These days, composting seems to be all the rage, and for good reason. With more focus being placed on our environment and the impact we have on its future, it is as important as ever that we take the time to educate ourselves about what our role is in protecting the Earth. It’s safe to say that, even if you are a recycling pro, the world of composting is somewhat new territory.
In a nutshell, composting turns everyday household items into natural, nutrient-rich matter that is good for the environment (in a laundry list of different ways). Not only does composting reduce your need for fertilizer and provide you with the best natural garden boost there is, but it can also help fight climate change. While the basics of composting are becoming more widespread and talked about, there are also a host of things that you can compost that are likely news to you.
If you’ve looked into composting at all, you are likely aware that fruit and vegetable peels, leaves, and grass clippings are all compostable. But there is so much more out there that can be composted and turned into something useful, while reducing our overall waste at the same time.
There are lots of different — and surprising — things that can be tossed directly into the compost heap, but it is important to do your research before throwing something you are unsure of into your home composter. Some items require a more advanced compost system, and there are a handful of things that actually will cause more harm than good.
All that aside, here are 15 surprising items that are compost-friendly:
- Coffee grounds and paper coffee filters
- Tea and tea bags
- Latex balloons and gloves
- Cotton balls and swabs made from 100 percent cotton
- Natural corks from wine bottles
- Dry pet food
- Old herbs and spices
- Feathers and fur from pets
- Natural loofahs and sea sponges
- Algae, seaweed, and kelp
- Stale or moldy bread, crackers, and cereal
- Wine, beer, and liquor
- Jam, jelly, and other fruit preservatives
- Hair and nail clippings
- Matches, toothpicks, and bamboo skewers
On the other hand, there are also a host of items that you should make sure never end up in your compost pile. Some of the most harmful items to your compost – and the planet in general – include meat, fish, and bones, eggs and dairy products, plastic cigarette butts, store-bought soaps and shampoos, coated cardboard, paper cups, and milk cartons, leather goods, and dryer lint or vacuum cleaner contents.
If you are thinking about trying your hand at composting, it is important that you know the difference between what can be thrown in the pile, and what should either be recycled or sent to the landfill. By taking the time to do this research, you are setting yourself up for a far more successful composting experience.
Feature image courtesy of Alan Levine