NatureMill – The Poster Child Of All Composters

Nature Mill Composter

Our modern landfills never return any of the organic waste we deposit into them, a point Ellen shed light on in another one of her blog postings. They’re essentially giant barriers between our man-made world and nature, sealing rich organic nutrients from ever returning to nature. Scary stuff, when you consider all that trash we are hermetically sealing off.

Given that we’re an eco-conscious graphic design studio committed to sustainability, it was time for MSLK to step our efforts beyond simply reducing, reusing, and recycling. Since a majority of us in the studio prepare our lunches at work, composting our food scraps seemed to be the solution to a huge missed opportunity. After an exhaustive search, we found the perfect solution. Enter NatureMill, a kitchen appliance which takes the effort out of composting, turning our food scraps into compost — rich nutrients to add to soil.

Composting is nature’s form of reincarnation. A dead carrot becomes a baby alfalfa plant, a fish head becomes a baby flower… and so on. Traditional composting is either slow or smelly, can possibly employ the services of thousands of live worms, and almost always demands adhering to strict rules about what type of things can be used for compost.

The amazing thing about the NatureMill is that just about anything can go in there — vegetables, meat, oils, raw and cooked items… even coffee grounds (something this office has an abundance of). It’s a kinder, gentler way of composting, ensuring no food scrap left behind. All in a rather well-designed unit which bears more than a passing resemblance to a mid-nineties data server.

It works by using heat and a motorized thresher to speed up an otherwise excruciatingly long process. It can turn a heap of scraps into rich, black, not-too-smelly compost in just under two weeks.  In the manufacturer’s own words:

A NatureMill composter recycles its weight in waste every 10 days, diverting over two tons of waste from landfills over its life. This reduces emissions of methane, a harmful greenhouse gas produced when organic matter decomposes in oxygen-starved landfills. NatureMill is made from recycled and recyclable materials. Energy use is just 5 kwh / month, or about $0.50/month – less than a garbage truck would burn in diesel fuel to haul the same waste.

I have become the Nature Mill’s  primary caregiver, each morning attending to whether more wood pellets or baking soda should be added in order to keep the right balance of smelliness to relatively non-smelliness. While never odor-free, a well-maintained unit gives off an earthy smell not unlike that of mushrooms.

We’ve been up & running for about six weeks now, and have had two “harvests” of compost, which we’ve deposited near our nutrient-starved trees as fertilizer. At this rate, we’re sure to have way more than we’ll know what to do with.

If you’re looking for a composter, and hate the idea of worms, get yourself  a NatureMill and help do your part of keeping landfills free of the things that should be given back to the planet. Please let me know if you’d like to swing by and have some of our compost for yourself… there’s more than enough to go around!