Thursday, September 11, 2014

Review & Giveaway: Green Cycler Compost Bin Shredder


My husband and I live in an older residential neighborhood just a few blocks south of the Washington, DC border - one of those in-between suburban-like areas very near an urban community.  A few decades ago, people here took good care to plant a lot of trees so that today our yard resembles more a forest floor than a lawn - grass only grows in patches, and it is difficult for us to get anything that likes much sun to grow.

We've made a few ventures into gardening, but the challenges of our yard have proven more challenging than our skills so far.  Even so, a couple years ago, we acquired a good compost bin for outside that has a drawer in the base where we can extract rich compost when we need it.  Yard and table scraps go in the top and when we think about it, we try to make sure to layer it properly so it will break down.

We don't do a whole lot with it to speed up the process, and since we make more compost than we currently use, we're mostly ok with that, but still, it can be frustrating to see how very long it takes most scraps to break down, and I worry sometimes about the scraps attracting critters we don't want to feed.

The only way to really prevent that is to chop up items for the compost into small bits - but I can't think of much that makes me feel more tired and put upon than having to chop up my scraps after I've already chopped everything up for dinner.  Chop up a banana peel? Uh, no.  Not happening.

Sometimes this means things are going into our composter that we know good and well are going to sit there for months.  And worse, it sometimes means we just toss it into the trash where it will sit entombed in a landfill forever.

Since we are composting mainly to reduce our landfill waste rather than to garden, that seemed really counterintuitive, but I didn't have any answer to it until I read about the Ecotonix Green Cycler.


Basically, the Green Cycler is a manual garbage disposal for items you can put in your compost pile, and it is brilliant. Instead of grinding up produce scraps in your sink and sending them into your water supply, they're cut into small bits and put with your compost. The smaller size breaks them down much, much faster then leaving them as big chunks.

MUCH faster breakdown
When our Green Cycler arrived, it was very carefully packaged, with just a couple of simple things to do to put it together  - adding the end of the handle was about it, along with inserting the filter pad (which I'll explain in a moment.

The construction of  the Green Cycler is quite impressive to me - the blades are housed in a unit that is quickly and easily removed to tuck into the dishwasher for cleaning, and so is the drawer that holds the chopped bits until they can be taken outside to the compost pile.

The handle scared us at first - the very first night, after looking at their chart about what can be composted, we tried to put an avocado seed through it - on feeling some major resistance, we were afraid it might snap the handle, so we stopped.  It would have been terrible to break it on it's first run!

But since then, we've successfully chopped up several challenging items without any trouble - the key is to push the handle forward, then backward, and keep rocking it like that until the tough items break up.

I'm no longer worried that the handle will break - this thing is tough!

The Zeopack filter is a bit of brilliance all its own - packed with Zeolite, a toxin-absorber, this pad fits into place behind the choppers and, unlike filters in other appliances that have to be replaced often, this can be recharged by hanging it in sunlight for awhile. How cool is that??  If you decide it's gotten worn out, you can buy replacements for a mere $7.99 - but it's reusable for YEARS, so likely if you buy one, it'll be to put it to work in other places, like your stinky gym shoes or cat box.   Whenever it does go belly up, you can just cut off the metal hanger, and the rest of it can be tossed into the composter!

      
To use the Green Cycler, you simply put the scraps from your produce and meal preparation into the top of the appliance.  The window on the lid lets you see what's going on.  The handle can be turned either forward or backward, and it works best to rock it back and forth until the scraps fall into the tray below.

As a left hander, I'd love to have the ability to have the handle on the left side, but I didn't find this to be a huge concern - this is a large motor issue and I haven't had any trouble dealing with it on the right side.

A slightly larger issue was the suction cup feet - our counters are old, cheap formica, and it didn't hold very well. But this again wasn't a huge problem - I never had much luck with suction cups, and holding the Green Cycler still was a simple matter of putting my left arm on the top of  the machine, while cranking with my right.

