Composting Can’s and Cannot’s

Here is a list of things you can compost and what things you should not compost. For detailed information about composting, check out the United States EPA website.

Can

  • Fruit and vegetable waste
  • Eggshells
  • Coffee grounds
  • UNBLEACHED paper
  • Tea bags
  • Disease-free houseplants
  • Hair (unbleached and undyed), fur, and nail clippings (unpolished)
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Cardboard
  • Yard waste
  • 100% Natural fabrics like cotton and wool
  • Dust sweepings and vacuum dirt
  • Sawdust and wood shavings
  • Hay and straw
  • Shredded newspaper
  • Dryer lint

Cannot

  • Bones
  • Meat
  • Feces
  • Cheese and dairy
  • Plastic-lined cartons
  • Cooking oils
  • Disposable diapers
  • Heavily coated paper, like magazines
  • Disposable feminine products
  • Metallic wrapping paper or glitter
  • Fleece or any other non-natural fabric
  • Plastic of any kind
  • Stickers
  • Any toxic chemicals
  • Coal or charcoal
  • Soiled cat litter

 

When things successfully compost, it will turn back into dirt and you will be able to use it for gardening or give back to the Earth. Common sense says don’t put anything plastic, chemical, or animal-based into your compost pile, otherwise your compost will have a bad smell and be too toxic to grow anything with. Use your best judgement when you encounter something not on the list. Good luck!

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Zero Waste Tips: Part 2

Here are more zero waste tips to transition your home into a zero waste home.

Bathroom

  1. Use 100% recycled and unbleached toilet paper. Go for the more environmentally friendly toilet paper that’s individually wrapped in paper or install a bidet attachment to your toilet.
  2. Use an alternative option to commercial deodorant. Commercial deodorant comes in a lot of plastic packaging and they are packed with chemicals that aren’t healthy for your body. Try making your own with baking soda and Himalayan pink salt (recipe here) or use an alum stone.
  3. For shaving, use a safety razor and shaving soap. Also, instead of using shaving gel or cream, try using just regular soap and lather where you need it and shave.
  4. Refill your bottles with bulk shampoo and conditioner. There’s also a no-poo option for those who have short hair. Rinse your hair, massage baking soda, then rinse with vinegar for shine. You can also use a shampoo bar. Instead of hairspray, try lemon water in a spray bottle. To go longer between washes, try cornstarch in bulk instead of dry shampoo.
  5. For body and face soap, find a package-free solid soap. It helps eliminate the plastic packaging when you use bar soaps. To exfoliate, use bulk baking soda. For a mask, use bulk clays like bentonite mixed with water or apple cider vinegar.
  6. Switch from toothpaste to homemade tooth powder in a glass jar. You eliminate the plastic packaging and chemicals. You can find the recipe for a homemade tooth powder here. Also, switch out your plastic toothbrush for a compostable bamboo toothbrush.
  7. Reduce your cosmetics and consider homemade substitutes. Use cocoa powder as a bronzer. Use a homemade balm for eyes, lips, hair and nails. Try to replace disposable pads and tampons with a reusable liner or menstrual cup.
  8. Nail care. All you need for your nails is a nail clipper, stainless steel file, and a homemade balm for moisture and shine.
  9. Forget about Q-tips. They’re bad for you anyway. Do some research for more organic and healthier options to clean your ears.
  10. Other tips. You can also compost your hair and nail clippings, put a jug of water in your toilet tank to require less water to flush, and collect water in a bucket while you’re waiting for the shower to warm up and then use that water to water plants.

Other Zero Waste Alternatives

Along with our older post about Top 10 Ways to Start Going Zero Waste, here are a few more alternatives to every day items in your home that you can switch to on your journey to zero waste.

1 Makeup remover wipes → coconut oil and reusable cotton rounds
Instead of using chemically-filled wipes to wipe off your makeup only to inevitably end up at the landfill, purchase some reusable cotton rounds and coconut oil. It’s a healthier alternative and you can wash the cotton rounds.

2 Wrapping paper → newspapers and biodegradable twine
Instead of buying rolls of expensive (or cheap) wrapping paper for Christmas and birthdays, use newspapers and comics that are laying around the house. For larger gifts, you’ll need multiple sheets and, unfortunately, tape. For gifts that can use one sheet, use biodegradable twine to keep the paper together instead of tape. Then your loved one can recycle the newspaper and compost the twine.

