Wikipedia (and it is the final authority after all) defines complementarian as "a theological view held by some in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam that men and women have different but complementary roles and responsibilities in marriage, family life, religious leadership, and elsewhere."
There is a scale of beliefs and I don't think many people fall in the same place on that scale. The scale goes like this
Feminism > Egalitariansim > Complementarianism > Patriarchy
Feminists and Egalitarianists have a habit of looking at Complementarians as Patriarchists, which is far from what they are. And Complementarians like to push Egalitarians into the Feminist camp, which is also untrue. It's a very long scale and, as with many people and disagreements, some like to make extremist and ignorant comments about people who believe differently than they do.
Egalitarians are usually also belonging to a faith but believe that women can be pastors, can lead the home with their husbands, can work outside of the home full time, etc. They're like the Christian, reformed, old fashioned version of Feminists, before feminism became women walking around in giant vagina costumes while topless and screaming at men. See how I stereotyped based on the extremist? Haha. I know not all feminists are like that, just as Complementarians aren't always stay at home moms who get their husbands lemonade as they work on the house using mad carpentry skills (all Complementarianhusbands are DIY fixer-upper types, right?) and homeschool their children. Ok, so I'm a homeschooler, but I fall into that stereotype mold. But I work full time outside the home and I'm a Complementarian. Confusing? Yeah. It is. This is why I believe it's a scale, and not a 4 point system. Because I kind of fall between Complementarianand Egalitarian. I read Proverbs 31 and see a woman who works hard with her hands, buying land (without even consulting her husband?!) and working out there in the field and then going into the marketplace (wait... I thought the woman's role was in the home?!) and selling. Her husband sits at the gate and is respected among all the men (He should be in the field working as the fixer-upper, though!). They also didn't have homeschooling in Biblical times all the time. It depends. The boys would go to the temple to study the Scriptures and then when they became teenagers would graduate and become apprentices under - usually - their fathers. The girls would just stay at home and learn from their mothers.
But we don't see anywhere in Scripture that talks about this being the wrong or right way of doing things. It's just the society of the time. And it greatly depended on if you lived in the city close enough to a temple, etc. If you didn't, they probably did do a lot of homeschooling.
But enough of the past, what do I personally believe? (Because my way is obviously right. I mean, I'm writing a blog so..) How do I live as a Complementarian? Well, I work outside the home when I don't have kids and we need the money. In this day and age it's sadly practically mandatory for the woman to do so if you want to make a good wage, especially starting off in the world. I also believe in being submissive to my husband and what he asks of me, which right now is working full time, and I'm happy to do so. I don't have an entrepreneur bone in my entire body. Even my pinky toe shrivels up at the thought of working on my own, being my own boss, making my own hours, figuring out legalities and accounting stuff for starting my own LLC, etc. So that's not for me. I'm also not crafty. Like. At all. Nothing anyone would want to buy, anyway. And I'm not salesy, I'm a supreme introvert and have an aversion to pyramid sche- sorry, I mean MLM's. So that's out of the question.
I want to back up for a moment. I used the word "submissive" because that's what we Complementarians like to use. There's a lot of debate over this, but I think it boils down to the connotation modern day puts on the word. Patriarchists have ruined the word to mean "obedient". If you've read any Christian book on marriage, you'll know it simply means to respect, honor, and take your husband's wishes into consideration with considerate weight. That doesn't mean if he wants you to sin or commit a crime, or do something completely against your beliefs that you should just roll over like a doormat. It means you respect him enough to listen, take him seriously, and even choose his requests above your own wishes in big things. For example, I didn't ever want to move, but my husband really did. Then God let everything fall into place and a job contacted him and said they wanted him to apply and they'd pay to relocate to one of the three cities we had been thinking of moving to. I knew that God was calling us and Sam's desire to live somewhere else for a short time trumped my desire to stay in one place forever. So I laid down my desires for that of my husband's.
