Thursday, December 6, 2012

Many Faces of the EEC

The Environmental Education Center (EEC) is exactly as it is educational showplace and tool for the Live Green in Plano programs. Did you know that you can also rent the EEC for private events? In October we held an Open House for Event Planners to showcase using the EEC as a rental venue.

We invited several local caterers to sponsor a theme. Not only was each vignette beautiful, but the caterers also learned and abided by our Green Policy. To learn more about renting the Environmental Education Center for your event, visit

Experience the possibilities of the Environmental Education Center:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Green Gifts for the Holiday

By Tanis Roelofs


Green gifts can often be intangible presents that deliver green goodness long after the holidays and will not end up as clutter in your closet. 
·       Donate time and money to a charity in honor of the gift recipient such as a gift to World Wildlife Federation or Sierra Club.
·       Buy carbon offsets in the recipient’s name with TerraPass or similar company.  Along with cutting your own carbon emissions and fuel bills you can help your friends and family offset theirs.
·       Give a national park pass or a membership to the Dallas Arboretum or aquarium.
·       Give a gift certificate for a pedicure, massage, or other spa services.
·       Give a gift certificate to a restaurant that uses locally grown foods.
·       Wrap your gifts Japanese style in fabric which can be reused next year. Tie with ribbon or bandanas which also can be reused.

Stocking Stuffers for Adults
·       Energy-saving light bulbs
·       DVD’s such as “An Inconvenient Truth”, “Who Killed the Electric Car?”  “Food, Inc.” and “Kilowatt Ours”

Carry Bags and Jewelry
·       Give a gift of reusable canvas or cloth bags to take to the grocery store and an attractive designer looking bag for shopping mall. This will prevent billions of plastic bags from ending up in landfills.
·       Green Karat Jewelry Company curtails destructive mining practices by using recycled gold and other precious metals.  It uses only synthetic diamonds and seeks out ecologically responsible metal refiners.
·       Vintage and antique jewelry is available at a variety of stores and estate sales across the country. A Google search provides a long list of online sources.

Gardeners, Hikers, Bird Watchers and Bicyclists
·       Gardening tools, binoculars, bicycle accessories and portable solar battery packs.  Encourage friends and family to be more eco-friendly by buying a pair of walking shoes and a pedometer to keep them motivated.
·       Sports lovers would love tickets to an upcoming game.


No child’s stocking or Hanukkah gift would be complete without chocolate and organic is better for the environment.  Mass-produced cacao beans are typically grown with heavy use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers on clear-cut forestland.  Organic beans are cultivated without the use of chemicals, and shade-grown beans help preserve the forest canopy that shelters migratory birds and butterflies. Some resources for organic chocolate are:
·       Thompson Candy’s – organic collection includes panda bears.
·       Chinaberry –holiday-themed organic chocolate.
·       Dagoba Chocolate – produced from organic beans grown in Latin America
·       Green & Black’s – gourmet chocolates made from organically grown cacao beans.

Expand a child’s mind instead of their toy collection with books and board games.
·       Instill the three R’s (reduce, reuse, and recycle) early and have fun while doing it with Recycled Crafts Box by Laura C. Martin.  Available in bookstores everywhere for $10.95 or less.
·       Dr. Seuss’s rhyming classic The Lorax spins an unforgettable tale.  It is a whimsical way to introduce complex environmental ideas to young children.
·       Groundhog’s Garden and The Sea, the Storm, and the Mangrove Tangle both are excellent books about growing one’s garden and the intricate workings of an ecosystem.
·       Keep Cool: Gambling with the Climate! was developed by two scientists as an educational tool to convey the risks of global warming and the benefits of international cooperation.  The game can be ordered at 323-525-1948.
·       National Parks Monopoly provides plenty of educational trivia about Yosemite, Yellowstone and 20 other U.S. park jewels.  The game can be purchased through

Finally, start your own holiday on the green way by decking the halls and boughs with the latest in energy-saving light:  LED string lights.  They use much less electricity and last longer than conventional ones.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Green Your Holiday Party

 by Kris

Did you know that every year Americans typically generate about 250 million tons of trash?  And as if that wasn’t a large enough number, we throw away an additional 5 million tons of trash during the holiday season.  That’s a heck of a lot of trash!

Trash is an inevitable subject and we all know that it ends up polluting our environment leading to more serious issues such as contaminations, harming wildlife, and basically negatively affecting our eco-system in multiple ways.

We will never be able to fully cut back on the amount of waste we produce, but we can most definitely make an effort to be more mindful of the products we are using and disposing of.