3 Plastic cutting boards → wooden cutting boards
The plastic cutting boards are going to end up at the landfill where it will take hundreds of years to break down. Every single plastic item that was ever made still exists today. If you switch to wooden cutting boards you can upcycle them at the end of their lives and create wall art or something artsy. Bamboo cutting boards would probably be best.

4 Plastic cooking utensils → bamboo cooking utensils
Same concept applies to cooking utensils as the cutting boards.

5 Plastic ice trays → stainless steel ice trays
Stainless steel ice trays are way more expensive, but they last a lot longer. They do require a lever (which if you buy from Amazon, it will come with one) to get the ice cubes out of the tray; and all the cubes come out at one time, but then you can save what you don’t use and refill the tray.

6 Conventional dish soap → bulk castile soap
Castile soap in bulk is cheaper than buying the individual (or big) bottles from stores and you avoid all the plastic when you use a glass jar to fill up on castile soap. At Island Naturals at Hilo Shopping Center, they have castile soap in bulk for under $15 a pound and they come in different scents. I haven’t found out how you get it from the pump bottle to the checkout but I will ask as soon as I get down there. I will post a blog about the many uses of castile soap soon.

7 Plastic dish rack → reusable cloth drying
Instead of using a plastic dish rack to put your dishes to dry, just hand dry them and put them away. Ask someone with you to help dry the dishes while you wash. Dish racks collect moisture and, if they look anything like my mom’s, mold as well. My mom’s dish rack is 100% plastic and there are bits on it that are supposed to hold the plates upright that are broken and she refused putting anything under the far end so water could drain out into the sink so the water just sits there and mold started growing. Not a pretty sight, but I can’t tell her what to do. Don’t be like my mom and her dishes, dry your dishes and put them away. Saves waste and money buying a new rack every few months or years.

8 Nonstick pan → cast iron pan
Nonstick pans don’t stay nonstick forever and what do people do with their no-longer-nonstick pans? Toss them. Cast iron pots and pans last a lifetime and they have a nonstick surface. A good health benefit they have: iron leaching. Might sound dangerous but you do need iron in your diet to remain healthy. However, they are fairly high-maintenance as well as very heavy.

9 Conventional cleaning supplies → white vinegar
Somehow white vinegar is supernatural. Not only is it made from natural ingredients, it is also a massive all-purpose cleaner. Straight vinegar or mixed with some water will replace just about every cleaner you have under your sink. I will post a blog about the benefits of white vinegar soon.

Making these little changes could make all the difference for the environment.

Zero Waste Tips: Part 1

Here are some zero waste tips to incorporate around your home. Let’s start in the kitchen, the heart of the home.

Kitchen

  1. Use alternatives to paper and plastic disposables. Put down those paper towels and drop those plastic sandwich baggies! Look for alternatives to those products that can only be used once or twice and then you ship them off to the landfill. Use reusable rags that can be washed in the washing machine (hang dry these guys to save electricity). Instead of plastic lunch containers and baggies, use stainless steel containers. Cling wrap and aluminum foil can be swapped out for beeswax moldable wraps. Take a look around your kitchen and see what can be replaced with a sustainable and reusable option.
  2. Buy in bulk or at the counter. Bring your reusable bags, jars, and bottles for dry goods, wet items, and liquids. If you know a place that will happily use your containers, don’t forget to bring them with you. If you’re not sure if your store will allow it, ask. It never hurts to ask. Reusable bags are good for small, dry goods like grains, nuts, and potatoes. Jars are good for meats, fish, butters, and cheese. Bottles are good for oils, shoyu, and castile soap.
  3. If you cannot find it bulk, find a supplier or make it yourself. Bring your jar to the ice cream shop (Ask if local shops will be able to fill your jar). Take a pillow case to the bakery for bread. That way you don’t take home the plastic bag. Bring your own bottles to wineries and breweries. Or if you can’t find certain things in bulk, make it yourself at home like salad dressings, jams, juice, or hummus.
  4. Shop the farmers market. Most vendors will take your egg cartons back and they’ll let you use your own reusable bags. Your veggies will also most likely be free of plastic and stickers.
  5. Learn to love tap water. Ditch the plastic bottles of water. If you live on catchment, invest in some heavy duty filtration system. As long as you boil the water, it’ll be safe to cook with. That and get your drinking water in bulk. See if you can get glass jugs, it’ll be heavier, but less waste.
  6. Use bulk alternatives of natural cleaning supplies. Castile soap can be used as a dish/hand cleaner, baking soda can be used as a scrubber with a compostable cleaning brush. Purchase dishwasher detergent in bulk.
  7. Turn your trash can into a big compost keeper. Use the tiny composter from the stores as your trash can.
  8. Reinvent leftovers before they go bad. Use what recipes you have and only keep those that can be achieved with zero waste in mind. If you don’t like to eat the same meal twice, spice it up a bit and put your own twist on leftovers so it doesn’t waste.
  9. Invest in a pressure cooker. It halves the cooking time on most dishes.
  10. Some additional tips. Reuse single-side printed paper and receipts for grocery shopping and errand lists. Use your lettuce cleaning water as water for your plants. Open your oven after baking to warm your home in the winter.

