Tero: Everything You Need to Know

Tero: Everything You Need to Know
This post is in partnership with Tero but all thoughts and opinions are our own.

It’s been about a month that I have been using my Tero to create fertilizer in my home using food scraps I would have otherwise thrown in the green bin. It has become part of our everyday routine and I can’t wait to reap the benefits of our own homemade organic fertilizer.

A few months ago I attended a lunch with the creators of the Tero Elizabeth and Valérie so that they could give us the backstory on the product and a live demo after our food had been eaten. I immediately saw how beneficial having a Tero in my own home would be. We consume (and waste) so much food so I was thrilled to be able to give it a second life in my garden. More info on Tero can be found here.

I have always wanted to get a backyard composter but because of the smell and risk of attracting wildlife to our home, we have opted out of it. Instead, we paid for fertilizer each year so our backyard gardens and indoor plants could grow well.

Difference Between Compost and Fertilizer

One of the biggest things I learned once I got my Tero was that there was a difference between compost and natural fertilizer even though they were both byproducts of organic matter. As Tero says “composting is a biological process requiring the input of microorganisms for its transformation which is not the case with Tero that operates by a completely automated process.” Basically in composting, worms, insects, fungi, or bacteria take weeks, months, or years to digest organic matter. A Tero cycle only takes from 2.5 to 8 hours to get you optimal natural fertilizer that is ready to use.

Image via Tero

There are also lots of steps when it comes to composting. You have to add carbonaceous materials like dead leaves and branches, you cannot add animal products as it has a risk of pathogens, you have to sift and aerate for proper processing and to limit odours, and you also have to manage the humidity by watering.

Alternatively, the Tero uses an odour-free process that dries and grinds your scraps into fertilizer with whisper-quiet technology. I love that I can put meat, small bones, and even dairy inside as that’s a big part of our food waste.

How the Tero Works

My Tero is about the size of my old compost bin so I simply switched them out when the new unit arrived. The only difference is that once I filled the 4L Tero bucket up with food and ran the cycle, I was rewarded with 90% less volume in fertilizer form.

Image via Tero

Using a controlled heat element the unit runs a 3 step cycle that dries, grinds, and then cools everything down making it stable enough to last over a year in an airtight container without developing mold. The bucket has a grinding system that is able to cut food into tiny pieces, even hard items like avocado pits and eggshells.

It also has activated carbon granules to capture odours while you use it. Tero recommends running a cycle no longer than 5 days after you initially start adding food to the bucket.

What Can and Can’t I Add to my Tero

Tero: Everything you need to know

Tero recommends you always do a variety of items in each cycle to ensure a varied consistency. They also recommend you cut fibrous foods into smaller pieces as they can wrap around the blades. Here are some foods examples:

Always: Leftover fruits and vegetables, eggs and eggshells, leftover meats, fish, and poultry, small bones of poultry and fish, cereal, grains, nuts without husks, and legumes

Small Quantities: Very sweet cakes and desserts, rice, pasta, and starchy, jams and peanut butter, very salty food, very sweet fruits (banana, grapes, pineapple, melon), High-fat food (dressing, meat fat, etc.)

Never: Hard shells (walnuts, pistachios, oysters, coconuts), hard bones (beef & pork), anything that is not food waste, any liquid, chewing gum and candy, cooking oil and other fats, hard pits (mangoes, peaches, nectarines, compostable bioplastic

Ways I Use my Tero

Each week as I clean out my fridge before groceries I take whatever food that has started to spoil and put it into the Tero instead. I paid for that food and just because it has seen better days does not mean it will be completely wasted.

As I prep meals I put peels, ends, and scraps directly into my machine and after we’re done eating I can put most of our scraps into the unit as well.

Since there are six of us I find the Tero runs once or twice a day in the background making us some beautiful fertilizer for our garden.

How Long Can I Store Natural Fertilizer from my Tero?

The fertilizer that comes out of the Tero can safely be stored for over a year.

I Don’t Have a Garden, Do I Still Need a Tero?

The short answer is yes. As the world transforms into a more healthy and eco-conscious place I think everyone can benefit from a countertop food recycler like Tero. You can use some of your fertilizer for your houseplants. I also don’t think it would be too hard to give some to family, friends, or local community gardens.

Tero: Everything you need to know

Why Should I Use a Natural Fertilizer?

If you’re anything like me you use a LOT of different foods and so our Tero has a very diverse output. That results in our fertilizer slowly feeding the bacteria, microorganisms, and organisms in the soil so that it can in turn feed our growing plants. Natural fertilizer also helps the water retain more water and improves the resistance of plants to parasites.

Chemical fertilizers, also known as synthetic fertilizers, offer poorly diversified nutrients and are more likely to harm plants if too much is applied. Chemical fertilizers are also a major cause of groundwater pollutions as well as pollution of soils. They can also be toxic to life forms and damage my fave pollinators, the bees.

Getting the Kids Involved

Every Spring we get the kids together and run to the local garden center. We decide what we will plant, and watch our seeds sprout indoors until they get big enough to endure our backyard gardens. I am trying to raise kids that are conscious of the effect their actions have on the planet and showing them they can grow their own food is a big step.

Now we will incorporate the benefits of feeding the soil more than just water. I really like that once the Tero is done you can still see what some of the fertilizer is. I can tell that there is citrus peel or a small piece of bone and I always show the kids so they can see the process. The Tero also explains how you can add different foods to help aid in different roles the plants take.