With the holidays coming up, many of us will be throwing and attending parties.  Why not make the effort to be an eco-friendly host or guest?  Not only can we contribute to our environment by being more aware, but we can also spread our knowledge to family and friends through our actions.  You might just be surprised at the effects of your green examples on your party guests!

Easy Ways to Green Your Holiday Party:

1)    Instead of using disposable plates, utensils, and napkins, go for the reusable.
-        Not only does this reduce the amount of waste, but also your party just got a bit more ‘fancy’.
2)    Set up a recycle station for guests to throw away their aluminum, plastics, cardboard, and glass.
-        It can be as easy as a box or bag next to the trash bin.  Just have your kids decorate a piece of paper with a label for each box. That way everyone can easily recycle when they are through.
3)    Leftover table scraps can be collected in a separate bin to be composted.
-        Even if you don’t have a garden, the compost can just biodegrade into soil.
4)    Purchase snacks and beverages in bulk as that reduces packaging.
5)    Buy local. 
-        Locally grown foods don’t require as much transportation and refrigeration, which uses petroleum and emits pollution, and in the long run, affects our earths climate.
6)    Be creative with party favors.
-        Local products like honey and plant seeds are both a great gift and a great way to introduce guests to the benefits and pleasures of buying locally.

Just remember, as you plan your parties this holiday season, think of reusing, recycling, and reducing.

As always, keep thinking green!

For more detailed ways to throw an eco-friendly party, check out the link below:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

November Challenge - Reuse a Shirt!

Tag Live Green in Plano on Facebook..#reuseashirt in Instagram and Twitter!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Feeding The Need: Making It Visible

by The Sustainability Steward
On October 18th, I attended the Feeding the Need: Making It Visible Luncheon sponsored by the Seven Loaves Community of St. Andrew United Methodist Church in Plano.  Because the Seven Loaves Community food pantry is a recipient of the produce from the Plano Community Garden, I wanted to attend to learn more about the plight of the homeless and hungry in Collin County.
The guest speaker was Texas Senator Florence Shapiro from District 8, the district that includes PCG, and she gave a very powerful speech about the growth of the homeless in our community.  What makes this even more alarming is that the zip code of St. Andrew and the Plano Community Garden, 75093, is the third wealthiest zip code in the eastern half of the DFW Metroplex. 
Senator Shapiro shared with us how the homeless population has increased over 200% in the past three years in Collin County, and that an unbelieveable 14% of the citizens now in our county are food insecure.  In fact, 60% of the homeless interviewed are employed, though under-employed, and the availability of food has become the largest need now among those in poverty in our area.  She ended her speech by sharing with us the Eight Levels of Charity as described by the great philosopher, Maimonides.  Maimonides taught that by sharing one’s talents and gifts with others in order to strengthen them so they no longer are a burden on others, one is exhibiting the greatest level of charity.  Senator Shapiro then applauded the Plano community for its charity and, more importantly, by “teaching others to fish”, providing a means to those around us to help pull themselves out of poverty and hunger.
The Plano Community Garden is one way to help alleviate hunger in our area.  By adopting and agreeing to care for a plot in the PCG, one agrees to maintain a garden plot year round and provide half of one’s grown produce to the area food pantries in Plano, including the Seven Loaves pantry operated by St. Andrew United Methodist.  All water, mulch and compost in the PCG is provided at no charge to the gardener by the city of Plano, and, more importantly, one receives the satisfaction of helping to alleviate hunger in the area.  If interested in learning more about the garden and the opportunities that it offers, please log on to the URL below and find out more:
The Sustainability Steward

Friday, October 19, 2012

Arctic Ice Melt

by Alison Tsai

The rate at which the ice in the Arctic is melting has reached record levels this year, setting off numerous predictions, warnings and questions about the future. The ice that melted had an area the size of Canada and Alaska combined, causing the total Arctic ice expanse to dip below 1.4 million square miles, a drastic change from the 2.7 million square miles in 1972. This massive discrepancy is largely due to human activity and the burning of fossil fuels.

The shrinking ice mass has had several notable effects, including the reopening of the Northwest Passage. The use of this passage would be beneficiary to large companies, who would glean bigger savings from a shorter shipping route through the Arctic.

But without as much white ice reflecting the sun’s heat, temperatures will rise, causing an amount of global warming equivalent to twenty years of carbon dioxide emissions. The warming is also affecting the jet stream, in which greater fluctuations may cause more extreme climate conditions. Animals indigenous to the area, as well as native communities, are already being forced to adapt.