Zero Waste Cleaning

A lot of cleaning supplies that we purchase from the store are packaged in a plastic container and filled with chemicals. Here are some easy tips to reduce waste from your cleaning routine.

Multipurpose Cleaner
In a spray bottle, combine 1 cup of white distilled vinegar and 2 cups water. If you want a scent, add 10 to 20 drops of essential oil. Shake well before using.

Homemade Scrub
You can eliminate commercial bleach scrubs and plastic packaging with this recipe for sinks and countertops. Thoroughly mix 1/2 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup coarse salt in a stainless steel or ceramic bowl. Put in a container with a shaker lid. For extra whitening, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.

Cleaning Rags
Avoid using paper towels when cleaning, save money and use fabric squares from old socks, sheets, towels, or shirts. Cut them up and sew the edges, so they don’t fray and break apart in the wash.

Floor Cleaner
In a bucket, add a couple of drops of dish soap and warm water.

Stainless Steel Cleaner
Put a small amount of olive oil on a rag and rub onto stainless steel until shiny.

Room Spray
In a spray bottle, add filtered water and 15 drops of your favorite essential oil.

7 Tiny Steps for the Beginner Minimalist

Waiemi and I realized that zero waste and minimalism go hand-in-hand. Refusing to bring waste into our home and reducing what items we already have in our home helps to keep more waste from entering the home. Clutter attracts clutter. With minimalist living, you put value back into the things you own and makes it all the more valuable to you. Here are 7 steps you can take to begin your minimalist living.

Write it down…Make a list of all the reasons you want to live more simply. These are your whys and your whys will provide you with leverage when you think it’s too hard to keep going. Here are my whys:

  • I want to live more healthy and that starts with less clutter.
  • Decluttering my space declutters my mind, body, and spirit.
  • Having less things in our room will make it less stuffy and allow more air to flow freely.

Discard duplicates…Walk through your home with a box and fill it with duplicates. Once you fill the box, label it “Duplicates” and put it out of sight for 30 days. If you haven’t had the need to get anything from the box, donate it.

  • I found quite a bit of duplicates in our room. However, instead of putting them out of sight, we decided to just sell/donate them. They were of no use to us so maybe they could be useful to someone else.

Declare a clutter-free zone…Designate as area or zone in your home that will remain clutter-free. It can be a countertop, a room, anything. Slowly you can start expanding that area each day.

Travel lightly…Pack for 1/2 the time you’re traveling (ex// going away for 4 days? Pack for two days). You can either reuse some clothes or wash your clothes.

Dress with less…Implicate Project 333. Project 333 is a challenge where you pick 33 items of clothing and you wear only those 33 items for 3 months. We only use 20% of our wardrobe 80% of the time anyway, so choose what you can wear and rewear and mix-and-match for 3 months. Jewelry also counts as part of the 33, so choose wisely.

  • I started the challenge for myself over the weekend and am currently on Day 4. I counted a pair of socks as one item since, well, I consider them to be one item. Everything else is in my other two drawers (they’re stuffed to the max, so I should go through them and get rid of what I don’t want anyway) and put my 33 items in my top drawer. Waiemi only ever wears his culinary uniform or work uniform every day so he only needs a couple shorts and shirts for the weekend.