However, when it comes to things inside the home that I'm good at: cleaning, decorating, organizing, my husband allows me the room to do so. This is where the patriarchy greatly differs. He doesn't control my every desire and whim. When I want to save up and drop a ton of money at The Container Store (I'm sure this was where The Garden of Eden was), He goes with me (because I asked him to and he enjoyed looking at stuff too) and allows me to get whatever I want, trusting my skillset to make the home a better nest for us. However, he shouldn't trust me to make clothes, because I can't sew to save my life, so I just go to the store and tailor. But it's also doing things with a good attitude and to the best of your ability. Maybe cleaning isn't fun to you (I'm weird, I enjoy cleaning), but put on some music and sing and dance and thank God for each item that you're cleaning, that you have something TO clean. Keep your house running to the best of your ability, but don't compare yourself to others. If your husband asks you to clean it a little more, then work a little harder at it. But also give him realistic expectations if you have children. Give your husband and children realistic goals and set your own expectations right, as well. I think we as women have this trouble more than men do. We can be so type-A when it comes to our house looking perfect and our kids leaving stuff everywhere and our husband not throwing his socks in the hamper. But when that happens, just stop and remember this is your ONLY life on earth. Your only chance to live. Do you want to waste any moments screaming at people because they didn't hit your exact expectations 100% of the time? Is yelling going to help? It's ok to have frustrations, it's ok to be human and yell sometimes, and it's ok to get angry. But make some tea, go outside, put on some music, and make a chore list if it's important to you. Make it realistic, fun, and have lots of grace. Make it a game for your kids so they don't feel like they're being attacked at school by kids and then attacked at home. Make home a fun place to be. A resort. An escape. Your own private island. Your husband's secret place. A place of rest. A place to play and be messy and let socks sit on the floor and toys line the halls. And then, every few days, have a big clean-up day together. Make it a family activity where everyone pitches in. Don't carry the load alone. Delegate, but do so realistically and happily. Keep a cheerful expression and tone when you can. Remember: As the woman of the house, you set the tone of the home. What tone is your home now? What tone would you like it to be? The bad news is the difference is because of you. The best news ever is that YOU have the power to change it TODAY! But allow yourself days to mess up, as you allow your kids days to mess up, too.
But back to Complementarian. Sometimes Sam wants me to drive for him so he can take off his shoes and relax after a tough day/week at work. Sometimes he wants to drive to church. It's not about "The man has to drive because he's the head of the household." No, I'm his helpmeet. Therefore I help wherever I can. Whether that's unclogging a drain, fixing a leak in the toilet tank, driving the car, buying a ladder at Lowes and hanging curtains, or scrubbing the tub and making dinner, it's all the same. Even if it's going to work from 9-5 for awhile to save for a downpayment. I am helping him. It's not about what you do. It's about your attitude. The Bible talks about having an attitude of servanthood.
21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body.31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Paul is talking more about the relationship of the church with Christ, not teaching on the marriage relationship. He's using the marriage relationship as the example that we know. But these days we've got it so confused and messed up, we flip it the other way so we can figure out how our marriage should be. Which is fine, just not the original intent. So how does the body and Christ interact? Did Jesus come down to earth and take on flesh and overthrow Caesar, burn the tyrants to the ground, demand respect and honor from the church, tell them they'd better submit? Or did Jesus come as a servant, born in a lowly manger to a carpenter? Did He wash the sheep droppings off his disciples' feet like a servant? Did the church insist their righteousness was just as good as Jesus' (or was it like filthy rags)? Did they compare themselves to how awesome Jesus was? Did they insist on doing things their own way and that they're always right? Did they insist on equality with Him? Did they feel degraded when they felt like they weren't equals? No. As a Christian we would never assume we are equal with Jesus, and yet we are still important, beautiful, loved, valued, listened to. Jesus washed us as if we were superior to Him, He died for us, He laid down His life to serve us, He treasured us. When people think women should just roll over and do whatever the husband says as an excuse to push their wives around, they have a warped sense of marriage and also of Christ.
