How to use toilet paper rolls to feed your compost worms

Estimated reading time: 13 minutes



Many people do not have a use for the tube inside of toilet paper rolls. The good news is, you can use toilet paper rolls to feed your compost worms. I’m guessing like many apartment and indoor vermicomposters- you want to reduce your environmental impact.

Today’s guide will show how you can use common household recyclables to meal prep for your compost worms.

Why Meal Prep Worm Food

Many people grow frustrated feeding their worms in the early days of composting. It can be confusing to understand how much your worms are eating. This is especially true if you’re adding large scraps.

It can often take days or even a week for these items to disappear.

In the meantime, coffee grounds, carrot peels, and different food odds and ends start to stack up. This can lead to just throwing the kitchen scraps in the trash.

If you’re concerned about your environmental footprint, this just doesn’t make sense. A recent Forbes article states, “We carelessly waste 40% of our food in the U.S. and 33% globally means there is huge potential to reduce our environmental footprint.”

My composting meal prep method will help you provide consistent amounts of food, easier to eat food for your worms, and save time and energy. You can take the guesswork out of each feeding. Simply feed your worms a pre-measured food nugget every day or every other day.

Common Items To Use

Food

When it comes to food items for this recipe, anything that a worm can eat will work. I recommend you give the items a good chop before you add them to your blender. If you continuously add large hard-to-blend items, you will likely burn out your blender in months.

MORE: Complete Worm Food Guide

Paper

I prefer to use paper products as a container for my worm food. Items like toilet paper tubes, egg cartons, origami folded newspaper all work for this project.

Many people say, “the food still has some liquid, it will just leak out or absorb and get mushy.”

It is for that exact reason, I use toilet paper rolls to feed my compost worms. You are adding moisture to the paper product. Then you freeze it, and when it thaws, it is even easier for the worms to break down. The paper products add an easily decomposable container for the worms.

There is an additional environmental impact

A 2017 study examined  Kimberly-Clark, which produces and ships toilet paper around the world. The study found that fewer recycled wood fibers are used to produce new toilet paper. According to the study, the number of recycled items used in 2011 was slightly under 30%. By 2017 recycled materials use had fallen to 23.5%. of the total fiber used was recycled, but by 2017 this figure had fallen to 23.5%.

We can always make demands on corporations to recycle more materials. Until then, this method will ensure that at least some paper products do not find their way to a landfill.

How to repurpose toilet paper tubes into worm food

So to get started, you will just need a few common household items. An empty toilet paper tube, cardboard egg crate, or origami folded newspaper can act as the food holder. The goal is to use these common household items to freeze worm food for future use.

Save on cleanup and hassle by making a bunch of worm food for weeks to come!

Total Time Needed :

30

Minutes

Total Cost:

$0

USD

Required Tools:

– Blender
– Freezer

Things Needed?

– Clean & Dry Eggshells
– Food Scraps
– Toilet Paper Tubes
– Cardboard Egg Carton

Steps to transform waste into worm food:

toilet paper roll

Step 1: Collect your toilet paper rolls

I like to save up a good amount of toilet paper rolls to feed our worms. Once we discovered this method, we have not looked back. Toilet paper rolls are great because they are often made of more natural craft paper. We can easily modify them to make a daily food nugget that makes pocket feeding easier than ever.

toilet paper rolls cut in half ends folded

Step 2: Cut & fold the toilet paper roll

If you have a larger bin, you may not need to cut the toilet paper roll in half. However, we are making small daily food nuggets, so we like serving the ‘half portion.’ Fold in the ends to help the worm food stay in the toilet paper roll.

blender

Step 3: Grab your blender

A simple blender like a magic bullet can make some great worm food. Some people think you need a $600 Vitamix to make worm food.

If you don’t even have a blender, don’t worry you can still follow this guide. Instead of blending your food scraps, chop them up as fine as possible with a regular kitchen knife.

table scraps red worm food

Step 4: Grab your table scraps

Next, grab some vegetable and fruit scraps from your compost bucket. Generally, we include everything except citrus, tomatoes, and onions in my worm food.

We avoid onions mostly because it can cause an odor in the worm bin. Citrus and tomatoes are avoided because they can increase the pH in a small worm bin.

Step 5: Grab some items for grit

Worms do not have teeth, so you have to help them out by adding gritty items. This is because worms have a gizzard.

A gizzard uses small pieces of grit to help break up the food for digestion. Some good items to add are eggshells, pulverized oyster shells, coffee grounds, or diatomaceous earth.

You can liberally use eggshells, oyster shells, and diatomaceous earth because they add calcium to the bin. The calcium can keep the bin from becoming too acidic from the decomposing food scraps.

fresh cup of water

Step 6: Add some fresh water

Often to get the blender going, you will need to add a little water. The trick is to add as little water as possible to do the job. You’ll later see the consistency we are looking to achieve.

If possible, use rainwater, as it does not contain any chemicals from the local water treatment plant. If this is not an option for you, you can use spring water.

You can use tap water that has been left out for a day or two. Leaving the tap water out allows some of the chlorine to evaporate.

water food scraps and egg shells in blender

Step 7: Add all ingredients to blender

Add the food scraps into the blender along with the grit items, and water. Often you will find that once you start blending, the food scraps compress and you have room to add more.

Add more food scraps until you either fill your blender or until you can’t blend any more without adding more water.

fill toilet paper rolls with paper to feed your worms

Step 8: Arrange and stuff toilet paper rolls

We like to try to upcycle and recycle as many items around our house as possible. An 8oz mushroom tray can hold four toilet paper rolls to feed your worms. Stuff a little shredded paper in the bottom of the rolls to absorb any excess liquid from the blended food.

Stuff toilet paper rolls to feed your worms

Step 9: Fill toilet paper rolls with worm food

With a spoon scoop some of the blended food into the toilet paper rolls. Since we save the mushroom trays for worm purposes, it is okay if it gets a little messy. Fill the rolls to the top, or feel free to mound on top.

After you fill the rolls, place them in the freezer. Freezing worm helps in a few different ways:
1- Kills any bug eggs from the food scraps
2- Further breaks down the food and paper scraps
3- Sustainable way to keep warm food on hand.

Summary

So there you have it, how to use toilet paper rolls to feed your compost worms. This method has saved me hours of time and increased feeding consistency. This has made my worm bin easier to maintain as there are no major spikes in bugs or liquid.

When you are ready to use your toilet paper roll worm food nugget, take it out a half-hour before use. This gives them a little to me to thaw. There has not been an issue with adding the nugget while it is still cold. We just dig a little pocket, add a little shredded paper, and toss in the nugget. As it reaches room temperature, the shredded paper will absorb any additional liquid and your worms will come to the feast.

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