The retreating ice has also allowed more accessibility to the fossil fuel supply the Arctic holds. This opens the area up to major ecological damage in the case of leaks or explosions. Shell has already been granted permission to drill for oil in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas and is expected have a $10 billion profit. Shell has already experienced problems with its spill containment dome though, raising concerns that the risks outweigh the profits.

Coastal cities are at risk as well, as rising sea levels threaten to encroach on the land. Island nations such as Tuvalu are already considering evacuation plans.

Some have predicted the ice will have almost completely melted as soon as 2020. One report predicts that if the earth does not adjust to climate change, over one hundred million lives will be lost by 2030.

These dire forecasts have environmentalists and other experts in the field clamoring for reform and change in human behavior before it is too late. Any difference you can incorporate into your daily living to reduce your CO2 emission footprint will help, whether it is by consuming less red meat, opting for public transport, walking or biking, purchasing local produce, using alternative energy sources, or choosing any of the countless other options.

What changes will you make?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

2012 DFW Solar Home Tour

by The Sustainability Steward

On Saturday, October 6, I toured some of the homes here in Plano on the annual DFW Solar Home Tour, sponsored by the American Solar Energy Society (ASES).  This is the 17th year that ASES held a national solar tour, with 14 homes in the Metroplex listed on the self-guided tour.  The City of Plano demonstrated its leadership in sustainability with four homes on the tour, the most of any one city the area. 
The homes on the tour were the Caldwell home at 3700 Hearst Castle, the Elliot residence at 2401 Trellis Lane, the Neukranz house at 3309 Rampart in east Plano, and the home at 3325 Canoncita occupied by Bill and Libby Perry.  Although it was an overcast day, it was a perfect way to visit with the homeowners and get their perspective of having solar panels installed on their roofs and the electricity savings that they are now seeing.
The first home I visited was the residence of John Caldwell on Hearst Castle drive. John is a fascinating individual, and not only discussed his solar energy system with me, but shared his organic garden and his patented invention, the bicep bike.  He teaches a gardening class through the Plano Parks and Recreation, while his bicep bike was recently highlighted on Gear TV (as also shown on Youtube):

His solar array gives him approximately 25% of his electricity needs, and on days that he is actually producing more than consuming electricity, TXU credits him at $.13 kWh for the energy he is producing for the power grid.
The next stop on the tour was the Perry home on Canoncita. Not only do they have panels on the south facing side of their home, but on the west side as well, and as a result, are averaging about 50% of their annual electricity consumption with the solar cells installed on their roof. 

Their system has been installed for a year, is able to be monitored online in real time. The Perry family was very open about the techniques they have adopted in water conservation as well, and have one of the most environmentally friendly homes I’ve encountered in our community.

The last home visited was the Elliot home on Trellis drive. This, too, has optimized its ability to collect energy from the sun with a nice array of south facing panels.  Panels are best positioned at a 33 degree angle facing the south, and a solar system of 4 kWh will typically generate over 5,000 kWh of electricity a year in our area. 

If you are interested in learning more about solar energy in our community, please consider joining the Plano Solar Advocates.  The Advocates have a goal to increase the installed base in the city of Plano to 5MWp of solar capacity by 2015, or, approximately 1000 homes or business sites with installed solar panels.  More information on the advocacy program and promoting Plano to become a leader in solar energy capacity in Texas can be found at:

Friday, October 5, 2012

Recycling for the Future of Plano

by Kris
For those of us lucky enough to call Plano home, we want to make sure it will remain a place we are proud to call home. We can start by taking advantage of those curbside recycle bins that have been at the end of our driveways for over a decade. Go Plano!
The curbside program collects the following recyclable materials to be processed for shipment to recycling markets:
  • Newspapers, magazines, & catalogs
  • Phone books
  • Glass jars, containers, dishes, drink ware, & vases
  • Paper bags
  • Aerosol cans
  • Aluminum cans
  • Junk mail
  • cardboard
  • Plastic bottles and containers
  • Shredded paper
  • Chipboards/boxboards
 So we have the bins and we know what to put in them, but WHY RECYCLE? Recycling:
  • Helps to sustain our environment for future generations
  • Conserves our natural resources and protects wildlife habitat and biodiversity
  • Decreases emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change
  • Reduces toxic chemicals and toxic waste
  • Saves energy
  • Prevents water pollution
  • Reduces the need for landfills and incineration
  • Increases manufacturing jobs
Those are only 8 of many more reasons why we should recycle, but they’re some great reasons aren’t they? Other ways to promote recycling, other than collecting and processing, is to purchase items we know that can be recycled. It’s a continuous loop that reduces room for additional waste. Once you get the hang of it, it will become a habit and you will know that you’re doing everything you can to make Plano (and our earth!) a better place for future generations to come.
I like to set out a paper bag near the garage where I put all my recyclable items throughout the week. Than the day before trash days, I’ll bring it all out and place it in the recycle bin. It’s that easy! It barely requires any effort, but we’re making this city better. Lastly, don’t forget - your habits often reflect on family and friends, so be a leader and start setting these green examples today!
Keep living green,