Eat similar meals…Try eating the same breakfast and lunch all week with two or three dinner choices. Analyze your menu and everyone’s opinions at the end of the week.

  • Here’s where meal prepping came in for us. We would meal prep breakfast and lunch for the whole week. Dinner was pretty much fresh one day and leftovers the next. Try spicing up your leftovers so you’ll feel more compelled to eat it.

Save up $1000…You should always have an emergency fund. All that money you’re now saving from your minimalist lifestyle can be saved up for a rainy day or a vacation or that new (and useful) thing you’ve been wanting to get. Try the 52 Week Money Challenge – Number of the week is the dollar amount you put into your savings (ex// week 10 – put $10 in). Money for emergencies reduces stress.

  • We just started ours last week and we’re putting a little twist on our 52-week challenge. For the first 20 weeks or so, we’ll each put in the same amount (ex// week 10 – Waiemi puts in $10, I put in $10). After the 20th week or so, we’ll start splitting the amount in half. So by the end of the 52 weeks, we should have $400 more than what the original challenge entailed. Besides we”re also putting in anything we can spare into our savings for our wedding.

These are just 7 simple things that you can do to start living minimally. You do not have to go big or go home here. You can always start small and slowly work your way into it.

Homemade Laundry Detergent and Wool Dryer Balls

The amount of chemicals and toxins in laundry detergent is alarming. When you wash your clothes with regular store-bought detergent, all of those chemicals are being dumped into our ocean. I looked for a more natural and cheaper solution.

My family has always used a liquid detergent that can cost upwards of $4 or more for the decently sized bottles that last maybe a month or less with how much laundry my family does in a week. After researching what your laundry detergent should generally have and what was safest for the environment as far as ingredients went, I found a recipe with just three ingredients that can last up to 5 months.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 box of borax, 4 lb (20 Mule Team) – $4.69 @ Target
  • 1 box of washing soda, 3 lb (Arm & Hammer) – $4.49 @ Target
  • 3 bars of Ivory soap (you can also use Zote and Castille bar soaps) – $3.99 for a pack of 8 @ Target
  • 1 container, plastic or glass, at least 23 cup volume

***I’m sure you can find these items cheaper somewhere else, but at the time, I was already shopping at Target so I decided to get it while I was there anyway. A 3-quart bottle of Tide laundry detergent can cost up to $13 at Target and last maybe three months, two months if your family does eight separate loads a week like mine does.

Instructions:

  1. Grate the Ivory soap as small as you can get it. The smaller the shavings, the easier it will dissolve in cold water.
  2. Pour the borax, washing soda, and soap shavings into the container.
  3. Shake or stir well. Done.
  4. Use 1-2 tablespoon for regular loads; 2-3 tablespoons for larger loads.

I put my ingredients in the container in layers. Borax, then washing soda, then soap, shake, repeat until everything was added in and mixed together. Then I covered the container and shook it vigorously for 30 seconds just to really mix it well.

***Be sure to break up large chunks in the container.

Also, another switch we made was to completely forgo whatever dryer sheets my family buys and opting for natural wool dryer balls. I ordered from Amazon a pack of 2-2.75 inch dryer balls about the size of baseballs for $8.99. Throw a couple of them in the dryer with your laundry and it will cut down the amount of time needed to dry your clothes. Dryer balls help to create openings in your clothes to let the hot air flow between your laundry to dry quicker. If you want to add a scent, just add 2-3 drops per ball, when the smell dissipates, add some more. These dryer balls are good for 100s of loads and you create less waste by REFUSING to buy dryer sheets and plastic or cardboard packaged laundry detergent.

Good for you zero waster!

detergent and dryer ball
Here’s our container of laundry detergent and one of our dryer balls.

Price Comparison

Target
Borax – $4.69
Washing Soda – $4.49
Ivory soap (3 bars) – $1.50
Total = $10.68 for 7.5 lb. up to 5 months

Tide Liquid Laundry Detergent 100 fl. oz. – $13.00 for up to 2 months
Tide Powder Laundry Detergent 5.93 lb. – $13.00 for up to 4 months

up & up dryer sheets box of 240 – $6.99 240 loads for up to 8 months
Wool Dryer balls – $8.99 1000 loads for up to 2.5 years

The 5 R’s of Zero Waste

In my earlier posts, I had capitalized on a couple of R-words, namely Refuse and Reuse because these two words are part of the pillars of zero waste living. The 5 R’s of zero waste are: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Rot, and Recycle. When facing waste in your home, you should move through these 5 R’s in this order and here’s why.

