The weather here was simply fantastic this past weekend--and we appreciated it all the more since it followed a week and a half of chilly rain. P and I reviewed our to-do lists, looking for anything that could be done outside. To the point where we even called up some friends with a more wooded lot than ours, and begged them to let us come over and chainsaw something, anything. They readily acquiesced and keep talking like we did them some huge favor. I think they did us the favor--I'm not sure how much of our landscaping would still be standing if they hadn't provided P with an outlet for his destructive urges!
But before we gassed up the chainsaw and belched out the fossil fuels, we had to offset its carbon footprint. Or, more accurately, take care of a nagging item on our list: build a compost pile.
Really, this was all about aesthetics: we've already been dumping our compost in the back corner of the lot, but figured maybe our neighbors couldn't tell the difference between an eco-friendly pile and a good old-fashioned trash heap. Especially since we're inclined to throw in almost anything biodegradable--paper towels, cotton fabric scraps from quilting, cardboard egg cartons, compostable plastic, even old drywall (if we're sure it wasn't painted with lead paint). Actually, I'm not that concerned about our neighbors' sensibilities, but I did feel really bad when a paper towel would take flight into their yards on a windy day. Not cool.
Adding to our green credentials, we built the compost out of some old shelving that we inherited with the house. P removed much of the shelving that the previous owner had installed in the garage, so he could set up his own systems. And what do you know--those shelves proved a perfect size to make a great compost bin with minimal effort!
(The stuff to the left of the compost pile is larger branches, etc, that won't decompose any time soon. We stack it up there until we have a full pickup load, and then take it to the yard waste pile at the local recycling center.)