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


by EcoDad

Chances are that someone in your life is affected by asthma.  Asthma hits over 25 million people, so it is likely a friend, relative, or coworker, has been struggling to breathe in recent weeks.  You probably have seen them using their steroidal inhalers more often while others, like my wife, were forced to start taking prescription drugs such as singulair or prednisone to help open their airways.  

The reason for this is an increase in ozone air pollution.  You’ve seen the local weatherman on the news briefly mention today’s air pollution watch, or driven passed the signs on the highway that read, “orange air quality day, please carpool”. This is due to high levels of ground level ozone.  So, what is ground level ozone?  It is a gas consisting of 3 atoms of oxygen instead of the normal 2.  Ozone is not emitted directly into the atmosphere. Instead, it is formed when volatile organic compounds and nitric oxides react in direct sunlight.  Emissions from power plants, industrial facilities, and gasoline vapors contribute to the formation of ground level ozone. However, the main source is from motor vehicle emissions. 

Ozone pollution is a greater concern in the summer months due to the strong sunlight and high temperature, which are the ideal conditions for the chemical reactions that form ozone.  Ozone is a regulated pollutant under the Clean Air Act. Unfortunately, most of North Texas is classified as a nonattainment area. This means that our area fails to meet EPA standards for ozone concentrations, so we already have a problem with this pollutant that is amplified during the hotter months.  Healthy people can also be affected. If you spend a lot of times outdoors during bad air quality days, you may find yourself out of breath easier or getting tired quicker. Coughing, sore throat, and chest pains, are some of the acute health problems caused by breathing in ozone. Repeated exposure can even cause permanent scarring of lung tissue.

You may be thinking, “but I thought ozone was good”. You are correct.  The EPA has a saying about ozone.  Good up high. Bad nearby.  Ozone in the stratosphere shields us from much of the sun’s harmful rays. However, in the troposphere, or ground level, it is a pollutant that has harmful effects on people and will even damage the trees, crops, and other foliage. There are many things that you can do to help your friends and family breathe easier.  Keep abreast of the day’s air quality index. You can download the Air Now apps for your smart phone, or sign up for email alerts at:  Whenever you see a bad air quality alert, be cognizant of the choices you will make, so that everyone in North Texas can breathe easier.

8 Things Anyone Can Do to Reduce Ozone

  1. Don’t sit in your car with the engine running. Avoid idling time in you vehicle whenever possible.
  2. Do not refuel your vehicle or lawn mower during bad ozone days. If you must, do so at night or early in the morning.
  3. Do not use outdoor gas equipment such as lawn mowers or leaf blowers.  You can drive to from Plano to Lake Texoma and back home and still produce less pollution than one hour of emissions from your gas mower.
  4. Consider electronic mowers.  Most residents of Collin County can receive a rebate for replacing their current gas mower with an electric....up to $150!!!
  5. Keep your vehicle well tuned.
  6. Carpool or use public transit.
  7. Use a propane grill instead of charcoal.
  8. Pray for rain.


Monday, September 3, 2012

Eco-Friendly Pesticides

Two weeks ago the City of Dallas issued a state of emergency and began aerial spraying to combat the West Nile Virus.  This decision landed Dallas on a good number of headlines across the US and also raised debate amongst many concerned citizens and green activists.  It was a tough decision for Dallas to make because aerial spraying for mosquitoes has the possibility of saving lives by controlling the spread of the virus, but at the same time is harmful to humans and our environment.

This brings us to the topic of pesticides.  There are benefits to using pesticides, mainly minimizing the number of insects and their effects; however, pesticides are hazardous to our health and the health of our environment.

