I’m a minimalist environmentalist. What this means is that I don’t bathe, partially because doing so would use water unnecessarily and partly because it alarms my family. Along with eschewing activities that are encouraged in normal society, I also sometimes do bizarre things for the sake of protecting the environment; for example digging a compost trench in my backyard. There are multiple ways of composting; most of them involve a large bin of sorts. I have no such bin, so I bury my compost. It’s a surprisingly effective activity and fun for the whole family. I’ve written a set of instructions so other people can randomly create trenches in their yards too.
The Guide to Losing Friends and Speeding up the Decomposing Process without Resorting to Transforming into a Vulture and Eating Dead Animals
Step 1. Find a space in your yard that is far enough away from any existing garden so it doesn’t look planned.
Step 2. Start digging, if at all possible throw the bits of shoveled dirt and torn up grass on top of any preexisting garden so the appearance of your lawn will be truly marred.
Step 3. Keep digging, Try to make the trench long and unusually shaped, think of what an eight year old’s attempt at a balloon animal might look like and fashion your trench after that.
Step 4. Be sure to wave vigorously at any neighbours who are peering out from their windows. Who needs friends next door when you can have rotten banana peels decaying under what used to be a flower bed in an oddly shaped hole?
Step 5. Empty a bag of compost into the hole. Leave the bag sitting for at least a week beforehand so lots of mold grows, thus ensuring that anyone in the near vicinity will gag from the sight and smell of it when you upend the contents into your compost trench.
Step 6. Call a friend over to admire your environmentally friendly handiwork*. “Behold! The glory of decomposition! Look at all of that half-rotted, organic matter. Isn’t it great?” It is possible your friends may not be as impressed by fuzzy, green sweet potatoes as you are. If so, draw their attention to your digging ability. “This hole looks just like the birthmark on that Russian politician’s head.”
Step 7. Recover the hole and compost material with dirt, taking care to uproot some flowers from the real flower bed in the process and throw them on the pile.
Step 8. Take an unconscionably large and out of place object such as a giant metal washing bin and flip it upside down, on top of the newly dug compost trench to call more attention to your environmental masterpiece. This will also serve to keep squirrels and other determined wildlife out of what will be your sweet sweet black gold next summer.
Step 9. Repeat as necessary, or until your entire yard is an eyesore.
*This post is dedicated to Sula who inspired this set of instructions by being suitably horrified when she saw me digging a compost trench in my backyard.