Doing my bit

So, I'm trying to be more environmentally conscious. By conscious, I no longer mean "conscious that I could do more but not actually doing more". I mean it. I'm brushing my teeth with a bamboo tooth brush and my entire world is wrapped up in brown paper and tied with raffia.

One of the many facets of our attempts to bring slightly less destruction to planet Earth is composting. I know what you're thinking, "Woah, I'm not sure I'm in the right outfit for a composting blog, let me try something slinkier!" That's right. I'm a composter.

Now, I've begun compost heaps before, by which I mean that I have piled rubbish in a corner of my garden and stood smugly as rats moved in. This time is different though. This time, I am not in charge of it. My Patient Cohabitee is the driving force behind the household taking its earth-related responsibilities more seriously and she has approached it with her usual blend of patient research and what I am being told I must refer to as 'enthusiasm'.

Things arrive in the post, oh how they arrive: Reusable kitchen towel (no, not a cloth, actual reusable kitchen towel that then biodegrades once you have used it to destruction! Stick that in your Charmin!) Bamboo washing up sponges, silicone food coverings. Our bathroom is now filled with a series of identical bars of soap; some of them are shampoo, some of them are dog soap, which is which? It's impossible to tell and that is part of the fun! We're collecting rainwater for the plants and not in the way that we used to, accidentally by leaving containers outside. We're doing it properly, on purpose!

Anyhoo, the compost. We read a lot about the amount of each type of waste is proper to make good, hearty, life-giving compost. It's a mixture of leaflitter, old paper an cardboard and kitchen scraps. In fact, it's an almost identical recipe to the mudpies I made as a child; I've yet to compare the flavour!

This week, in the quiet lull that we briefly enjoy after the mancub is safely asleep, I was fixed with a look across the top of a mobile phone that is usually a portent of a plan.

"This is interesting" ,we begin. This is often a trap.

"Oh?" I reply nervously.

"There is a good tip here about accelerating your compost."


"How do you feel about peeing in the compost bin?"

"Well, I've thought about it when I'm in a rush but I always figured you'd disapprove?"

"It says here that male pee is more potent than female pee."

(Damning my own, verdant tiddle) "I see."

There is a long pause in which it dawns upon me with increasing certainty that we are not both joking. The pause is made more daunting by addition of a face that has lead us to having a tortoise, a dog, six gerbils and a child.

I should clarify that the compost bin is at the front of the house and is in full view of the neighbours. Now, I'm not exactly a shrinking violet and it is a matter of historical record that our neighbours have seen, things, in our tenure at this address but still...

I want to be a team player... I'm just not sure that I'm on board for this. On the plus side, I am getting more cups of coffee made for me this week than perhaps at any time in our relationship..



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