Composting has a slew of environmental benefits; It adds a ton of nutrients to the ground, while eliminating certain pesticides, wood preservatives, and other contaminants that can be found in soil. It also reduces the amount of organic materials in landfills, which lowers the amount of methane and leachate that is produced there.
It’s no secret that composting promotes environmental sustainability, but for beginning composters, it is sometimes difficult to determine what can and cannot be thrown into the compost bin. There are the obvious choices, like weeds, fruit and vegetable leftovers, tea leaves, etc., but there are also a great deal of common products that most people don’t realize are compostable. Here are a list of 25 everyday items you probably didn’t know can be composted.
1. Coffee grounds, filters, and tea bags
2. Used paper napkins, paper bags, and paper plates
3. Shredded pizza and cereal boxes
4. Toothpicks and Bamboo skewers
5. Wine corks
6. Paper cupcake/muffin cups
7. Paper egg cartons
8. Cellophane bags — NOT plastic
9. Dryer lint
10. Old cotton or wool clothing
11. Hair — from a human or a pet
12. Paper towel, toilet paper, or wrapping paper rolls
13. Old shower loofahs
14. Cotton swabs made from 100% cotton and cardboard only
15. Used tissues
16. Sticky notes
17. Shredded newspaper
18. Pencil shavings
20. Plain paper envelopes
21. Latex balloons
22. Dry pet food
25. Any dead or living plants and leaves
It can be easy to forget to compost at certain times when you first start out, like during food prep or after meals. However, this can easily be avoided by keeping a small compost bin nearby. Put it next to your garbage can, that way you won’t forget to separate your compost from your garbage. At Solar Innovations, Inc. we keep a small bin right in our kitchen for any food scraps or other kitchen waste, and everyday it is emptied into our compost pile.
What you can and cannot compost will become like second nature to you the longer you have a compost bin, and you will probably find yourself questioning whether you can and cannot compost certain items. For now, though, you can always reference this list at any time.