Remains of the Day

compost bowl

Our compost bowl and our trash can are opposing barometers for the way we are living. When the compost bowl fills up each day, I know we are shopping and eating the way we should (unless of course the bowl is half full with coffee grounds). Conversely, if the trash can is full, I know we are creating too much waste and not living sustainably. I pride myself on the weeks when the garbage can is nearly empty. Such was not the case this week after cleaning out several closets and throwing away broken toys and other non-recyclables. I can just imagine our garbage sitting at the dump, not rotting away but just taking up space and doing no good.

The fact that our compost bowl filled up several times over this week makes me feel a little better. Not only does our compost bin create usable soil, it also generates food.

potatoes from the compost

We relocated these sprouting potatoes to the garden and we're looking forward to eating our "garbage" sometime this summer. Our compostable garbage has also been an inspiration as of late. I find myself taking pictures of food remnants while making dinner. For some reason the ingredients that don't make it to our plates are much more interesting to me than the finished product fit for consumption.



Heads or Tails

For this reason, I've created a Flickr group entitled "Remains of the Day" in hopes that you too will be inspired to take pictures of your kitchen waste and share them with the rest of us so we can be inspired by your "garbage". Think of it as documenting the journey rather than the destination. The shells that held the eggs of the pancakes you made for breakfast, the stems that supported the broccoli you steamed for lunch, the skin that protected the potato you mashed for dinner; they are all part of the journey of food to it's destination: you. I can't wait to see the remains of your day.


  1. We see eye to eye in the waste department (does that sound weird?); I have been thinking to myslef lately that although I spend an inordinate amount of time in the kitchen I rarely photograph it because I don't know how. Your project gives me a nudge...

  2. Those are some awesome photos. I love the textures and colors of food. Even the remains look delicious.

  3. This is a fun idea.(Although I have no idea how to upload to a flickr group, lesson painfully learned only after joining the six-one-way group...still no uploads from me.)

    I can see myself getting totally carried away with the camera and our leftovers and the family feeling sure that I've gone just a little more nuts!

  4. I love garlic, but I have never seen it look so good.
    Your remains of the day idea is great. I'll have to join in on the Flickr group.

  5. Neat idea! Today I've been dreaming of vegetable gardens and backyard chickens. But, for now, I'll have to be satisfied with my worm bin. :o)

  6. Wow! Your photos are lovely... is the chrysanthemum looking one bean sprouts?
    just beautiful

  7. I'll look at my vegi waste in a different light now.

  8. what an inspiring idea!

    one thing about our house that constantly brings shame is how much garbage we produce. :( even as much as we recycle, there's always more packaging coming in and old broken things going out.

    we're going to an Earth Day festival today...maybe i'll get some good ideas to share! :)

  9. This is a great idea.

  10. Beautiful photos, Molly. After readng your post it occurred to me that there must be some people around who never have a container on their sink to hold scraps for the compost or worm bin. I lead such a sheltered life. LOL

  11. What a cool idea. I really enjoy your writing.

  12. How I wish I'd read this before bringing out such major loads of compost to the outside pile this weekend. Not that there isn't always more. I have often thought of this as a theme as well. I'm so glad that you actually did something with that thought. I will contribute this week!

  13. we are currently not composting do to our neighbors dog ripping the side off our compost bin and spreading it all over our yard (super! thanks!) since they don't keep their dogs in a fence, their house or tied up we can't compost until we come up with a great dane dog proof container.

    I'd like to buy the world a coke.....lalalalla

  14. beautiful photos (and countertop). great idea.

  15. I miss my compost bin so so much. I cannot WAIT to get some big things done in the backyard so we can build a couple of new ones. We plan to reuse old plastic garbage bins this time around. I'm definitely looking forward to filling that compost bowl on a regular basis again.

    Love the flickr group! Off to join.

  16. Beautiful Pictures. What you said about the compost bowl really resonated with me.

    When it sits on the counter and gets dumpted because it stinks instead of full I know things are out of balance.


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email: mollydunham@sbcglobal.net
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