Composting Made Simple – Part II

Do you have a compost bin in at your house or do you contribute to one in your community?   You might be surprised at how many items can and should be making their way to the bin.   Most likely, you are already composing vegetable trimmings, coffee and tea grounds, even your plant clippings, but this is only a start of what you can put in the bin.

compost list Composting Made Simple – Part IIThe trimmings from vegetables are only a start to what you can compost from your kitchen.  How about adding stale starches such as bread, crackers, pretzels, cooked pasta and cooked rice?  Bet you didn’t consider those.   These drier items can help to offset the wetter kitchen waste.   Think about items in your pantry that that have a limited shelf life and may be getting past their expiration date – items like herbs, spices, jams and preserves can be added to the pile as well.

How many times have you dumped the last bit of wine left in the bottle down your kitchen sink?   Stop!!  Pour the last drops of the drink into the bin along with the cork to encourage the composting process then place the empty bottle in with your recycling stuff.    Voila – a zero impact zero waste product!!

Almost all forms of clean, non-treated paper can be composted as long as they are shredded or broken into smaller pieces.  Hopefully you are not using harsh chemicals and paper towels to wipe off your kitchen counters.   If you still haven’t discovered Norwex products, shame on you!!!   Norwex makes a line of green cleaning cloths that eliminate the need of any type of cleaning chemicals to clean your kitchen and bathroom.   See the Norwex line here.

Paper acts as drier material to help keep the proper ratio of “green” to “brown” materials in your pile. You can compost most paper (here is where a shredder comes in handy), junk mail, paper towels, paper napkins, paper plates, even toilet paper rolls.   Once you start thinking composting, you will be amazed at all the paper products that need not end up in the trash bag.

Believe it or not there are many items in the bathroom that can be sent to the compost pile as well.  How about the hair that gets caught up in your hairbrush?   Do you brush your dog?   How much hair – especially in the warm summer months – do you remove from his brush?   These are good sources of nitrogen and help the composing process.   How much lint do you remove from your dryer lint screen?  Hopefully you clean it after every load and where does that lint go?   You got it – in the compost bin!!

So the next time someone says “You Put What in the Compost Bin?? Don’t be afraid to tell them all that you are doing to keep your trash bag as small as possible just by recycling and composting!!

To help you on your way, here are two lists of what you should and should not compost.

What to Compost – The IN List:
  • Animal manure
  • Cardboard rolls
  • Clean paper
  • Coffee grounds and filters
  • Cotton rags
  • Dryer and vacuum cleaner lint
  • Eggshells
  • Fireplace ashes
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Grass clippings
  • Hair and fur
  • Hay and straw
  • Houseplants
  • Leaves
  • Nut shells
  • Sawdust
  • Shredded newspaper
  • Tea bags
  • Wood chips
  • Wool rags
  • Yard trimmings
What Not to Compost – The OUT List:

Leave Out/Reason Why

  • Black walnut tree leaves or twigs
    • Releases substances that might be harmful to plants
  • Coal or charcoal ash
    • Might contain substances harmful to plants
  • Dairy products (e.g., butter, milk, sour cream, yogurt) and eggs
    • Create odor problems and attract pests such as rodents and flies
  • Diseased or insect-ridden plants
    • Diseases or insects might survive and be transferred back to other plants
  • Fats, grease, lard, or oils
    • Create odor problems and attract pests such as rodents and flies
  • Meat or fish bones and scraps
    • Create odor problems and attract pests such as rodents and flies
  • Pet wastes (e.g., dog or cat feces, soiled cat litter)
    • Might contain parasites, bacteria, germs, pathogens, and viruses harmful to humans
  • Yard trimmings treated with chemical pesticides
    • Might kill beneficial composting organisms

NOTE: Finished compost can be applied to lawns and gardens to help condition the soil and replenish nutrients. Compost, however, should not be used as potting soil for houseplants because of the presence of weed and grass seeds.

Related Posts

  • Composting Made Simple – Part I

    Although it is hard to imagine, twenty four percent of municipal solid waste in the United States is composed of food remnants and yard trimmings....

  • Clean Your House…Using Only Water!

    Have you ever read the back of the standard cleaners you use all over your house, office, car and various other places?  With most of them, you...

  • Chemical Nation

    Reducing Your Exposure to Chemical Toxins We have become a nation reliant on potentially toxic chemicals. These substances are everywhere we...

  • Want A Green Pesticide? The Answer Is An Old Fashioned One

    Kill bugs with an old fashioned solution that is widely available and already in your house. You wash your hands and dishes with this, and you...

  • Fear Grass Stains No More!!

    Let’s face it, kids are rough on clothing.  Any of you who have attempted to remove a grass stain from your kid’s jeans or shoes knows that...

3 Responses to “Composting Made Simple – Part II”

  1. Composting Made Simple – Part II | Green Living Tips and Ideas…

    Here at World Spinner we are debating the same thing……

  2. [...] Composting Made Simple – Part II | Green Living Tips and Ideas [...]

  3. 88 Vintage Green says:

    Lint from your dryer?! We’re green. Who has a dryer?!

Leave a Response