After chopping, scraps come out about the size of a nicely chopped salad.  The tray at the bottom holds a large amount (enough to deal with a bunch of kale that got away from me), and pulls out very easily to take outside.

Both the tray and the chopper are quickly removeable to tuck into a dishwasher for quick and easy washing, and I recommend doing so as often as possible.

Being able to easily keep the parts clean, along withe the filter, has meant almost no unpleasant smells or issues with fruit flies, which I honestly can't say was the same with our last composter pail.

In addition, it's so simple to stuff scraps into it as a part of meal prep that it doesn't feel like any extra work at all.

We've used our Green Cycler every day since we got it, and I'm not even exaggerating when I say it's my favorite countertop appliance.

With all the fantastic information Green Cycler puts on their website about composting, worm farming, gardening, and why you want to keep your compostible items out of landfills, using Green Cycler has really inspired me to try to be more proactive about our compost pile.  I am thinking that we may be ready to add some worms come next spring, and really start preparing the soil in our yard to handle some actual planned gardening.

Even if you're living in an apartment and can't do any gardening beyond potted plants, the Green Cycler can help you out - because it turns scraps into compost so much more quickly than a traditional compost pile, you could turn your chopped up scraps into a plastic bin, and quickly have enough rich compost to feed your plants, without taking up too much space.

I seriously cannot recommend this tool enough - it is one of those rare inventions that is a total game changer. If you don't know why you'd want to compost your scraps, think about this:


Green Cycler is available in a few different models that cost between $99.00 and $139.  The one I have is the Green Cycle Garden Cycler V300, and after using it regularly, I find it to be very sturdy, easy to clean and an absolutely essential tool for our kitchen.

I am really excited  to announce that Green Cycler is letting us offer the Garden Green Cycler (the same model I received) as a  Giveaway for one of our readers!  This Giveaway is open to Continental US residents only, and will end just before midnight on September 25, 2014.


To enter the giveaway, leave a comment in this entry as instructed by the Rafflecopter, then leave the name you commented under and your email in the box in the Rafflecopter entry. (This lets us contact you if you win!)  This will open up additional optional entries to increase your odds of winning.

Good luck, everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Green Cycler Website
Green Cycler on Facebook



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58 comments:

  1. There are more than 4400 species of earthworms! That's a lot of worms!

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  2. What a great tool! We are going to start a vegetable garden next spring and this would be so helpful!

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  4. I learned that you can store shredded scraps inside your Green Cycler for up to a week.

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  5. genius! Someone finally created a cute little compactor that is so useful!
    onecheaplady@yahoo.com

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  6. I learned that it includes a rechargeable ZeoPack odor & moisture filter to help keep it fresh smelling.

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  7. Nice and practical giveaway :) I shared it on Pinterest so more people can see this great offer.
    Regards
    Charlotte

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  8. Love this! I've been using my blender!

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  9. I learned that the parts are designed for a quick and dishwasher safe clean up.
    kellywcu8888ATgmailDOTcom

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  10. Awesome! Would love to have one of these

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  11. i learned that this makes compost 10x faster.

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  12. Everyone should have a Green Cycler Garden Shredder. We all have leftovers that we don't' eat or the peels from vegetables that could be used to make our garden that much better. I never thought about it before but I am sold on it now and I have to have the compost for my garden.

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  13. I learned that it composts 10 times faster!

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  14. I learned that you can compost in the winter, just keep it warm and active. The compost pile will slow down in frigid temperatures because some aerobic bacteria will die off in the cold, but you can keep them working by keeping the interior of your pile warm and primed with the right kinds of resources. Help retain the heat at the center of your pile by adding layers of shredded food scraps and lots of leaves

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  15. It composts faster... love the giveaway

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  16. I learned that it has micro-ventilation that helps eliminate odor-producing bacteria and keeps the kitchen healthier than other compost bins.

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  17. I learned thatMicro-ventilation helps eliminate odor-producing bacteria and keeps your kitchen healthier than typical food-scrap bins. I would love to win this!

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  18. I learned that it Compost 10-Times Faster! That is awesome!