In Ephesians, it instructs us to have the same relationship with Jesus as we do in marriage, but also with friends, our brothers in Christ, our parents (in chapter 6), our bosses and employees and coworkers, etc. The relationship is that of servanthood. To not consider yourself higher than anyone else. To treat waiters, hotel and work cleaning ladies, the guy bagging your groceries and pushing the carts at the store - everyone as if they were the president of the united states. Because we are all humans created in His image. Titles are man-made and silly to God. They mean nothing to Him. One day we will get to Heaven and not remember what title others had, but we will remember who they are. They are children of God, with a Spirit and a soul. And we should always treat them that way. Including your spouse and children.
"What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family."
To many new to the idea of zero waste, they tell me, "Oh, that sounds great, maybe one day I'll become zero waste when I have more money."
But zero waste isn't expensive and for most things it doesn't cost any money, or if it does, it's hardly anything - we're talking $10-$15 tops for the average investment - in something that will last for years and you'll never have to buy again. So how can you go zero waste when you don't have a large budget set aside for it? And what items are top priority to purchase when starting out and then what items can you slowly build/save up to?
The first item I always recommend to those going zero waste is reusable straws.
There are so many types of reusable straws on the market, especially on amazon. There's stainless steel ones, silver, colorful, bent, or ones with silicone tips so it doesn't hurt you or your kids' teeth. There's glass straws, that I have, which can break (I have broken one, but I've dropped them many, many times and had them not break, but be careful or get/make a cool sleeve to put them in), but I prefer the feel and look of them. There's bamboo straws, too. All for under $15, depending on the type and amount you want. Straws are easy to refuse and do without, but when you have a frappuccino or Icee, it's hard to drink without a straw. Straws are horrible to animals so please purchase these and begin saying, "water, no straw, please!" at restaurants. This may not save you any money in the long run because you don't pay for them at restaurants, but it's such a small amount to make the largest zero waste impact on the planet.
If you don't already have reusable shopping bags, I highly encourage you to get some. They're very affordable, especially at grocery stores, and you'll begin earning money back every time you use them! They'll more than pay for themselves in a matter of months. Produce bags is also a definite must. Most recycling centers won't accept these stretchy plastics, but you can recycle them at grocery stores like Target, Walmart, and Earth Fare. But not all of the plastic is recyclable, so invest in some reusable produce bags.
Wool dryer balls
This is the best thing you'll do for your pocket book. You can buy wool dryer balls on amazon, World Market, or sometimes your local farmers market if you're lucky. They last at least 10 years and you never have to buy another dryer sheet ever again! It's a win-win! So use up your dryer sheets, and then instead of spending money on your next box, just buy $10 balls and then never have to remember to put in a dryer sheet again!
Why buy lots of water bottles from the store when you can reuse a water bottle? You can fill it up in your sink or your water filter and keep it in the fridge. I have multiple in case I get low at any time.
Tired of having to spend money on paper towels, napkins, toilet paper, tissues, pads/tampons, etc etc? You can get all of these in cloth (try to avoid microfiber and use 100% cotton or linen to avoid plastic leaking into the ocean) and never buy anymore again! (Well, I still buy toilet paper every few years because of guests) I have lots of links in my first zero waste post. Hygiene items are always tough to get our minds around, and I was hesitant at first, but after finally trying them, they're my favorite zero waste item. I feel luxurious with my family cloths and cloth pads (diva cups if you're into tampons). Give it a try! What have you got to lose? Wasting money, that's what!
Reuse your food! The bottoms of chives and romaine lettuce and so many other veggies you use can be put in a cup of water and regrown over and over again! How neat is that? Never have to by chives again!
