Composting 101: What is composting all about?

Compost bin

The City Council, in another effort to make the city of Austin even greener, recently announced that all fast food spots, chain restaurants, and large food establishments in Austin must start composting their food scraps and other compostable materials by 2016.  Restaurants that are considered small businesses will be required to begin composting by 2017.

According to an article in the Austin-American Statesman, food scraps and other compostable materials make up about 40-50% of a food establishment’s waste.  This is obviously a huge step in helping to eliminate waste in our great city.

What exactly is compost?  A collection of fruit and veggie peels, food scraps, coffee grounds, used paper towels, leaves, grass trimmings, etc. that are placed in a bin or outside in a specially prepared area.  By the miracle of nature, over the course of weeks and months, it turns into a nutrient-rich fertilizer for your lawn, your potted plants, and/or your garden.

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Here are 5 reasons why composting is important:                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Garden

1.  It reduces the amount of waste that goes to landfills.

2.  It reduces the amount of methane that is produced by those food products going to landfills.  Methane contributes to global warming.

3.  It creates an amazing fertilizer.

4.  It improves your garden by helping your plants produce better fruits, veggies, and flowers.

5.  It improves your soil.  Sprinkle it all over your lawn and you will be surprised at what it does.

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What do you need to get started?

A compost bin or a designated spot in your backyard, a pitchfork or shovel, water, and some scrap items.  Here is a short and simple how-to.

What if you live in an apartment or do not have a yard or a garden?

You can still compost!  There are many cool apartment-sized bins that can go right under your kitchen sink.  Check out these recommendations.

What can you compost? 

Good question!  You’d be surprised at what you can!  Here are 75 ideas to get you started.

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compost bin 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Composting is becoming more and more common.  It is a great, money-saving way to lessen your waste, better the environment, and help our planet.  Give it a shot!  It’s a lot easier than you might think.

 

Keep Austin Beautiful

KAB logo

 

Green Gorilla Movers is proud to announce it’s Business Membership with Keep Austin Beautiful!

Anyone who calls Austin home or ever has or even those that visit know it’s a beautiful place.  The amazing trees that cover our city and the sparkling bodies of water are a huge part of what makes Austin special.  The community itself is just a great place to belong to.  There is access to fresh farms throughout and around the city and backyard gardens are popping up everywhere.  We can’t count how many times we have had visitors in town marveling at how clean and serene our city is.

Austin doesn’t just upkeep itself.  It is because of organizations like Keep Austin Beautiful, that Austin is so clean and well taken care of.  Keep Austin Beautiful is a non-profit organization that was established by the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce in 1985 to preserve the beauty of our city and to educate and encourage our residents to take part in clean-ups, restoration, preservation, recycling, and much more.

KAB just finished a huge, annual city-wide clean up on April 13 called Clean Sweep.  It brought together over 4,000 volunteers who removed over 20 TONS of trash around Austin.  KAB is also currently accepting applications for Neighborhood Beautification Grants!  That’s right!  Apply and have the opportunity to receive a grant to set up some beautiful landscaping in your neighborhood or plant that row of trees you have always thought would be amazing!  These are some of the many year round events and opportunities that KAB brings to Austin.

To learn more about their organization, visit their website at www.keepaustinbeautiful.org.  There are endless opportunities to volunteer your time to help preserve the natural beauty of this amazing city we call home!

Moving with children

Moving is an exciting, stressful, and busy experience.  If you have children, they are going through all of these emotions right along with you.  Here are a few tips to help the little ones [and teens too] ease through this transition.

 

PRE-MOVE CHATS 

Parent-child-talkTalk to your kids on a regular basis during the time leading up to the move.  Let them know what is going to happen in the weeks before, days before, on moving day, and after.  Take an afternoon drive to the new Mom and girlhouse on occasion.  Show them their new school and take a tour if possible.  If you are making a long-distance move, show them a picture of the new house.  Let them in on the fun places that will be in the new city [Aquarium, Zoo, a park that has a train].  Removing the unknown from their mind will provide them with an extra bit of security.

 

MOVING DAY

Young children and teenagers alike are concerned about their beloved belongings making it to the new place.  Green Gorilla Movers provides a ‘Monkey Box’ for this purpose.  Whenever we move a family that has children, they each receive their own zero-waste bin to pack their favorite things in.  That box is the last to go on the truck and the first to be taken off when we arrive to the unload.  It puts a smile on their face and they feel assured that their prized possessions will be taken care of.

If the company you are moving with does not offer something like this, it is easy to create your own version.  Purchase a reusable plastic tote [which you can use for storage after the move] or use one of your cardboard boxes [if that is what you are packing with] and let them decorate it with stickers or whatever creative ideas they may have.  Let them know that will be their special box.  Ask the movers to load it last and unload it first.  They should be happy to oblige.

kid-friendly

Moving is a dangerous activity.  We lift some very heavy pieces of furniture and it takes skill to maneuver a lot of pieces through doorways, down flights of stairs, etc.  We love having little ones at our feet [we have our own], but to have them at our feet while we are carrying a huge, heavy armoire is not safe for them, us, or your furniture, as you can imagine.  Consider having childcare on moving day or designate one parent to take the kids on a fun outing.  It will save you some stress.

Whether you are moving a long distance or right down the block, have a special bag packed with snacks, drinks, special blankets, stuffed animals, pacifiers, books, crayons, etc.  All of those essentials that you know provide them with a little extra security and comfort.

 

SETTLING IN

Mom readingOnce you are in your new place and the unpacking and decorating begins, make an effort to get back into family routines as soon as possible.  Keep the dinner table cleared off and share your first dinner [pizza delivery anyone?] in the new place together.  It’s easy to get caught up in getting settled in.  Take some time to sit with each child in their room to check in with how they are feeling, how they like it, and get excited with them about what they are going to do with the space.  Children of all ages can adjust fairly easily to a new house, new school, and new environment with support from mom and/or dad.

 

Here are some great moving books for children that we recommend:

BF Moves AwayAlexander

 

 

 

 

 

Ira says goodbyeThe Moving Book