Imagine my shock to find myself in a tiny flat in a major city after spending years living in small towns surrounded by lots of space. When I say space, I mean mountains, fields, forests kind of space. Now I looked out over the balcony two stories up and the kind of space I saw was a four lane road complete with a 7-eleven and a hamburger outlet. However, it wasn't as if Doom hadn't forewarned me of his living arrangements before I arrived in Calgary. In-fact I was expecting a lot worse, something like a high-rise apartment, so it was surprisingly pleasant to move into a newly renovated building, only three-stories high. However, the noise within the building and much worse, the noise outside, I was absolutely unprepared for. I had been used to waking up to the sounds of birds; the wonderful dulcet tones of chickens. Now there was no waking-up because there wasn't much sleeping. Wailing sirens, roar of motorbikes and just the constant drone of traffic was driving me crazy. Day and night. I couldn't bear to have the windows open on the days that behaved like summer because the noise intensified by several decibels.
The other thing about living in an apartment which I was unaccustomed to was the absence of recycling. Calgary doesn't have residential collections for those of us that live in shared building complexes. Doom was used to unwittingly tossing just about everything into the garbage. (The beer bottles he left in the alley for the street people to collect.) Well of course with my arrival that had to change; we sorted out the recyclables and when I went to the store in my car, I dropped them off at the city's facilities.
However, there was still the matter of all those vegetable scraps going into the garbage. Along with lots of teabags. I eat lots of veggies and drink lots of tea.
I grew up composting, it's just what we did; put eggshells, tea leaves, carrot tops and other vegetable remnants into a small receptacle that dad would trudge up the garden path and dump into the compost bin when it was full. It wasn't as if we lived out in the country either, I grew up in suburbia in a very big, over-crowded city.
Since then I've been blessed to live in other places where composting was the norm, so it bothered me to have to throw away valuable bio-degradable material that could be turned into nutrient rich soil for our indoor plants and and the vegetables I was attempting to grow on the balcony. My green-guilt gnawed away knowing I was adding to the methane problem of landfills.
So what to do about it? Worms. Not just any old worms, but worms that can live in a small confined space and quite happily chow down on your unwanted scraps.
With a bit of googling, a few weeks later we had our very own worm compost bin in our apartment. We no longer have "Honey, isn't it your turn to take out the garbage?" debates in our household. Doom is astounded by how little garbage we produce now. I like a guy that can be impressed by such things.