A non-stinky, no-mess, no cost way to get your food scraps compost-ready

Composting is one of those things that always sounded like a cool, virtuous thing to do, but wasn't applicable to my life over the past decade in New York City, where I lived in a very small apartment with zero outdoor space. Since moving to San Francisco though, where I've upgraded to having a (tiny) backyard, am trying to tap into my inner green thumb, and the city offers specially designated garbage bins for collecting compostable waste, I've had no excuse not to jump on the bandwagon-well, if only I weren't so put-off by fruit flies.

Despite being genuinely excited about the prospect of making use of the food scraps that had previously gone right into the trash can, even before I started collecting leftovers I noticed miniature flies buzzing around my kitchen. I have no idea where they come from, though given I usually have a bowl of oranges out on my countertop, I can only assume they're tagging along with the citrus I get at the market. And though the critters seem harmless enough, I feel like collecting compost materials in one of those buckets or bins designed to leave on your counter-even the covered, charcoal-filter-equipped ones (the charcoal is supposed to mitigate the food smells)-would be an open invitation to have more flies moving in at my place.

After I mentioned this issue to a friend, she tipped me off to the perfect solution: as you're cooking, and post-meal, toss all your leftover bits into a big Tupperware container, oversize Ziploc bag, or leftover yogurt tubs, and then store them in the freezer until you're ready to throw them in your compost bin. Finally, a zero stink, zero mess (and totally non-fly-attracting) means for compiling kitchen waste, and it didn't even cost me a thing.