Disposable razors and even men's razors are SO expensive. Switch to a safety razor. It hasn't cut me once yet (and disposables did all the time) and only replace the blade. It'll save you more money than all of the above! The razor itself is cheaper than replacing your husband's blades.
Use a konjac sponge! It is a natural sponge found in Japan and it will change your world. Sometimes I find them at TJ Maxx, Amazon, Whole Foods, or Earth Fare. Say goodbye to having to purchase makeup remover wipes every month! If you prefer wipes, you can buy reusable makeup wipes from Creekside Kid that are so soft and luxurious and it'll save you money, you'll never go back. They're the ones who also make the family cloths I use. Also, if you get a konjac sponge, don't buy into the marketing. The colors don't matter or do anything different.
There's soooo much DIY out there that you can use essential oils for. Make your own bath bombs, lotion, lotion bars, lip/body sugar scrub, face masks, oils instead of moisturizer for your face, etc etc etc. I have a DIY board that can help jump-start your DIY journey. When you make it yourself, you're using fewer ingredients, so that means no chemicals and you know what is going into it. I love having shea butter, beeswax, coconut oil, and lavendar essential oils to make all my DIY. No harsh chemicals, no "fragrances" that are bad for you, and it's baby safe, too. You can use it on any part of you. DIY cleaning products are great, too! Just be sure not to use vinegar on granite or mix baking soda or vinegar with hydrogen peroxide, as these will cancel each other out. You also don't ever want to make your own laundry detergent. Many people say to use Baking soda and vinegar together but it actually doesn't really do much.
I hesitated on whether or not to add this to the list. It may be a little on the pricier end and not save you money, toothbrushes are so bad for our landfills and bamboo can be composted. This would still be on the bottom of the list because of the price, but I'd make it a priority of your beginning journey if possible.
These are the most affordable and easiest items to swap out or purchase that will save you lots of money in the long run and make the biggest impact. What items did you buy for the beginning of your journey?
I make no money off of any links or purchases. These are purely my own opinion.
So you're going out of town, whether for work or play or any other reason, you want to be conscious while you travel. I've now been zero waste for an entire year and I want to share my thoughts and ideas of what I've done when I travel that I haven't seen on other blogs.
The mantra of zero waste is:
Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot. But I think there's a very important step to zero waste, especially with travel, that isn't apart of that. Prepare. But prepare doesn't start with an "R" so I get it. I won't write to the queen and demand she add it to the mantra.
But preparation is key to doing zero waste. If we don't prepare by bringing our reusable items, we'll have to use disposable. That was the hardest part of beginning zero waste, and definitely the most frustrating. Getting to the coffee shop only to find you forgot to clean out your reusable straws and put them back in your purse so now you're getting whipped cream all over your nose.... Ugh. Life is hard. But everyone prepares for travel. You have to, right? There's no disposable clothing or underwear (at least I don't wear any), so you gotta pack. It's not hard to take a few extra seconds and make sure you pack your trusty zero waste items. So I came up with a comprehensive list of what I bring on my trips to save the earth! (I mean, someone has to)
Bottle and mug
Make sure they're empty if you're flying. Security won't allow liquid over 3 oz because they're afraid you might make an airplane pilot too hydrated with water I guess. So make sure they're empty. My husband has been on a few business trips lately and fit these two items in his carry on easily. Once he just brought a coffee mug and made it multi-purpose. Many airports now have water bottle fountains like the Atlanta airport which makes it handy. You can take it with you on the plane!
If you're lucky enough to have a really good bulk store with cool snacks, bring your own snacks in a reusable bag. I visit my family a lot and they're about 9 hours away. I always pack a cooler with grapes, cheese, salami, pretzels, an apple, nuts, and pepsi. It's cheaper to bring it from home and what gas station carries Brie and Salami?
Bring your trusty cloth napkins and reusable cutlery and straws.
I have reusable plastic ware as you can read about in my Zero Waste blog and cotton napkins and reusable straws that I keep in my purse at all times. But I was sure to pack them in the carryon for my husband's trip. They made it through security fine, but if you're nervous about the knife, wrap them up in the cloth napkin good. It should be fine, though.
