четверг, 6 августа 2015 г.

100 Things You Can Compost - Small Footprint Family

100 Things You Can Compost - Small Footprint Family
100 Things You Can Compost - Small Footprint Family

100 Things You Can (and Should) Compost

I consider composting a sacred act. A person who composts thoughtfully is a shepherd over the transformation from death into life. Without the holy cycle of decay and rebirth that the composter harnesses for her garden, life on this planet could not exist.


For your soil, there is no better ingredient than compost, whether you till it into your garden beds or use it as mulch around shrubs and trees, it is considered essential to organic and sustainable food production. Once it’s in the soil, finished compost—or humus—increases fertility, adds both micro- and macronutrients, buffers pH, prevents diseases, and improves soil structure.


Without compost, soil is just dead, inert mineral dust. Composting is not only essential for healthy plants and soil, but it can also remove 20-50% from your household waste stream, reducing the burden on landfills while replenishing your lawn, trees, houseplants, or garden for free. And if you pay for trash pick-up, composting can save you a lot of money, too.


Getting Started


This is the compost tumbler I use. Click to read about it on Amazon.com.

A compost pile can be as easy as starting a heap of veggie scraps, dead leaves, and grass clippings in the far corner of your yard, but most people like to contain their compost in a compost bin.


There are many different kinds of compost bins to fit every living situation: simple pallet bins, towers for urban yards and small spaces, and even worm composters that will make fast, odorless work of all your table scraps in the space under your kitchen sink. Select the bin style that works for you, and install it near the garden, away from your house.


Once you have reached a critical mass of scraps in your bin (usually about a cubic yard of material or a 3’x3’x3′ pile), it will begin to noticeably break down. After everything has decomposed and transformed into dark, rich-smelling, crumbly humus (see picture above), you can sprinkle it around your trees, lawn, garden or houseplants to help them grow.


Considered “black gold” by most gardeners, even if you don’t garden yourself, you could easily give your compost away to your neighborhood green thumb! She’d be so grateful. Avid gardeners never seem to have enough compost.


100 Things You Can Compost


The basics of composting are simple. Almost anything natural or plant-based can be composted; just don’t add meat or a lot of fat, because as they decompose, they will create a smell that will bring every critter for miles to your yard!


Always remember that an effective compost pile is a careful balance of dry or brown things that contain carbon (like leaves or paper) and wet or green things that contain nitrogen (like food scraps or rabbit droppings). So, for example, if you add a lot of shredded paper or cardboard to the pile, you will need to balance it with a nice heap of fresh grass clippings or horse manure, and probably some water from the hose so things don’t get too dry.


And, don’t forget that the smaller you can shred or chop your compostable items before you put them into the pile, the faster and more evenly they will decompose. It’s really worth the extra effort to chop and shred if you plan to use your compost for vegetable gardening, or, simply compost tough, slow things like tree branches and old rope in a separate pile.


The following list is meant to get you thinking about your compost possibilities. Imagine how much trash we could prevent from going into the landfills if each of us just decided to compost a few more things!


From the Kitchen


  1. Fruit and vegetable scraps
  2. Egg shells (crushed)
  3. Coffee grounds
  4. Coffee filters
  5. Tea bags (Make sure they are made of natural materials like hemp or cotton, and not rayon or other synthetics. If in doubt, just open it and compost the tea leaves alone.)
  6. Loose leaf tea
  7. Spoiled soy/rice/almond/coconut milk
  8. Used paper napkins and paper towels
  9. Unwaxed cardboard pizza boxes (ripped or cut into small pieces)
  10. Paper bags (shredded)
  11. The crumbs you sweep off of the counters and floors
  12. Cooked pasta
  13. Cooked rice
  14. Stale bread, pitas, or tortillas
  15. Stale tortilla chips or potato chips
  16. Spoiled pasta sauce or tomato paste
  17. Crumbs from the bottom of snack food packaging
  18. Paper towel rolls (shredded)
  19. Stale crackers
  20. Stale cereal
  21. Cardboard boxes from cereal, pasta, etc. (Remove any plastic windows and shred)
  22. Used paper plates (as long as they don’t have a waxy coating)
  23. Nut shells (except for walnut shells, which are toxic to plants)
  24. Tofu and tempeh
  25. Seaweed, kelp or nori
  26. Unpopped, burnt popcorn kernels
  27. Old herbs and spices
  28. Stale pretzels
  29. Stale candy (crushed or chopped)
  30. Stale protein or “energy” bars
  31. Pizza crusts
  32. Old oatmeal
  33. Peanut shells
  34. Cardboard egg cartons (cut them up)
  35. Stale pumpkin, sunflower or sesame seeds (chopped up so they can’t sprout)
  36. Avocado pits (chopped up so they don’t sprout)
  37. Wine corks (chop up so they decompose faster)
  38. Moldy cheese (in moderation)
  39. Melted ice cream (in moderation)
  40. Old jelly, jam, or preserves
  41. Stale beer and wine
  42. Toothpicks
  43. Bamboo skewers (break them into pieces)
  44. Paper cupcake or muffin cups