Tero is an Odour-Free Process

One of my favourite parts of the Tero is that it is completely odour-free. It uses these activated carbon granules to absorb odours but even they have a second purpose once their life is complete. Add them to the fertilizer to use in your garden as it contains plant-beneficial elements such as iron and manganese.

Tero: Everything you need to know

Cleanup is a Breeze

The bucket and blades fit in your dishwasher making cleanup a breeze. Even if you opt to handwash I find the moment water hits the unit all the dried food washes right away. You don’t need to wash in between cycles though so we usually just keep adding more food and repeat the steps.

Image via Tero

What is the Cost of a Tero Device?

A regular Tero unit costs $595 CAD and there is also a Tero Plus that offers WIFI connection and can be controlled via an app. The plus costs $695. The Tero will pay for itself over time so although it is an investment, it is one that will improve your quality of life and improve your garden.

This post is in partnership with Tero but all thoughts and opinions are our own.
Aneta Alaei
Aneta Alaei

Aneta is a Toronto-based mom of four that loves a good meal, great company, and learning something new. In her free time, you can find her trying to keep yet another plant alive.

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28 Comments

  1. Piroska
    November 22, 2021 / 1:25 pm

    This product is fascinating. I’ve tried composting using an ice-cream pail, and I just hated the slime and smell. My intentions would be to bring the waste daily to the outside compost, but it quickly became a failure.

  2. Amanda Masters
    November 22, 2021 / 7:01 pm

    My husband really wants to purchase one of these. He’s talked about it for ages but I really was against it thinking of the smell. That’s really great to know I dont have to worry about that.

  3. Kristen Visser
    November 23, 2021 / 10:43 am

    oh my goodness this is absolutely wonderful!! what a clever and helpful item. I definitely need to buy this! the amount of scrapes we get rid of on a daily is ridiculous

  4. Victoria Ess
    November 23, 2021 / 4:57 pm

    This is such a great idea! I hadn’t heard of this before – thanks for letting me know about it!

  5. Lynda Cook
    November 24, 2021 / 8:09 am

    Oh wow this sounds amazing, and the best one I have read about so far, I have been looking but none of them compare to this one, going to have to save some money up

  6. Cyrena Eddy
    November 24, 2021 / 8:51 am

    This sounds so amazing! My husband would love this as he is an avid gardener.

  7. Sandra Dufoe
    November 24, 2021 / 9:30 am

    This sounds like a great product we don’t compost because of the animal issue but this seems great.

  8. Thomas P
    November 24, 2021 / 10:01 am

    This is a great and useful product, especially for the colder months to keep the house plants well-fed.

  9. Linda H
    November 24, 2021 / 10:24 am

    This would be great to have so I would have a natural fertilizer for the garden in the spring.

  10. Viv Sluys
    November 24, 2021 / 12:16 pm

    The only thing that would make this better is if it operated on solar power!

  11. Kristin C
    November 24, 2021 / 8:40 pm

    I have never heard of this company – sounds like a great product!

  12. Denise M
    November 24, 2021 / 11:53 pm

    I totally need that in my house. Thank you for the review. It looks so useful and perfect for my lifestyle!

  13. Darlene Burns
    November 25, 2021 / 1:19 am

    I think this is such a great idea.We used to have an outdoor compoat unit at our old house but i want to loom into this one further 😀 Thank you for the information

  14. Florence Cochrane
    November 25, 2021 / 8:22 am

    That a great idea. We need this.

  15. Rita Copat
    November 25, 2021 / 1:32 pm

    Sounds very interesting! Gotta check this out!

  16. Nicole Graham
    November 25, 2021 / 7:30 pm

    I compost everything I can, and it works okay, but it goes so slowly. This would be the ideal solution.

  17. Shirley
    November 26, 2021 / 7:50 am

    This sounds amazing I would love to start composting

  18. Florence Cochrane
    November 26, 2021 / 10:58 am

    We compost all the time. This would be amazing to own.

  19. Alayne L
    November 27, 2021 / 2:35 am

    I love the concept and I think the Tero is the wave of the future! Great post!

  20. November 27, 2021 / 12:20 pm

    This would be a big help to all my plants and my garden too in the summer months.

  21. Serena w
    November 28, 2021 / 12:54 pm

    This is so much nicer then the big bowl on my counter that we use to compost 😆

  22. Debbie Beattie
    November 29, 2021 / 12:58 am

    I can’t believe how quick the composting process is with this machine

  23. Paula G
    November 29, 2021 / 9:32 am

    Some great information in this blog. I’d never heard of the Tero, good to know!

  24. Jenn
    November 29, 2021 / 8:44 pm

    This is genius! I also love how clean and sleek it looks. This is definitely going on my wish list.

  25. Kristin Ashe
    November 30, 2021 / 8:21 am

    This is amazing! It would make me feel better to compost old food, rather thatn throw it out!

  26. AD
    November 30, 2021 / 2:11 pm

    This looks great! I would love to have one of these for my Mom who has so many plants and could use the natural fertilizer!

  27. LILLIAN BROWN
    November 30, 2021 / 8:41 pm

    We do compost and I found this very interesting. Thanks

  28. Cassandra G.
    November 30, 2021 / 9:01 pm

    Wow this is really cool! I prefer using my own fertilizer, especially on food yielding plants 🙂 I love how even the odour control is compostable lol!