Plastic/Styrofoam of course disintegrates over many recyclings and paper cups are lined with a thin layer of plastic which can't be composted or recycled, so always avoid paper cups. But if you need a coke and you don't want to use your water bottle, or you forgot it, just try to find a can of coke instead of a bottle and bring it on the plane instead of using their little cups. Less waste, more drink!
In case you get the sniffles, have to sneeze, or catch a cold on your trip to Alaska, bring along your trusty hanky and catch that drip the old fashioned way!
To Go Boxes
Bring your own reusable to go boxes or tupperware for when you go out to eat. And bring plenty. You'll be eating out a lot and you want to be prepared. I absolutely SWEAR by these things: silicone pop up tupperware.
Bamboo toothbrush holder
I love these toothbrushes and they come with a bamboo toothbrush holder, too!
But what do you do when you run out of water and the sink at the grungy gas station is looking pretty gross and tiny to refill and you don't see a fast food joint in site and you just have to buy that SmartWater? I get it. It happens sometimes. I like to always keep my reusable grocery bags in my trunk in case I ever need them and I use them for holding recycling when I'm on vacation. Then, if I see a Whole Foods or Earth Fare or somewhere to drop off my recycling, I take advantage of it. Or I save it till I get home. I usually have no more than 2 bags full for me and my husband, but you might have more if you have more people. Just do the best you can. If you run out of room, give yourself grace. You're doing your best and that's all you can do!
What about you? Are there any things you like to bring for zero waste travels? Let me know in the comments below!
Being a city girl, composting was a completely new concept to me. I was instantly hooked and very interested in vermiculture, which is composting with worms. The more I read, the more excited I became. I couldn’t wait to purchase my own worms and start a bin on my back porch. I live in an apartment and I’m not a farmer or a gardener by any means, but I was wasting a lot of food scraps and I wanted to put them to good use. Plus, it just looked fun! If you’ve ever wondered about composting and what it entails, you’ll enjoy this post.
If you live in an apartment, or even if you don't but want to use worms, you'll want to start with a plastic bin of some sort. You'll need to get a drill and put holes all over the bottom, sides, and lid. If you don't, your worm bin will get too hot, your worms will suffocate and start to try to crawl out (ie when you open your lid, they'll be all over the top of the sides of the bin and the lid). Your bin needs to be like 70% brown matter/30% green matter. Brown matter is newspaper layered and shredded, any kind of paper that isn't slippery (read: not covered in plastic), spam mail, envelopes with the plastic torn out, cardboard (pizza boxes are perfect), dirt, brown leaves, etc. Sticks, pinecones, and pine needles take a lot longer to decompose, so use these sparingly. Green matter is any food and....anything green. Leaves, grass, rotting flowers your boyfriend got you, you get the pic.
Again, you can opt not to do worms, it'll just take a little longer to decompose and you'll need to mix up the soil every week or two to aerate it, but it would be a lot less of a hassle as you don't have to worry so much about the moistness, pH level, and temperature, but, I like bugs so I opted for a vermiculture. You can get Red Wigglers (earth worms like deep, deep ground and they don't breed or eat as fast, so everyone recommends Red Wigglers) at your local bait and tackle shop. If you don't live in the country, you can purchase some here like I did. I recommend 1000 to get you started. They regulate their own population based on the size of their container. Pretty impressive for being blind.
You don't want your vermiculture to be dry, you want it moist but not wet and soggy. You will also need something under your bin to catch the "compost tea" or garbage juice that inevitably will drip out. It's basically gold to farmers and they'll pay a hefty price for it. It's fertilizer water. I need to get a lid, as you can see in my pictures, it just left a black mess on the ground. My fault. Don't be like me. Use a lid to a second tub and prop the bin up on bricks (don't drill holes in that lid, obviously). Use the juice for your garden, or put it in a glass jug and sell it/give it/use it as a bargaining chip for a discount to your friendly neighborhood farmer at the farmers market.
