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This is a product review that turned into a love story.

It started out simple. I was going to review a composter. Although, not just any composter, an electric assist little number called The Red Dragon. I already find composting sexy. If you don't know, then maybe you will when you think of its impact.

Biodegradable materials make up 40% of the average family's garbage bag and as much as 65% percentage of landfills--and things in landfills virtually never biodegrade. That means that they don’t break-down (usually with the help of bacteria) into something like soil that “feeds” other life with its carbon. Hotdogs and newspaper (both potentially biodegradable) just sit in the anaerobic environment of a landfill and they sit there in tack for hundreds of year or forever. At my house they could be fertilizer within 24 hours.

Green Mama Red Dragon Review

I've had other composters. I'm still friendly with some: like the little backyard tumbler slowly, slowly turning away on my tiny patio.  The Red Dragon is the first one I've loved.  It's not solely about looks, although that doesn't hurt. The Red Dragon is petite and pretty all dressed in red. She also smells better than the other composters I've let into my life: she is all chocolate and coffee smelling rather than wormy and earthy (or as in the case of one unfortunately composter of past: rotten pickle death).  She is also a hard worker. Where the others took weeks, months, years before any results were produced, she gets right down to work and within 24 hours has rewarded me with beautiful, rich, black fertilizer.  You can throw almost anything at her and she can handle it: cooked food, meat, eggshells, citrus rinds, compostable diapers, and even animal waste. One can't help but to admire that kind of efficiency. I am still surprised every time I lift the lid: again! She has done it. And again! I dumped the entire contents of one of my failed relationships (a stinky little number that was parked in my kitchen) and she just ate it up and turned the wretched heap into something beautiful.

I will admit, when I first met The Red Dragon I was skeptical: a composter that requires plugging in and venting. She seemed like she might be high maintenance. Yet, I was taken by the idea of results within 24 hours. Composting will, after all, just happen on its own if given the right situation: like a big hole in a big yard in the country and many months to wait. My little city patio and big dislike of vermin meant I need a different kind of composter. The Red Dragon, she is a modern, urban girl. She is built for city life.

Ms. Red came in a box. I pulled her out myself, with just the help of a four-year old (which isn't much help in case you were wondering). I got out the parts: two bags of sawdust-like material, a tube for venting, a scoop and scraper for removing future fertilizer, and the instruction manual.  I felt compelled to read the instruction manual. It became clear that Ms. Red's native language is not English. I was worried, romance can get complicated between languages. I needn't have worried, in fact, I should have just skipped the instruction reading as my husband had recommended.  But, in short, I did what it told me to do:

1) I found a place to vent the machine (a window is ideal)

2) I poured in the saw dust material

3). I poured in 2 litres of water and

4.) I plugged her in. 

I started adding other material right away.  At first just a pail of kitchen scraps. By the next morning it was entirely gone and rich, black fertilizer was in its place. So, I upped the challenge and poured in a few bags of kitchen scraps, rotten leftovers from the refrigerator, and two compostable diapers. I checked back at the end of the day and already the stuff had magically transformed into fertilizer.

It must be two parts magic, one part the power of artificially heating compost, and one part the power of microbes, but really The Red Dragon is amazing. She is the solution for any urban dweller looking to compost. And should you need a larger, higher capacity machine, she has a slew of handsome, big brothers.

Advertorial written by Manda Aufochs Gillespie, The Green Mama. Photos by Manda Aufochs Gillespie.

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