Sustainable America Blog

Author Archives: Jen Wendeln

Compost Q&A: Troubleshooting the Worm Bin

Scoop of vermicomposted materials and worms

Photo: DC Greens via Flickr

Since we started this blog in 2012, our most popular post of all time has been “How to Compost in Your Apartment,” an infographic that breaks down how to start a vermicomposting bin. Since then, we’ve heard from a few beginners who’ve had some questions about their worm bins. So we gathered them in one place and went to an expert for help. Here’s how she troubleshoots a few common vermicomposting challenges, like smells, fruit flies, escaping worms and more.

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‘I Want to Compost, but…’

compost bucket

Photo Credit: mystuart via Compfight cc

A recent study found that 67% of Americans would be willing to compost food waste if it was more convenient to do so. Since convenience means different things to different people, we thought we’d address a few common questions and issues that serve as barriers to composting at home. Hopefully some of these answers will help you find a solution that works for you.

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By the Numbers

Currently 50 million households suffer from food insecurity, meaning that family members cannot always meet their basic food needs.

10 million people a year could be fed through the recovery of just one-fifth of food waste.

Only 2% of food waste is composted or otherwise recycled—62% of paper is recycled.

Consumers throw out about 40% of the fresh and frozen fish they buy.

The U.S. produced 208 pounds of meat per person in 2009—60% more than Europe.

Low income commuters spend a much higher proportion of their wages on gas—8.6% versus 2.1% at $4 per gallon.

Food prices rose 35-40 percentage points between 2002–2008.

Americans consume 25% of the world’s produced oil, but our nation holds less than 3% of the world’s proven oil reserves.

The International Energy Agency says greenhouse gas emissions rose 3.2% last year, with a 9.3% increase in China offsetting declines in the US and EU.


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