Pesticides affect our environment and us by contaminating our air, water, soil and plants, and wildlife.  Pesticide suspended in the air will drift with the wind and can easily contaminate other areas and increase tropospheric ozone levels.  These increased ozone levels can often be seen by the human eye as smog and affects our lungs and respiratory system.  In addition, biodiversity in the soil is affected by pesticide contamination and decreases the yield of crops and water retention.  Plants that grown in contaminated soil will retain the chemicals which can kill honey bees who act as pollinators.  It all becomes a vicious cycle within our ecosystem.

This does not mean we cannot use pesticides.  It just means we need to be more aware of the way we use pesticides and where it could end up.  There are also some non-toxic ways for us to control pests that are also better for our environment and our health.

Food-grade Diatomaceous Earth (Insect Dust): This chalky powder is a registered insecticide that can be used inside or outside the house to reduce and kill small insects.  It’s a safe product that can be sprinkled anywhere from your vegetable patch to your pets fur. 

Cucumber & Mint Leaves: cucumber peels or mint leaves can be placed at insect entry points to deter or repel bugs.  It will not kill them though.

Water + Soap Flakes: The combination of soap flakes (can be from a bar of ivory soap) and water will kill a bug on impact.  Soap breaks down the waxy exoskeleton of insects, which will cause them to drown.

Sand Barriers and Nematodes
:  An effective way to prevent termite invasions.  Sand barriers prevent termites from entering and nematodes are microscopic worms that can be pumped into infested areas to kill termites with no affect on our environment.
EcoSMART: Organic Pesticide that is composed of organic plant oils and suitable for indoor or outdoor use.
BEER:  placing beer in a shallow plate will attract slugs and drown them.

For more information on the effects of pesticides, eco friendly pesticides, and how to make your own eco-friendly pesticides please visit:

Changing the pesticides you use may seem like something small and insignificant, but keep in mind that it’ll have a positive effect in the long run.  So spread the word and keep thinking green!


Green Olympics

Greetings, Fellow EcoNinjas!

Yesterday marked the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games in London.  And while NBC sure did keep us all up to date with the latest in medal winners and statistical data, I found some facts that are sure to satisfy our environmentally friendly minds.

1: The Velodrome – This impressive structure houses the fastest cycling structure in the world. With its ‘Pringles’ chip appearance, and cedar wood walls, the Velodrome is the most eco-friendly building in Olympic park.


2: ArcelorMittal Orbit – Dubbed the ‘Eyeful Tower’ by English tabloids, the ArcelorMittal Orbit was designed to give game-goers a panoramic view of the city of London. 63% of the tower was constructed from recycled steel.

3: The Olympic Torch – Crafted form aerospace-grade aluminum, the Olympic torch weighs only 800 grams – the lightest torch in Olympic history.


4: Energy Center – The Olympic Park Energy Center is unique in that ground-level windows allow tourists to see inside the power plant. The Energy Center uses combined cooling, heat, and power to reduce carbon emissions. The Center uses any excess heat to power the air conditioning systems.


5: The Olympic Stadium – Constructed from lightweight steel and PVC pipes, the Olympic stadium has a rainwater collection system that provides water for flushing toilets and irrigation.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Be Green by Eating Green

Have you ever thought about being green by eating green?  You can easily do so by joining a Community Supported Agriculture Program (CSA)! 
So what exactly is a community supported agriculture program (CSA), you ask?

A CSA is an alternative, locally based socio-economic model of agriculture and food distribution that brings together local farmers and consumers.  Basically, a nearby farm offers their harvest to local consumers through a subscription that varies according to the duration and quantity wanted.  Once you are subscribed, you will be getting boxes of the freshest seasonal produce available!
CSA programs benefit our environment in so many ways from reduction in environmental waste to promoting healthier soil and land.  CSA farmers participate in eco-friendly farming by cutting out any use of pesticides on their crops, which helps to limit pollution throughout our environment.  In addition, carbon dioxide emissions are reduced by the minimal transportation needed by these farmers to get their produce from their farms to local consumers.  Their sustainable practices enhance the overall quality of our environment while also reducing their carbon footprint.

Healthy soil means a healthier you.  CSA programs benefit you because these farmers are pesticide, artificial fertilizers, and toxin free.  You have the opportunity to consume some of the freshest produce available and for a reasonable price.  Most of the time you’ll realize that you get higher quality and more produce for your money from these CSA bins than when would had you purchased your produce from a grocery store.  CSA programs also give you the freedom of choice.  You get to choose which farm you prefer to receive your produce from, which farmer you believe promotes the best sustainability methods, and whether or not the program aligns with your budget.  Depending on the farm, you’ll receive an array of produce and have the opportunity to experience fruits and vegetables according to seasons.  Sometimes you may see produce you’ve never seen or heard of, but it allows you and your family to experience something new.  And who knows, it could turn out to be your new favorite fruit or vegetable!