Refuse

“The easiest way to prevent waste from leaving your home is to keep it from entering your home.” – Kathryn K.

If it doesn’t come into your home, it can’t be waste that you and your family have produced. No will become your most difficult and yet somehow easiest word to use. At first, it will be difficult to tell your family or even yourself NO. But think about it for a few minutes. Where did this product come from? How much plastic packaging is coming home with you if you buy this? Do you really need this now? Will you need this 30 days from now?

Where did this product come from? How much plastic packaging is coming home with you if you buy this? Do you really need this now? Will you need this 30 days from now?

Don’t be afraid of the negative connotation that comes with the word No. Let your family and friends know about your zero waste lifestyle and why you’re going through with it. Encourage them to be mindful of packaging and wrappings of gifts. Explain to them why you want to avoid trash and plastic in your life.

Be conscious of what you’re buying and have a gentle conversation with the ones you love to support you. They don’t have to switch over to zero waste, but if they could remember that you don’t want to bring trash into your life.

Reduce

By having less, you will create less waste. The more stuff you have, the easier it is to accumulate more stuff. Clutter attracts clutter.

By reducing the amount of stuff you have, you’ll have less stuff to take care of, less stuff to store, and less stuff to worry about; keeping you mentally at peace.

One key aspect of zero waste is to measure life, not by how many things we own, but by the experiences we have with ourselves and our loved ones. Reducing will help us to focus our attention and efforts on those experiences in life. We will also be able to put value back into our possessions and make them meaningful to us again.

Reuse

“Disposables are only appropriate in medical and scientific fields and times of disaster.” – Kathryn K.

Here is where we will refuse disposables and use items that can be reused. No more disposable coffee cups, use mugs. No more disposable tissues, use handkerchiefs. Here are simple alternatives for disposable products.

Plastic water bottle → Reusable water bottle
Toilet paper → A bidet attachment
Paper towels → Rags
Takeout trays → Reusable Tupperware
Plastic straw → Glass or stainless steel straw

You have a lot of reusable versions of the disposables in your home, you just have to remember to bring them with you when you’re out. There is no need to go out and buy new stuff.

Along with reusables, you can also shop at Goodwill, Salvation Army, or other secondhand stores for cheaper used items.

Rotcompost vs avoid guide

Composting is one of the key aspects of zero waste. Composting allows you to return resources to the earth. You can compost food scraps, natural fabric, hair, cardboard, paper, and other organic substances.

Composting is the epitome of a circular economy as composting organic matter will eventually turn into dirt which ca be used to grow more organic matter. I found a resource for vermicompost bins, using worms to compost organic matter, I have yet to check it out, I’ll update you when I do.

You can also get backyard composters and kitchen composters (mostly for green waste). Vermicomposting is good for apartment living.

Recycle

Recycling should be a last resort. It’s energy intensive, an imperfect system, and not be viewed as our savior. Two things that can be recycled indefinitely are glass and aluminum, plastic cannot be recycled, it can only be downcycled.

Water bottles can’t be recycled back into bottles, they get downcycled to park benches or speed humps and when those items reach the end of their life cycles, it will be sent to a landfill.

It’s better to first refuse, then reduce, then reuse before we get to recycle. By following those steps, you shouldn’t have much left to recycle.

 

Bulk Shopping in Hilo

Where can you go to buy bulk items?

– Island Naturals Market & Deli
Hilo Shopping Center Location Open: Monday – Saturday 7AM – 8PM, Sunday 8AM – 7PM
You can buy grains, nuts, dried fruits, tea, spices, and soap in bulk at the Hilo Shopping Center location. I have not yet asked them if you can bring your own reusable produce bags for the grains or glass jars for the soap, but when I do I will let you know.

– Abundant Life Natural Foods
Downtown Hilo Open: M, T, R, F 8:30AM – 7PM, W & Sat 7AM – 7PM, Sun 10AM – 5PM
You can buy grains, nuts, spices, and dried fruits in bulk. I have not yet asked them if you can bring your own reusable produce bags or glass jars, but they are cheaper than Island Naturals. They don’t have many other bulk options like tea and soap.

