Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live with my family in rural Herefordshire. We have nearly four acres of garden and woodland, all managed organically and to Permaculture principles, which we share with Chickens, Cats and assorted wildlife. We also grow a lot of our own food, run courses in all sorts of things and make a lot of compost!

I am a Master Composter and have spent more than a decade as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council.
I'm a self employed Environmental Educator so I run workshops and events where I talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. I also run crafts workshops and Forest School/outdoor play sessions in our wood.

We try to live a more self sufficient lifestyle here, as best we can, while still having a comfortable life and lots of fun.

To learn more about us click on the About Compostwoman tab and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!

Monday 3 March 2014

Guardian Live Better Challenge - #1 Food Waste

(Don't forget to enter my Blog 7th birthday giveaway!)

There is an interesting new project starting today on the Guardian Online website called  Live Better.

Each month, it will focus on a different area of sustainability: reducing food waste, reducing energy, recycling, reusing and up-cycling, improving health and wellbeing, saving water, sourcing sustainably, and getting involved. Over the course of the project it will also feature a Blog of the Week. 

The first monthly challenge is about reducing your food waste; now as you know this is a cause dear to my heart and one I volunteer to help with by doing the Love Food Hate Waste cookery demonstrations and stalls.

On the website, there are some interesting, thought provoking articles and  writer Zoe Williams has accepted the challenge to live for a week on just the contents of her store cupboards and her vegetable box. There will be regular updates on her progress and The Guardian are asking for helpful tips and ideas in the comments space below her live blog or via Twitter  @Gdnlivebetter  I am sure all of you reading this could offer her loads of ideas!

The challenge thrown out to the rest of us  is a  bit less demanding; simply click here and accept a one week challenge to not throw away any leftovers or edible food. The Guardian want us to come up with ingenious ways to use up mashed potato, to work out the correct portions so that we're not scraping plates into the bin, to eat the last slice on the loaf, or to use up that last, blackened banana in the bowl.

I have signed up as I think this is a great way to educate and inspire people to reduce their food waste. I know that lots of you already do this sort of thing every day, but a lot of people don't! I am often surprised at how many people really don't know how to minimise their food waste or use what they have bought to the fullest extent.

So please, can I ask you to visit the Guardian site and show them how we do this sort of stuff day in day out? For a lot of people it is normal life NOT to waste food; lets share our experiences and tips to help other people do the same  :)
The Live Better Challenge (from the Guardian website)

Welcome to the Live Better Challenge. Over the next seven months, we're going to challenge ourselves and you to live … well … better.

We all know that action on the world's looming environmental crisis needs to be taken now if issues such as climate change, loss of biodiversity and water shortages are not to reach a point where we can't turn them around – or at least dent their progress.

Action needs to be taken at every level of society, within the highest tiers of the biggest corporations and by national governments. Nothing will happen without international and national action. But let's not discount the power of individuals. One person turning their thermostat down may not amount to much by itself, but if a thousand people do the same thing, then we're getting somewhere. Individual actions brought together become collective action – and collective action can change the world.

The Live Better Challenge is all about positive action. Over the next seven months, we hope you will use this website to tell us about the projects your local community is setting up, organisations that you like, gadgets you have tried out, shortcuts you have discovered – or the plain joy of growing your own tomatoes/making three dinners out of one chicken/watching your children jump in muddy puddles. We want to share knowledge, pool ideas, and think, together, about the future.

On top of this – and starting today – we will be issuing seven monthly challenges to some of the UK's best writers and to you. Each of the challenges will be focused on an issue, such as food, waste, health, sustainable sourcing and taking political action.
We'll work through the challenges, swapping and sharing tips, gossip and pictures as we muddle through together. Sometimes we'll zoom out to look at the wider picture; sometimes we'll zoom in to look at the tiny details that make it work. Welcome! Please read on ...


Hello! Thank you for reading my blog and for commenting. I try to reply as quickly as I can and I really appreciate your interest in my life and doings here in The Compost Bin.