting) I decided to take a leap of faith and start up my own ‘real world’ eco-business this spring – focused primarily on a topic that is near and dear – COMPOSTING!!
Initially, my main activities have involved selling vermicomposting supplies (worms, bins, kits etc), but I am slowly expanding from there. I will be focusing primarily on selling in my own region (Southwestern Ontario) and in Canada in general. As such, I decided to put together a new website called Worm Composting Canada.
Luckily I’ve been able to connect with a great supplier in the U.S. as well so I’ve even been able to sell to U.S. customers (essentially a separate business altogether) – this has certainly helped, since much of my website traffic comes from the U.S. The one limitation of the U.S. biz is that I am only currently selling composting worms (am looking into dropshipping for other products however).
So far it has been a very interesting experience to say the least, and I am SO glad I finally decided go for it. Originally I had planned to wait until I had a larger property (preferably in the country), but I finally just got sick of planning for some future date. At the risk of sounding cheesy, this is the sort of business I’ve always dreamed about owning one day, so it’s been pretty exciting thus far.
One thing I’ve really loved about the new gig is the fact that it’s allowed me to get outside and do a lot more composting/gardening work this year – thus giving plenty of ideas for blog topics (the sad irony is that I now have less time for writing). As mentioned in my recent update post, I am now working with a local restaurant to help divert a fair bit of their food waste (more about that in an upcoming post). It is far more material than I’ve ever had available for composting so it has been an interesting experience to say the least. It has certainly provided me with a great opportunity for various composting experiments (some working out really well – others, not so much! haha).
Anyway, I’m really excited to see where this business takes me, and have little doubt that it will (as mentioned) provide me with plenty of good material to write about…hopefully I can just learn to write a little faster.
[tags]worm composting, vermicomposting, red worms, worm bins, composting, ontario, canada[/tags]
Written by Compost Guy on June 24th, 2008 with 3 comments.
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Hi everyone – I really wanted to get this week off to a good start on the blog. I have so much to write about (as mentioned in my last post), but unfortunately not enough time to write about it.
I figured I could start off with a nice easy post about my new lawn mower, and go from there!
When we first moved into our current house (our first home, I might add) three years ago, we had to buy a new lawn mower for the sizable lawn that came with the property. We certainly don’t live on a palatial estate by any means (it’s only a semi-detached, in fact) but it is a corner lot with decent sized backyard.
I wasn’t nearly as much of an enviro-person at the time as I am now, so it seemed only natural to me to buy a powerful, gas-guzzling push mower, with what I thought was a reliable Briggs and Stratton engine. For the first couple seasons it seemed to work just fine, but unbelievably by the next year it was already giving us trouble. Luckily I managed to get it in for some repairs just before the warranty expired last year.
Long story short – despite the warranty work, it ended up completely dying on me this spring. At the WORST possible time – just before going away for a two week trip! Luckily I was able to borrow my dad’s mower for a quick cut before leaving.
As frustrating as it has been to own a ‘lemon’ of a gas lawn mower, it seems all the trouble was a blessing in disguise. With the crummy gas guzzler out of the picture for good, I no longer had an excuse for postponing my purchase of a rechargeable mower – something I had planned to do at some point.
The mower we decided to buy is the Black & Decker CMM1200 24 V rechargeable. I had read a number great reviews, and have been quite happy with other B&D rechargeable products. I actually already owned a B&D rechargeable weed whipper, and while it’s certainly not as powerful as my gas powered one, I really love the fact that I don’t have to mess around with mixing gas with 2-stroke oil etc etc.
Despite all the great reviews, I must admit to feeling somewhat nervous when I first tested the mower out. I was very worried that it wouldn’t hold its charge for my entire lawn (which, as mentioned, is quite large). It generally had taken me an hour or more to do it with the other mower. The B&D claims to be able to run for at least an hour on a single charge – but you know how these claims can end up being a bit of an exaggeration once you actually start using it.
Well, I am happy to report that the mower performed BEAUTIFULLY! A single charge definitely gets me more than a full tank of gas would have with the other mower. I was able to mow my entire lawn, go back and touch up spots, then even mow part of the backyard at a lower setting before it started to die on me! I was blown away!
I am certainly not going to claim that rechargeable mowers are incredibly environmentally friendly – after all, my power has to come from somewhere in the first place, and there is the manufacture and disposal of the batteries to consider. Nevertheless, I do feel it is an improvement upon gas-powered mowers. Even just for the simple facts that it is much easier on my ears, and won’t require me to go buy gas (or store it for that matter) makes it well worth it in my mind! I now actually look forward to mowing the lawn – certainly an improvement over the cursed-filled lawn mowing sessions of my recent past.
Bottomline, if you are in the market for a new mower, I highly recommend you consider one of the growing list of rechargeable mowers now on the market! I think you’ll be glad you did!
[tags]rechargeable, lawn mower, eco-friendly, lawn care, black and decker, black & decker, cordless mower[/tags]
Written by Compost Guy on June 16th, 2008 with 13 comments.
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I realize my blog postings have followed a “feast or famine” type of cycle ever since starting the site. I guess the important thing is that I’m continuing to move slowly forward.
I’m happy to report that I’ll be providing you with another ‘feast’ of new posts soon.
I’ve been really busy with lots of ‘real world’ activities, and very soon I’ll be able to get back to the computer and tell you all about it.
Here’s what’s coming down the pipe:
1) My New Business Venture – From the virtual world to the real world, Compost Guy is ready to make his mark!
2) Community Composting Initiative – Learn about my partnership with a very popular local restaurant, and what I am doing with 100′s of pounds of their food waste each week.
3) Make Your Own Pet Poop Composter – I’ve written previously about pet waste composting. Well now I’m going to show you how to make your very own pet waste composting system.
4) In Situ Vermicomposting – Last summer I had a huge tomato plant growing out of the side of my large outdoor worm bin. This year I’m taking in situ composting to a whole new level.
5) My new lawn mower – I finally said good bye to my emission-spewing, gas-guzzling hunk-a-junk, and said hello to a sleek new rechargeable. My impression after testing it out? AWESOME!
6) Fun With Biobags – A while back I wrote about my purchase of some cornstarch polymer ‘Biobags’ to test out in my compost bins. I’ve been doing exactly that for the last few weeks, with some pretty cool results!
7) Suburban Aquaponics – Going even further back into the archives, I promised everyone that I was going to set up my own aquaponics system. Originally it was going to be an indoor system, but unfortunately the project just never got started (other than me planning it out and purchasing some of the key supplies). I am now hoping to try out a small outdoor system. Should be fun!
So there you have it! I’m sure there will be other posts along the way – but these are some of the exciting things I want to tell you very soon.
Written by Compost Guy on June 5th, 2008 with 2 comments.
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