Compost: everybody's doing it, or they should be. Food waste is a major contributor to landfills, which is why some cities are starting to get aggressive about requiring composting, with their own municipal composting services. Some individuals are taking the initiative themselves to get their food waste out of the waste stream, especially if they also have their own gardens or access to a community garden that could use their compost.
But compost isn't always fun to deal with. If it's not managed properly, it can get stinky, and it can also attract animals. If you're composting in your home in particular, you tend to want to control odors, so, how do you compost without driving yourself up the wall? It's a question that's been bothering a lot of people, so a whole slew of extremely efficient, compact, and cleverly designed compost management systems has hit the market.
This product isn't actually on the market yet, but if you contribute to its Kickstarter so it can go into production, it will be! The bin, which comes in several sizes, is foot-operated, features compostable liners, and has a seal to keep unwanted odors out. It fits tidily on the floor or under the sink so it tucks out of the way in small kitchens where space is at a premium, and it's a family endeavor: it was designed by a father-daughter team!
Not so much a product as a method of composting, Bokashi involves the use of specialized microorganisms. Developed in Japan, it ferments organic materials for a very fast breakdown. Users start with a layer of bokashi, add organic material, and interlayer bokashi until the container is full. Then it's allowed to sit for a week to ten days to ferment, and the result is rich, delightful soil. It can be added to an existing compost pile to improve it, or applied directly to the garden.
Another product designed with small spaces in mind. This two-chambered system allows the user to put fresh food in the top chamber, where it's aerated, ventilated, and heated to help components break down. A push of a button routes it to the bottom chamber, where it ages for a week, at which point the user can pull out the tray and marvel at the rich, nicely-processed compost inside. The innovative system cuts down on odors and works fast, so people don't have to wait around for their compost.