I will try to find more places to buy items in bulk. I have noticed that Abundant Life is cheaper than Island Naturals

Top 10 Ways to Start Going Zero Waste

 

Switch from tissues and paper napkins to cloth napkins.

This is a long process to transition from paper to cloth. The goal of zero waste is to minimize the amount of waste you are producing. Do not just go out and buy brand new cloth napkins and throw out all of your paper products.

Sell them or give them away to your friends while simultaneously educate them about zero waste and why you are giving them your remaining paper products. Also, instead of buying brand new cloth napkins, try making them from old sheets and clothes. REUSING items is a huge point in going zero waste.

Switch paper towels to woven cotton cloths.

Paper towels are great for cleaning up spills and messes, but it causes too much waste. Here is where you can buy cotton cloths. I highly recommend the cotton cloths that are really absorbent. However, it may also be a good idea to keep a couple of rolls of paper towels just in case and I recommend recycled natural, unbleached paper towels. The same goes for toilet paper as well.

Avoid microfiber towels because every time they go through the washing machine, they release thousands of micro-plastic particles into the environment. I suggest checking Amazon for cotton cloths.

Switch out plastic food containers for glass and stainless.

Plastic food containers are a huge waste and they are pretty cruddy food containers. I had a small Ziploc container that held my breakfast stuffed bell pepper that I made four months ago and I can still smell it. I have washed it three times and soaked it twice. If I leave the lid on for a week or so and open it up again, the smell of bell pepper comes seeping out. It is quite disgusting.

This odor retaining quality is not present in glass and stainless steel containers. Where plastic has a limited amount of times it can be recycled, glass and metal can be recycled an infinite number of times. I have a two-tiered stainless steel lunch container that I bought from Island Naturals for $24.99 and I am sure you can find them cheaper from somewhere else, just be mindful of packaging. The container I bought had zero packaging and had a compostable tag.

Quit plastic water bottles and use reusable water bottles.

Water is THE most important thing we need in our lives, but plastic is NOT. You will not believe how much plastic you could cut out of your life just by REFUSING plastic water bottles. Never leave the house without a reusable water bottle. Take a hydroflask or 50/50 with you at all times. I take a 16oz. mason jar with me everywhere I go. It doesn’t keep my water cold for very long, but I am saving up for a new or used hydroflask.

Stop using plastic shopping bags and use reusable totes and bags.

This is a no-brainer here in Hawaii. As of 2016, the law has banned stores from using plastic shopping bags. Not to say that everywhere has gotten rid of it, I know of some places that still have plastic, but almost every store now carries reusable bags. I am definitely considering buying large utility totes from Thirty-One when I can save up the money. They will be perfect for bulk shopping without having to lug around a million small reusable bags.

Number one tip for reusable bags, do not forget to leave the house or car without one. If you do, walk yourself back inside to get one. Better to have a bag than to forget it in the car and you have to load them in the rain or something.

Avoid plastic produce bags and use reusable cloth bags.

For larger produce, like bananas and lettuce, you can leave out of a bag. Use a cloth bag for small, numerous items like tomatoes and granola. You can either make them yourself or buy them. I recommend LifeWithoutPlastic for their organic cotton mesh produce bags. If you decide to buy bulk items with your reusable bags, remember to write down the product number for the cashier.

Replace sponges with brushes and rags.

Sponges are bacteria generators. Buying dish brushes with compostable heads or are compostable themselves are much cleaner than sponges. You can also use rags to dry your dishes. LifeWithoutPlastic is a great place to buy dish-washing brushes with removable heads that can be composted.

Swap your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo toothbrush.

Fun Fact: Every single toothbrush ever made is still out there. It takes a long time for a plastic toothbrush to degrade in a landfill. Bamboo toothbrushes are made from all-natural materials and they can be composted after you are done with them. They last just as long as plastic ones (four months).

Replace aluminum foil and cling wrap with moldable waxed fabric.

To avoid plastic waste headed to the landfill, moldable wax fabric can be reused as many times as needed. Again, LifeWithoutPlastic is the place to go.

Compost. Compost. Compost.

This is really self-explanatory. You can have a backyard compost or a vermicompost with worms in your kitchen. Green waste and compostable toothbrushes and other products can be composted. I am currently looking into a vermicompost here in Hilo and I will post about it at a later time.