go green tip with composting

I had to remind my husband of the Go Green tip we are practicing.  A few months ago my husband retired and thought he should buy a cross cut shredder to replace our strip-cut shredder we have used for several years. He has piles of important work related papers around the house.

It seems there is information out there that advises to get the better shredding cross-cut shredder machine.

I said, “What for? I put the shredded paper in the compost bin. It becomes nothing as far as records or files are concerned. It’s just black crumbly stuff.”

He likes to have two of most things in the house, but I have prevailed, so far, because we still have one shredder. Most households can take small steps for going green.

Buy A Compost Bin or A Cross Cut Shredder?

One day waiting in line at Staples, a couple my age, Baby Boomer, were discussing if the purchase of the cross cut shredder should be made today. Who am I to jump into their conversation?

Compare several cross cut shredders at the low-end and at the high-end of pricing spectrums and a household can save money and their footprint with a compost bin. Extras have to be bought too, oil or lubricant is needed for your cross cut machine. Oil is about $6.00 or lub sheets are about $30.00 for 36 sheets.

Bags for a Fellows personal model shredder is 100 for about $24.00. Trash day sometimes produces shredded paper on the street. Bags are essential for trash pickup day.

High-end personal model shredder is about $184.00 or more and low-end is between $30.00 to $80.00.

Figure out the costs of a new compost bin and in the end it can be cheaper.  It does not use power and potential parts breaking is unlikely.

Security Rating of Cross Cut Shredders

Do research before making a decision.  All paper shredders are not created equal after the manufacturing job. Some cross cutters make smaller cut pieces than others.

A strip cut piece of paper is rated security #2 which is good for non-confidential files and papers. Don’t bother to shred non-important papers in the first place put it in the city recycle bin, unless of course, more piles of compost is wanted.

Security #3 is a piece of paper cut into 399 pieces per 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of paper.

Security #4 is a cross cut of 5/32″ x 1 3/8″ and is recommended for bank, employee and medical records.

There is another level of security for government papers. Those pieces most be even smaller.

Should Have Voiced The Idea About Composting

Our investment counselor had a dinner talk event and the speaker’s topic was ID Theft and Security. One of the points the speaker mentioned was to get rid of the strip cut machine and buy a cross-cut shredder.

At the end of the talk he asked for comments and I should have offered my experience with the compost bin. Retired folks would have appreciated this hobby for the end product and good exercise.

I have to learn to speak up. A comparison table follows.

Strip Shredder
Cost about $30+
Or you may already have one
Cuts are good for compost bin
Compost Bin
Cost about $120+
Cheaper than a shredder upgrade
Good exercise
Lowers your footprint
All printed information gone
Crosscut Shredder
Cost about $190+
Upgrade from your old strip shredder
Extra accessories needed, such as-
Lubricant sheets
Trash bags

Compost Bin Less Than $110

This is the compost bin in my backyard. Included below are before and after pictures of the disappearing documents. Almost every day a few minutes is spent turning the mix to allow oxygen to enter the lower layers. It is good upper body exercise.go green composting

Later when compost is ready to harvest a gardener gets more exercise screening and adding the material to soil. Compost does wonders for water retention in Southern California.

Kitchen scraps, old stuff from the refrigerator, leaves and several other items can be thrown in the bin. Go Green is covered with this daily activity.

If interested in this model compost bin a setup instruction page is at this Go Green tip.

Make Piles of Compost

A point has to be made. Composting is hard work. Turning the compost and depositing the materials into the bin is the easiest part of the process. Taking the material out of the bottom of the bin is work that includes bending, scooping, or shoveling. Screening the material is an additional task.  If you have an acreage and lawn, or beds and woodland, screening would not have to be done. Spread it out, as is, for nature to take care of. This task would require using a wheelbarrow.

Make your choice: “Go Green and exercise”, or “shred, bag and throw away”.

I am sure there will be the day when I will prefer the second method.