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A Crock of Convenience

By: Everett S

I’m kind of a cheapskate. At least that’s what my family tells me. The fact is, I don’t like to buy stuff for the sake of buying stuff. I’d rather use that money to build infrastructure around the home (like making it more energy efficient), or to pay off the mortgage way ahead of schedule. While I will lay out cash for an “experience” like travel or a show, my threshold for buying “stuff” is pretty low. I don’t need a nifty-looking compost crock with special carbon filters when a perfectly good tin container I found at a yard sale for .50 cents will do the trick.

But the thing is…

It wasn’t doing the trick. The lid sealed tightly, which created an anaerobic environment in which really nasty, smelly stuff likes to breed. Even with the optimal green-to-brown, nitrogen-to-carbon ratios it would smell up the kitchen every time you opened it. But I could live with that. It’s compost after all. It’s rotting food. It’s supposed to smell bad right? But the real deal-killer was that you needed two hands to open it: One to hold the bottom of the container and the other to pull the lid. I only have two hands so how am I supposed to hold the compost and put it in if they’re both occupied with other tasks? It sounds like a tiny little problem, but after doing that for years, several times every day, it became a problem worth fixing. Enter: The Kitchen Compost Crock From Gaiam.

One of the perks of having a blog, and of having worked for awesome companies, is that I get to review stuff from time to time. This time I was given a compost crock to review. So yes, there’s the disclaimer, but everything I’m writing is true. My good opinion can’t be “bought”.

Gaiam Ceramic Compost CrockSo I have this new compost crock and I have to say it is a huge improvement over our old method. You don’t think it’s a big deal to have to hold down the canister with one hand and lift off the lid with the other; then put down the lid and pick up the compost to put into the container. But it’s one of those tiny inconveniences that just add up over time. Our new compost crock base is heavy enough, and the lid light enough, that I can lift it with one hand and the base stays put. This way I can hold the food scraps in my other hand. And you don’t think a little smell is a big deal until you have a solution that does away with it. The carbon filter may or may not do much for the smell. I think what it does instead is allow air to flow without letting fruit flies and other bugs in. This creates an aerobic environment, which is what we all strive for with our composting efforts. No bugs. No Stink. No hassle.

The one downside to this product is price. Would I have shelled out $42 for the ceramic compost crock if it wasn’t given to me for free to review? Hmmm… probably not, to be honest. I’m a cheapskate. Remember? My advice is for you to make one of these or ask for a compost crock as a gift instead: Birthday, Anniversary, Christmas, Wedding, Homewarming… From now on I’m just asking for gift cards so I can buy stuff that I find useful. Lord knows we’ve given enough assorted toxic bath product baskets to Goodwill over the years. Missy and I have both agreed that from now on, except perhaps on special anniversaries, we’re getting each other stuff that we need. I don’t need a Kindle. I need socks and overalls. Yea I could have gone without the new compost crock, but it’s a huge improvement and is actually allowing me to compost much more than I used to (Guilty: sometimes I wouldn’t feel like dealing with the old one and would just toss scraps in the trash).

By the way, here’s what we have outside our door to put the compost in. When it’s full we take it back to the compost piles or pour it into the worm bins. Cost: $12.

Aluminum Compost Trash Can

Category: Reviews

Comments (11)

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  1. Missy says:

    I thought you would like a kindle seeing as how you order new books by the boxful regularly. I’m glad you like your overalls though. :)

  2. Everett says:

    Sweetie it was the thought that counts. 😉

  3. Anna says:

    We just decided to upgrade our compost bucket for similar reasons. With Mark’s homemade version, I don’t even need one hand to open it! (Granted, the compost could easily start to smell in our anaerobic environment, but I give it to the chickens every morning, so it doesn’t have time.)

    I have to admit, though, that I got a nook a couple of months ago, and I’m in love… :-)

  4. Sandy says:

    I use a recycled bottom of a cool whip container as my kitchen composter. I leave it by the to air. Never smells and I empty it every 2-3 days. I recycled a 2 Liter drink bottle which I cut in half to hold my coffee grounds separate from the food. I recycle my filters as well. I do not put any liquid in my cool whip container as I think that’s what contributes to the smell. Since we food compost, along with recyling paper, cardboard, etc. we are only producing (1/2) of a 12 gallon bag of trash a week. Amazing!

  5. Teresa says:

    Hi…we have a small bathroom sized step on trash can with a removable insert for our kitchen compost. It doesn’t seal tight enough to really cause odors, is small enough that it needs emptied every few days, seals enough to prevent gnats and my banana loving dogs from getting out the peels. Also having the step function sure helps when you have a handful of veggie scraps. The only draw backs is that it came from Wal-Mart. Small town and few choices to shop. Good thing we don’t shop much :)

  6. Everett says:

    It sounds like there are lots of great ways to kitchen compost without buying expensive accessories. Thanks for the tips all!

    I like the step-on trash can idea the best. Cool Whip containers and two-liters are free, but don’t exactly make the best “decor” in a kitchen for folks who care about such things.

    There’s more than one way to skin a cat! Err… compost a banana peel!

  7. Katy says:

    That is the life and I hope I can follow suit one day! You sound a lot like me in desiring functionality and resourcefulness!

  8. v8grrl says:

    I think they are less $$$ at world market. But I bought one for the 40$ also.
    It’s not big enough for us. Being vegetarians and coffee drinkers we fill it up in a day. Composting and recycling we hardly have any garbage for the garbage man.

    I’ve used everything from plastic bins to garbage cans to kitchen compost. This one is nice. The others do get stinky after a while, but in reality it shouldn’t stink too bad because it is veggies.

    This one can be washed really easily. I give it a thumb up


  9. petra says:

    I have been looking at those containers in the store but dont see the need to shell out the bucks and than on top of it have to get carbon filters. I am using a simple ice cream bucket. It works great. i empty it when its full and it does its job.

  10. Angie says:

    I saw crocks like this at discount stores (like TJ Maxx) for about $15-20.

  11. Holly says:

    I too am a cheapskate and prefer spending money on tangibile high quality items, so I would never spend any money on a compost bucket. I use a 5 liter ice cream bucket, the lid is easy to get off and it holds a lot. We dont eat that much store bought ice cream but friends do and are gald to recycle their buckets by giving them to us. Washing the bucket keeps the odor down. Why buy a new manufactured items when reusing works?

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