Worms can freeze to death and it can get too hot (bacteria breaking down the food will naturally heat the bin), so make sure it's between 60° and 80° F, though I have found they're ok between 40° and 90° F. I bring mine inside in the winter at night (you can put a big blanket over it).
Try to keep the 70/30 rule of brown to green. Too much green is not good. The brown is their home, the green is their food. They need both. At the same time, it's more of an art than a science, so cut yourself some slack. If there's too much green, throw in some paper and cardboard to fend off flies and potential smell. They'll eventually get around to eating it all. If they don't eat it fast enough, you can chop it up real small or put it in the blender. I've found that putting my food scraps awaiting composting in the freezer works best for me.
Keep them out of the sun. They hate sun. When you first dump them in, put them directly in the sun (or a lamp or light) to make them burrow down into it. Otherwise they'll crawl all over checking out their new home and accidentally crawl out and die. If you ever find them around the edges of the bin trying to crawl out, take the lid off and turn on the light or put it in the sun. It helps get them back down in there. Then add more brown or water or grounds (acid) or egg shells/corn meal (base) to keep the pH level balanced. If they crawl out it also could be that they aren't getting enough air or the bottom is too swampy, you can carefully aerate the bottom with a gardening fork (worms are delicate, so be extremely careful if you do this. Many discourage doing this, but sometimes you just have to).
The worms can be too overfed or underfed but it takes a lot. You can eyeball it.Many recommend a small bin to go under the sink to hold scraps until you put it in your main bin, but my main bin is next to my back door, as I'm in an apartment, and I get fruit flies in my house a lot! (Pro tip: keep apple cider vinegar with some dish soap in a bowl around the house, esp the door and kitchen, if you have a fruit fly problem) So when they come in, they would breed in my small bin under the sink and when I'd open the lid, they would all fly in my face. Not a pleasant experience. Plus, freezing food and then thawing it helps to make it a lot quicker to decompose and eat. The worms will appreciate it. Some things you may not think about putting in there are corn starch (I've heard it's almost a treat for them and helps give them grit to "chew" their food since they don't have teeth so give them some in the beginning at the very least... but dirt and dried leaves also act as a grit). Pro tip: Worms LOVE watermellon! Definitely put in any skins you have leftover!
DO NOT COMPOST:
Any peppers except bell peppers, walnuts, onions, garlic, shallots, any dairy, oils, citrus (I recommend using orange peels for cleaning to make vinegar smell good), egg yolks and whites, cat litter, glossy paper like post cards, silky mailers, or paper cups from fast food places (it's lined with plastic), large pieces of wood, salty foods, any highly processed, sugary foods, plastic, metal, aluminum, rubber, wax, or glass, stickers, and large amounts of starches like potatoes, rice, noodles, or bread (keep it to a little at a time). Most say don't do meat or bones because it will attract unwanted pests.
Any fruits or veggies that aren't listed in the do not compost list, corn cobs, seeds (so many people accidentally get food that sprouts in that beautiful, rich, organic fertilizer, and that's ok!), bamboo (toothbrushes, be sure to pull the nylon brush part out first!), silk (clothes or floss), seasonings, any paper (paper bags, mail and envelopes with plastic torn out), cardboard (cereal boxes, pizza boxes that aren't super greasy, etc), anything 100% cotton (Q-tips, cotton balls, clothing), feathers, fur, hair, nail clippings, matches, toothpicks, coffee ground, egg shells, napkins, toilet paper and its roll, paper towels and its roll (although switching to rags are better), broom sweepings, vacuum cleaner trash (dust and crumbs), old jelly, nut, nut shells (except walnuts), compostable egg cartons, compostable berry cartons, dryer lint, dead flowers, and popcorn, its seeds and kernels. Some argue that 100% latex is ok, like condoms, gloves, and latex balloons, but others disagree. So you can decide for yourself, if you wanna give it a go and see if it works, let me know in the comments!). Bodily fluids like urine and feces are compostable but not recommended if you are using the compost for food items. But if you want the compost to use for flowers, that's fine to put in human or animal waste if you desired to. Lol!