A farmer benefits from a CSA program as this gives him or her a secure income year round, allowing them to continually improve their farming methods and environmental practices.  They have a fair means of product sales as they sell their produce straight to consumers with no middleman required.  This also gives them the chance to be more involved in the community, meeting new people, consumers, and other farmers.

If you’re interested in participating in a CSA, these are some great places to start:

These sites allow you to search for CSA programs near you as well as what their practices may be.  They each have their individual websites where you can learn more about them and email/call them for more information about their programs and prices.  Each farm has their own growing seasons, pick up/drop off schedules, and agriculture practices. 

Don’t forget that you have the ability to visit these farms to see where it all begins and how it gets from farm to table.  It’s a wonderful experience for families to share with their children and a great way to get out of the house during these long summer days.

So by joining a CSA, not only are you going green and helping to make Plano greener, but you’re also saving money, improving your health and wellness, and most importantly, improving your quality of life and those around you.

Keep thinking green,

Friday, July 13, 2012

Bring on the Bokashi!!

In my continued effort to be more green, I've been composting using the Bokashi method for almost two years now. Bokashi is a Japanese term that means "fermented organic matter". It is a method of intensive composting that normally uses an anaerobic (without air) inoculation process to produce the compost. Once a starter culture is made, it can be re-used. Bokashi is commonly made with only molasses, water, microorganisms called "effective microorganisms" or "EM", and wheat bran. It has traditionally been used to increase the microbial diversity and activity in soils and to supply nutrients to plants.

The Process

In home composting applications, kitchen waste is placed into a container which is sealed with an air tight lid. These scraps are then inoculated with a Bokashi EM mix. The user continues to place alternating layers of food scraps and Bokashi EM until the container is full. Once the bucket is full to capacity, the waste can be buried. Here's the REALLY COOL part that separates it from traditional composting - you can put a reasonable amount of dairy and meat products in it (yes, I said MEAT). The liquid, known as Bokashi Juice, can be used as plant food, or can be poured down the drain. This is good (I've heard) for households with septic systems.

The food waste does not break down or decompose while it's in the bucket, however. Much of it will remain and it will have a "pickled" smell. The breakdown of waste will occur after it has been transferred to the soil. Burying Bokashi compost in a garden supplies plants with a nourishing food source and conditions the soil with the microbes it has in it. Bokashi compost scraps can also be mixed into a regular/traditional compost pile instead of transferring to soil.

Getting It Started

You can find the specially-designed bins for Bokashi composting online, but it will cost you $50-75 to score one. I went the DIY route and made one out of two 2-gallon paint/storage buckets, available at most home centers ($5-10). You can also make your own Bokashi EM bran "mix", but in the interest of time I just purchased some online. So here's your list of stuff to get 'er started:

1. Two 2-gallon paint/storage buckets with lids (preferably with a rubber seal on them)

2. Bokashi mix (I would recommend starting out with at least a month's supply)

3. Drill & drill bit

4. Object to push the organic matter down into the container (i.e., a salad plate, potato masher, etc.)

5. Couple of sheets of plastic wrap

6. The organic goodies you'll be putting in your bucket


1. Drill a series of holes (1/4" - 3/8") in the bottom of ONE of the buckets.

2. Place this bucket inside of the other bucket. The inside area between the two creates the needed space for any juice that may drain out.

3. Add a little bit of organic matter (2-3") into the bucket.

4. Shake a small amount of Bokashi (half a cup or a small handful is fine) on top of the organic matter, trying to coat most of the surfaces. If you wish to add a little bit of water, do it in the form of a spray bottle (in other words, not much).

5. Repeat this "sandwiching" process until the bucket is full.

6. Press the contents down firmly using a plate or other flat object. Remember this process works best with NO air present.

7. Take the plastic wrap/sheet and cover the top of the contents, making sure to overlap it over the edges. This is why the paint bucket with sealed lid is so effective. You need to create an almost airtight seal.

8. You're done... for now. The material will start to ferment and decompose; however, much of the final breaking-down will happen once it's been put in the ground. Keep it inside your house in a convenient, yet out-of-the-way location for at least 2-3 weeks.

9. Dig a hole in your garden bed, at least a few inches down, and dump in the material. Then cover it back up. 

I would wait at least 2-3 weeks before planting anything in that location. Trust me, your plants will LOVE it!


More Information & Supplies