The Compost Conversation: Composting while taking a break

Next time you are packing the car for a camping trip or weekend away, remember to pack a sealable container for your kitchen scraps.

By Mikaela Beckley 

With the coming of spring, the warmer weather and perhaps some respite from weekend sporting commitments, many of us are heading off for a holiday. Yay! 

What does this mean for our compost, and our kitchen scraps? 

Before leaving, preferably at the height of packing madness, remember to take a moment to step out into the tranquility of your backyard. Take a deep breath, pick some herbs for your travels, and of course, check on your compost. With the weather warming up we need to start watering our compost, as we would our garden, especially around the edges. And make sure it has a generous capping of straw on top. Now back to the packing… 

Being out of our home environment often means that we find ourselves doing things we wouldn’t normally, like putting our kitchen scraps in rubbish bins destined for landfill. Not only do our microbes back home in our compost pile go hungry, but sending organics to landfill will result in them breaking down without enough oxygen, producing potent greenhouse gasses as they do. 

Never fear, the YIMBY* bucket (or something similar) is here! 

Here at YIMBY, we repurpose commercial food grade 10L plastic buckets, which have a firm sealing lid. We have found this is an excellent size to collect a week’s supply of kitchen scraps from our contributing household, or a weekend away camping with friends! 

So next time you are packing the car for a camping trip or weekend away, remember to pack a sealable container for your kitchen scraps. Many destinations don’t have composting facilities, or require us to take our rubbish with us and I have always been a huge believer in the “take only memories, leave only footprints” approach.

So avoid the stinky, leaky plastic bag of rubbish squeezed into the boot of your car, separate out your organics, and take those holidaying nutrients back to your garden. Just imagine the smiles on your compost microbes’ little faces when you return from your trip with a lovely homecoming gift of leftovers and vegetable trimmings. 

It’s only fair that everyone benefits from a holiday. 

Important disclaimer: When travelling beyond Victoria it is important to abide by the biosecurity laws of each state. Another great reason to holiday locally! 

– Mikaela Beckley works with Yes In My Back Yard, (YIMBY*), a community-scale composting initiative in Castlemaine and surrounds. Send questions or comments to