For more info, YouTube and Google are your friends.
How many worms should I start off with?
Eh. It really depends and doesn't matter too much. They'll self-regulate their own population.. cool, huh? I recommend 1,000 for a big plastic container like mine. But I had 500 to begin with and they eventually grew. I also had a friend give me some extras, too. They'll breed, just give them time.
Does it smell?
Yes. It smells great! It smells like fresh, clean earth - a big field. Unless you go crazy and dump 4 weeks worth of food at once or something. Even then, they'd eat it eventually and it would only smell for a short time. You just gotta cover the food with the brown materials.
How often do I feed them?
They say once a week. Again, I think it's an art. I just feed em as I run out of space in the freezer or I have some scraps or I feel like it. It's just depending on how sciencey you wanna get. some ppl like to rotate where they put the food so they know what food their worms like and what they don't. I figure, whatever they don't eat, the bacteria eventually will so I'm not gonna worry about any picky eaters.
How often do you empty the bin and restart?
Every 6 months or so. Or if your entire bin is now worm castings/fertilizer.
How do you restart?
While remembering that your worms are tender and can easily be chopped in half and die, you can carefully move all the compost to one half of the bin. Then fill the other half with fresh brown compostable material as you did in the beginning. Then add tons of green (food) to the far corner of the bin. After several days, or maybe a week, your worms will realize all the food is gone and will begin looking and will find the new bedding and food source. You can then shovel the compost into a bucket. I recommend being careful, as you don't know if there will be any worms still idiotically sitting in their old home starving. So go gently and lovingly place them in the new home.
What if my worms begin The Great Escape?
You can Google it and find many different reasons. Well, if you just got your worms, it's because they're blind and wanting to check out their new home. Help them out and place a light at the top of the bin with the lid off and that'll help keep them below. If your worms are veterans, many times it's the temp, pH level, or moisture of the bin. I usually put it in the sun, keep the lid off for a day or so, and see if that helps. They usually burrow back down. If they still keep coming back up after you put the lid back on, put some more brown materials (that'll help with too much acid or water) or maybe drill more holes. You could also put more coffee grounds if you don't think the acid is high enough. If it's too acidic, put some egg shells and corn starch on it.
I'm getting big black flies (or giant maggots/larvae) that kinda look like a wasp. What do I do?
This is the Black Soldier Fly! The BSF can be a blessing or a curse. They don't cohabitate with worms, so if you have worms and you love your beautiful vermiculture compost, you'll have to carefully and painfully move your worms to a new bin and maybe start afresh. I had to keep mine indoors during the summer months because of the evasion. They hibernate in winter. They make the compost extremely wet and gross, but if you have a ton of food scraps, they'll perfect for you! They can eat so much and are very thick-skinned to lots of conditions, so they could be a dream, or your worst nightmare, depending on how you view them.
I'm getting a lot of flies? How do I make them go away?
Simple. You don't. Embrace nature. That's what composting is all about. Make sure you're covering your food with brown, though. That'll help to some degree.
What if all my worms die?
That's highly unlikely that all 1000 worms will die (and by that time, they'll probably have reproduced so much that it's much more than 1000). Some will inevitably crawl out occasionally and maybe die, but don't beat yourself up. This is an art and a learning process. If somehow they all die, you could buy more or go worm-free.
What if I need to go on vacation?
Worms can last up to a month or so without eating. You can feed them before you leave and they'll be fine.
Got any more questions? Ask them in the comments and I'll do my best to answer them!
I highly recommend listening to the above song while reading this next post.
