How To Prevent Compost From Smelling Bad



Composting doesn’t have to get smelly with my one secret trick. I have found a way that not only keeps the stink away but it also keeps the fruit flies and bay and prevents water from collecting at the bottom of your pail. And the one thing you need to do it is completely free. 

I’m an earth lover and I do my best to reduce my carbon footprint. With everything I have to buy as a parent, composting is the one thing that makes me feel as if I am contributing a little to being more green. It’s a little harder than it was before I had a toddler, as not all of the food makes it into his mouth (or the dog’s), but it’s important to me so I have kept it up. 

I have noticed that San Franciscans generally do compost, and those who don’t frequently say it’s because they don’t want to deal with the smell or the fruit flies. 

The one thing that has made composting doable for me is this trick I learned using newspaper ads from the spam mail that regularly arrives in my mailbox

Here is how I do it:  

  1. Go through the spam mail with all the ads in it and toss any paper that is shiny while keeping the ones that look and feel like newspaper. 
  2. Tear the newspaper and into large strips or squares and put aside for use later on. I put mine in a little flat basket and put it on top of my fridge.
  3. Line your empty compost bucket with a compost bag.
  4. Lay a couple of pieces of the torn newspaper at the bottom of the compost bag and put the lid back on
  5. Compost like normal.  Before bed or after adding a lot of food to your compost, lay a layer of the torn newspaper on top making sure to cover the food.

If you follow these steps, your compost won’t stink at all and you won’t see any fruit flies in your kitchen. The newspaper absorbs odors and liquids, so you won’t see all that extra liquid at the bottom of your bin either. 



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Jennifer is Student Midwife who runs Little Ones Welcome, a holistic practice where she integrates Western and Eastern perspectives on Fertility and Pediatric health. She offers services in Acupuncture, Elimination Communication, and Post-Partum Preparedness. Jenn lives in San Francisco with her Husband Oliver, Son Eli, and Dog Franklin. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, walking, gardening, or just listening to the ocean waves. Jenn especially loves traveling, enjoying a good meal, and just chillin' with her boys !


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