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Ten Things You Didn’t Know You Could Compost

Ever Wonder “What Can I Compost?”

Will you plant a garden this year? If you grow vegetables, herbs or flowers you should consider composting. Compost can even be used in your indoor plants.

What Is Compost?

what can I compost

Everything in this basket is fair game

Compost is a rich, dark plant food that you make from household garbage which is organic in nature – think egg shells and banana peels. Usually gardeners store compost in a composter or container outside in a sunny area. There are several different types of composters.

Depending how much work you want to put into composting and what your budget is, you can compost in a tumbler which turns it for you and you can also compost in a heap in a sunny corner of your yard. Compost needs heat and dry brown material like dead leaves added to it. Tending to your compost means turning it and wetting it on a regular basis. The end result is black gold – organic food that your veggies and flowers will love.

So growing your own food and composting are great ways to reduce your carbon footprint, as well as save money and use what you’re throwing away anyway instead of buying costly chemical fertilizers and foods.

What Can You Compost?

The most common ingredients in compost are food scraps. That means the tops of celery stalks, coffee grinds, and overripe fruit. So, there are so many food scraps we throw away every day that could be kept out of the landfill and made into food for your plants. Here is a list of ten compostable things that you haven’t thought of:

  1. Paper towels and tissues – Don’t throw away your used paper towels and tissues. Throw them right in your compost.
  2. Old cotton socks and underwear – Those old holy socks and undies are made of organic material and are fair game for the compost heap.
  3. Cardboard– Toilet paper and paper towel rolls, pizza and cereal boxes, etc. Just be sure to cut cardboard into small pieces so it breaks down faster.
  4. Fireplace ashes – The compost pile is the perfect place to dump out the ashes of a wood fire. Roses love compost made with ashes.
  5. Nail clippings– Yours and your pets’ . I know this one is kind of creepy but you’re going to throw them out anyway. If you have a composting can or crock in your kitchen why not trim your nails over it and kill two birds with one stone?
  6. Vacuum bags– You can take that full bag out of your vacuum and dump it right into the compost.
  7. Junk mail- Cut it up or shred it and you have a great way to get rid of all those annoying extras in your mailbox.
  8. Dryer lint– Keep a can next to the dryer and when it fills up dump that lint into your compost pile. *Note* Only compost lint if you do not use dryer sheets
  9. Grass clippings– In addition to brown dead leaves, grass clippings are perfect compost.
  10. Beer and wine- I don’t know what “leftover wine” is but I hear you can pour it into your compost.
what can I compost, recycling, gardening

Compost needs dry brown stuff.

 Want To Learn More About Compost?

So, are you interested in learning more about composting? Do you think you will add any of these unusual items to your compost pile?


what can I compost, recycling, gardening

Veggies will grow big and strong if you feed them compost

Starting your spring garden and have a small space? Read how to start a container garden.


Jen Leeman

Jen Leeman is a working mom whose passion is writing. She lives at the Jersey Shore with her husband, daughter, 2 dogs and a cat. She writes about her love of family, home and garden, casual entertaining and shore living at her blog Driftwood Gardens. Instagram: jluvsa911

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Phoebe Wulliman Graber

Monday 14th of April 2014

Fancy meeting you here as opposed to our weekly TToT blog hop! Thx for the info! Hadn't known about the sweeper bags but I do throw my coffee filter in it. I add dog hair and have lots of it! You can dump your paper shredder and it's a perfect "brown".

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