Life is about ups and downs. After the garden, life on earth drastically changed. It was intended to be paradise, but we ruined that, but hope is not lost! We have the promise of a better future. The future of a temporary Heaven, and then later Heaven coming down to Earth. There will no longer be a Heaven or Earth or tears or pain. There will be no toil or hate, no sin or worry. No killing or endangered species. It will surpass all your wildest dreams and imaginations. The streets will be made of gold and the weather like a cool Spring breeze. The lion will lie with the lamb and I can finally live out my nerdy, fantasy-obsessed dream of riding on a panther like a wood elf. I'm ready to go now! What does this earth have for me but disappointments? We must endure hatred, backbiting, gossip, thefts, abortion and other murders, political fights, terrorism, hunger, cancer and disease, death, poverty, and more. How can a wonderful God allow such horrible things to happen? The answer is simply, because He loves us. He gave us a choice in the garden, and we screwed the pooch. Then we continued for 6 thousand years to screw it up even more. Now we have honed and perfected our craft of ruining things. We were given dominion over this beautiful paradise and we traded it to the one who only wanted death and destruction for what? For knowledge. We wanted to become more Godly, to know what is right and wrong and to have great knowledge. We traded innocence for intelligence. We traded perfection for arguments. Now we pride ourselves on how much we know. The information age. Consumerism. It's the era of accumulating as much as we can.
So what's the answer to all our troubles? God wanted to give us hope for a future free from sin and bondage more than we wanted it for ourselves. Jesus was that answer. He came and defeated death and the grave. Now we have a future and a hope. This life was never promised to be easy, but we have the promise of a new life free of this curse. Earth was never the answer. We look to the future. But that's not all! He came not only to free us from death, but "But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we were healed." (Isaiah 53:5) So we have the promise of not only everlasting life, but peace and healing. We all experience good times and horrible times on earth. We all deal with anxiety and stress. Even the most cheerful people suffer from deep depression. No one escapes it. But those who trust in Him receive peace. A peace that passes all understanding (Phil 4:7). We can claim that peace and ask for it from the only One who supplies it. Outside of Him there is no peace. We have peace because we have hope. We have hope that He has us in His book of life and in his plan. He makes all things work together for the good of those who diligently seek Him (Romans 8:28). Does that mean that all the things that happen to us are good? No, but in the end He makes them good for us. He is the God of creativity. Just look at the duck-billed platypus! He is the original Pokemon master.
This life is a vapor, a blip on the screen in the time of all of eternity. Why mourn for those who have passed over into that beautiful place? We mourn because we are filled with envy, a beautiful, glorious envy that consumes our hearts and minds. One day that pleasure will be ours, but until then we must wait. So until then, what do we do? What is the purpose of living on in this terror-filled world? The point is to bring God praise (Luke 19:40) and to drag as many people as we can with us to Heaven. What are you doing to fulfill those two purposes of life? Oh... and 42. That's also the purpose of life. Almost forgot.
If you suffer anxiety, know you're not alone. We all do. Some are more vocal than others, but we all experience it. But our circumstances do not have to dictate our feelings. And our feelings do not have to dictate our actions. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, and peace. All the fruits of the spirit have nothing to do with feelings. We don't suddenly like everyone, become happy about everything, and have a peaceful life. No. He leads us through the valley of the shadow of death and comforts us. We need not fear. Being happy, liking people, and having a peaceful life are feelings. They are not up to us. But choosing to actively show love to those who treat us badly, to remain joyful in the hope of eternity when earth lets us down continuously, and to walk in peace knowing God has a plan and will turn all of this into His glory when all of life seems like it's crashing down around us. But even in this life, He gives us favor and blesses us beyond measure. We aren't immune to the sin in the world, but He also pours out blessing on His children and knows how to give good gifts to them (Matt 7:11). That is what the Psalmist is talking about in Psalms 103:2.
Praise the Lord, my soul,