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  19. I learned more about worms and that it composts 10 times faster!

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  20. I learned that you can compost in the winter months but when it is cold you need to keep your compost pile warm and active by adding layers of food scraps and lots of leaves since the composting can slow down in the colder months due to some of the bacteria dying off.

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  21. I like that it has suction cups to keep it anchored while you shred

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  22. I didn't know you could compost in winter months! Great info on their site on how to keep the pile warm. You can even do it in a trash bag! Thank you for opportunity to enter this wonderful giveaway!
    *hugs*deb

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  23. That it composts 10 times faster & that it has suction cups to stay upright while you shred.

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  24. I learned that it composts ten times faster <3

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  25. I learned that The Green Cycler can even compost avacado pits.

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  26. Hello, I learned that the Green Cycler composts 10-Times Faster than other composters. We compost but I have never seen this particular composter. It looks like a real good one. Thanks for a great giveaway!
    trishden948(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  27. It has an ick free storage system. Less cleaning

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  28. I learned you can still compost during winter in an excellent article at their site, with lots of great information on winter composting. A keeper!

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  29. I been wanting to compost for a while now and to live a more greener life, I learned more about this product but also more about compost.
    citygal_bshaysha(AT)hotmail(DOT)com

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  30. Ick-Free Storage System ,that got my attention straight away. We ( hubby and I) are very conscious of the footprint we leave on our planet. Hubby and I recycle , etc. We were just talking about composting. Thank you for the giveaway opportunity. Hugs and thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite things blog hop.

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  31. Looks like a better solution to the bin I have on my kitchen counter now. WAY BETTER!

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  32. I learned the parts are dishwasher safe.

    Rafflecopter Ty Beth

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  33. I learned that compost can be used as a mulch or mixed with the top one-inch layer of soil to help prevent many plant diseases.

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  34. I learned the parts are dishwasher safe.

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  35. I learned that it composts 10X faster. Worm bombs contain cocoons, worm eggs and exciter paper

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  36. I learned that "By composting, you can convert almost 50% of your trash to super-healthy plant food."

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  37. Wow, I learned you can recycle avocado pits and skins in the Green cycler. Very cool

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  38. I learned that it composts 10 times faster!

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  39. you can store scraps for up to a week

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  40. That is has Self-contained, stainless-steel blade cartridge system snaps in and out for quick clean-up

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  41. I love that it is endorsed by many of my favorite sites.

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  42. I learned that you can leave shredded scraps inside your Green Cycler for up to a week without any unwanted consequences. We've been wanting to start mulching for year but it always sounded like too much work ~ after reading all this information I feel a lot more confident and ready to tackle this very important responsibility we all share.

    Jesselyn A/Jesstinger

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  43. all parts are dishwasher safe
    tubbytelly at gmail dot com

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  44. Danielle K danielle at champagnenw dot com

    Thanks for the review! This is great!

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  45. I've learned that this Green Cycler reliably made in the USA! Great product!
    Thank You for the review and giveaway!

    Fiona N

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  46. Actually I learned a lot -- shredding organic waste can expedite the composting process by 10 times,

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  47. I love the fact that the Green Cycler is made in the USA.

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  48. I learned that you can make compost 10-times faster with a Green Cycler.

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  49. I learned and like that you can compost 10 times faster.

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  50. I learned that this is a countertop model, rechargeable, has feature to combat smells, Thanks for the chance!

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  51. It is the easiest way to make compost!

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  52. I love so much about this particular composter , its small and easy to maneuver. I like that it's designed so that it can be taken apart and cleaned thoroughly. It maximizes the speed and efficiency that the trash is being broken down . Awesome this would be amazing to have !

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  53. I learned that 97% of waste goes into landfills! That's a lot-this would definitely help cut down on that!

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  54. I learned that you can compost 10-Times Faster with the Green Cycler.

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  55. Oh my how I love this! I have never seen or heard of this before so the product itself is something I learned.

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  56. Wow, I never knew there was a product like this! I hate spending extra time chopping our compost bits, this would get used everyday in our house!

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