From the Bathroom


  1. Used facial tissues
  2. Hair from your hairbrush
  3. Trimmings from an electric razor
  4. Toilet paper rolls (shredded)
  5. Old loofahs (cut up, natural only)
  6. Nail clippings
  7. Latex condoms
  8. 100% cotton cotton balls
  9. Cotton swabs made from 100% cotton and cardboard (not plastic) sticks
  10. 100% cotton tampons and sanitary pads (including used)
  11. Cardboard tampon applicators
  12. Menstrual blood
  13. Urine

From the Laundry Room


  1. Dryer lint (from natural fabrics only!)
  2. Old/stained cotton clothing and jeans (ripped or cut into small pieces)
  3. Cotton fabric scraps (shredded)
  4. Old wool clothing (ripped or cut into small pieces)
  5. Very old cotton towels and sheets (shredded)

From the Office


  1. Bills and other plain paper documents (shredded)
  2. Envelopes (shredded, minus the plastic window)
  3. Pencil shavings
  4. Sticky notes (shredded)
  5. Old business cards (shredded, as long as they’re not glossy)

Around the House


  1. “Dust bunnies”
  2. Contents of your vacuum cleaner bag or canister (pick out any inorganic stuff, like pennies or legos �� )
  3. Contents of your dustpan (again, pick out any inorganic stuff)
  4. Newspapers (shredded or torn into smaller pieces)
  5. Junk mail (shredded, remove coated paper and plastic windows)
  6. Subscription cards from magazines (shredded)
  7. Burlap sacks (cut or torn into small pieces)
  8. Old rope and twine (chopped, natural, unwaxed only)
  9. Leaves trimmed from houseplants
  10. Dead houseplants and their soil
  11. Flowers from floral arrangements
  12. Natural potpourri
  13. Used matches
  14. Ashes from the fireplace, barbecue grill, or outdoor fire pits (in moderation)
  15. Grass clippings
  16. Dead autumn leaves
  17. Sawdust (from plain wood that has NOT been pressure-treated, stained or painted)

Party and Holiday Supplies


  1. Wrapping paper rolls (cut into smaller pieces)
  2. Paper table cloths (shredded or torn into smaller pieces)
  3. Crepe paper streamers (shredded)
  4. Latex balloons
  5. Jack O’lanterns (smashed)
  6. Those hay bales you used as part of your outdoor fall decor (broken apart)
  7. Natural holiday wreaths (chop up with pruners first)
  8. Christmas trees (chop up with pruners first, or use a wood chipper, if you have one…)
  9. Evergreen garlands (chop up with pruners first)

  1. Fur from the dog or cat brush
  2. Droppings and bedding from your rabbit, gerbil, hamster, etc.
  3. Newspaper/droppings from the bottom of the bird or snake cage
  4. Feathers
  5. Horse, cow or goat manure
  6. Alfalfa hay or pellets (usually fed to rabbits, gerbils, etc.)
  7. Dry dog or cat food, fish pellets

Just imagine if all of us kept so many things out of the landfills and returned their nutrients to the earth?


For a truly sustainable future that our great-grandchildren can thrive in, this is what we will need to do, or we will deplete our precious soils into dust. Good thing it is such an easy and frugal thing to do!


Original article and pictures take http://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/100-things-you-can-compost site


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