Compost-Off Videos: Your Faves, Put to the Test!

Everett by Everett | December 23rd, 2009 | 7 Comments
topic: Gaiam Happenings

See more great videos like these on the Gaiam YouTube Channel!

In the summer of 2009, we asked our friends on Facebook and Twitter to tell us which composters they think we should carry in Gaiam’s spring 2010 catalog. We took the top eight suggestions and let the community vote on them. The two finalists were then compared in an ongoing video series called the Compost-Off, each of which is shared below.

After an extensive five-week composting test we concluded that the Bio-Orb would be better situated for dry climates because it keeps the compost moist, and the Earthmaker would be better situated for wet climates because it doesn’t hold too much water. The Bio-Orb would be more fun to use as long as you don’t mind getting messy rolling it around, while the Earthmaker was more sturdy and would fit nicely into a corner somewhere in your garden.

Compost Off Round 1:

Compost Off Round 2:

Compost Off Round 3:

Compost Off Round 4:

Compost Off Round 5:

Compost Off Round Wrap-Up:


  1. I wish there were a composter that were slightly smaller. I have a two-person household and a small border – not a real yard. Also, I wanted to see how the compost is removed from both units.
    finally, I heard no mention of whether newspaper could be added. In articles I’ve read about composting I’ve been told that this is what to do.
    I hope that Boston adopts municipal composting. That would make it easier for me.

    Candelaria | March 24th, 2010 | Comment Permalink
  2. thE girLs aRe greaT!
    i wouLd haVe liKed tO haVe seeN the divider puLLed ouT
    and how the 3 chambeRs aRe aN aDvantage…
    aNd to sEE thE fiNaL producT coMinG ouT thE boTToM oF Mr. EarthmaKeR….

    biLL | April 12th, 2010 | Comment Permalink
  3. i love this place already! i just signed up but ive looked all over this site and its totally cool! im very upset they shut down Gaia Online tho, that was one of my fave sites! -sigh- oh well.

    Storm23 | April 13th, 2010 | Comment Permalink
  4. I want to work at Gaiam – it looks like a lot of fun. I have purchased the bio orb composter prior to seeing the videos. I bought it mainly because of the price as I am new to composting. It is relatively easy to use. However, I look to add the other one to my household in some time. Both seem to have different purposes, and at some point I think you need to stop adding to the bio orb and just let it do its thing – then remove everything. So in reality I do think you need another way to compost if you have a bio orb ( either get two, or get the other one also ) The earthmaker seems to be possible just to have the one as in theory things are supposed to fall thru. I love the ladies’ energy ! I would have liked to see the drawer open, and the final products from both. But thank you !

    Gina Lola | July 8th, 2010 | Comment Permalink
  5. As the designer of the Earthmaker Aerobic Composter I am happy to clarify some of the points raised.

    Candelaria – The Earthmaker has a reasonably small footprint and will work for a family of two if the food waste includes fresh vegetable scraps. Dry leaves are good too (for the carbon) but newspaper can substitute – we use it to line our scrap bucket. Lawn clippings speed up the process but are not essential. Because the Earthmaker is aerobic it does not smell so can be conveniently sited near the house.

    biLL – The three chambers use the classic three-bin process but stacked vertically so gravity does the hard work. Other Earthmaker videos on YouTube explain the concept more fully.

    Gina Lola – You make a good point! The Bio Orb seems to be a batch by batch system like tumblers so as well as putting the effort in each day you need to store waste while waiting or have two. The Earthmaker was designed to suit the way a household works. Organic waste from the kitchen and garden can be added at the top at anytime. The oldest most mature material is at the bottom and can be easily removed (a nice big door opening) when needed.

    Michael Smythe | December 19th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  6. I have a question as I have just purchased the Earthmaker and would like to know whether it has to be placed on a slab on the dirt or is it able to be on decking,concrete etc? Will the worms still find the bin if away from soiled ground?

    Emily O | January 15th, 2012 | Comment Permalink
  7. Hi Emily,

    Great question! This composter can be set on ground or concrete. It doesn’t rely on worms so it doesn’t matter if the worms can find the dirt as the composting process will still happen. The only composters that require worms are the ones like the one in the link below. With that particular type of composter you have to purchase pounds of red crawler worms to place in the composter.

    Hope that helps. If you have any more questions, please contact our wonderful Customer Care team at or 800-254-8464.

    kirsten | January 16th, 2012 | Comment Permalink

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