It’s not easy being green living in an apartment. You can do all the basic stuff, like change lightbulbs, have a water efficient shower head, turn off your appliances at the walls etc, but you often miss out on being able to do the “bigger stuff” that living in a house gives you. We live in an apartment building that has no grey water, no solar power, no water tanks etc. We thought we’d give a worm farm a go and MM acted as head worm farmer for about twelve months. He discovered though that worms are very fussy eaters so we were still throwing away any food waste that was acidic like tomatoes or citrus. At the time I was pregnant and was going through juicing oranges like no one’s business. It still felt like we were chucking out more waste than what we needed. You are also not supposed to feed the worms anything that may attract vermin, so bread and meat scraps were out as well. My mum also lives in an apartment, and was having the same dilemma as us. She was contemplating getting a worm farm until someone mentioned to me about this “Japanese under the sink composting thing” and Mum investigated and discovered the Bokashi.
The Bokashi is great – it sits under your sink or in the bottom of a pantry. You can put pretty much anything in it (except bones!) and it slowly ferments and breaks down your food waste. You then dig a hole and put it in a garden, or in someone’s compost. For a little while we had some issues finding a place to put our full Bokashi bucket waste, but MM has since made contact with the community gardeners at the Addison Road Centre and they happily take our stuff.
The key to the Bokashi is – funnily enough – the Bokashi itself – a substance that looks like sawdust; it’s actually sawdust and bran. You sprinkle it on your waste in the bucket and it helps break down the food matter, and keeps it stench-free. You can even drain off the water for the Bokashi Juice to dilute and water your garden with; in our case our pot plants.
So while we can’t do anything too massive in our apartment, the Bokashi is one way to help cut down on waste.