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Greening up My Apartment & City Dwelling: Phase 1

Although I've never been one much for "New Year's Resolutions," this year, I've been doing a lot of thinking about my way of "green living" and am dedicated to step it up a notch in 2012.  Since leaving the ranch and the idyllic Montana country girl life I grew up with and transitioning over the last 7 or 8 years to apartment life and city dwelling, there have been many aspects of what I deemed green living that I simply gave up on or didn't think to see if they were feasible.  The biggest is gardening.  Without endless acres at my fingertips, and in fact, not a blade of grass that I can put my name to, I sadly simply stopped thinking of growing green things, of watering tender plants and plucking stubborn weeds.  Composting followed shortly behind it.  I grew up with a large "compost pile" just over the fence and down the hill and that seemed natural and easy enough, but how could I compost in an apartment, and even more, why would I compost in an apartment?  Turns out, I don't need to give up either one of those, and in 2012, I don't plan to any longer!.  Here's what I plan to do in "Phase 1" of my Green Up.

Start Composting

Little did I know, there are handy dandy kitchen countertop composters and even larger composters, all for indoor kitchen use.   Until I decide on which model I want and do buy a composter, I'll start saving my food scraps in a covered yogurt container in the freezer.  Easy!  Now, as to what I'll do with my compost.  A)  I will use it to make my own soil (See below), and B) donate it to local community gardens.  Compost has so many positives for soil, not only does it improve the soil (and therefore grow heartier, healthier plants) it can also trap and eliminate pollutants.  This means community gardens are always on the lookout for more and are more than happy to take excess compost off of anyone's hands.  Less waste in my apartment and a good thing for the community soil?  Win-win!  I'm actually very excited to get started on this and am already drooling over compost bins.  If you think that's weird, just check this one out!  


                                                                        Source: via Krisann on Pinterest

Start Gardening

Okay, so as I mentioned, with the compost I make, I'm going to be using part of it and incorporating it into my own homemade potting soil!  This is what I'll be using for my "indoor garden."  I've already got dreams of a mini herb garden, a "salad bowl" garden, and of course, flowers for thoughout the house.  Why don't I already have these?!  I have no idea.  I also turned to Pinterest for inspiration and fell in love with some of these ideas...



                                                                          Source: via Johana on Pinterest







Source: via Abbie on Pinterest



Finally, I've signed up for the waiting list to get in some ground at our local university's community garden.  As soon as that goes through, you can bet I'll be planning and plotting and eventually, GARDENING!  Who said city dwellers couldn't do such earthy things as composting and gardening?  If you're way ahead of me and already do one or both of these and make it work in your apartment, please share what you've done!

 Jocelyn is a Montana native, now Southern California resident and writes for Air & Water.