Composting can be confusing, with the never-ending options of components you can add to your pile. However, to balance the composition of your compost, you’ll need a good mix of nitrogen-rich wet greens, and carbon-rich dry browns. Here are some items you can easily obtain to add into your pile of compost.
A staple brown, newspapers will add carbon to your compost pile. Be sure to shred them first because a bundled mess of newspapers will hinder the necessary flow of oxygen.
This is another readily available item you can add to your compost pile, as we all know how quickly a household can go through a carton of eggs.
Adding eggshells to compost adds calcium to the makeup of your heap. This important nutrient, when added to soil, helps the plants to build cell walls and grow better and faster.
Wash them before adding into your compost so that you don’t attract any critters and reduces the risk of disease which raw eggs pose.
3. Dried leaves
Another commonly used carbon-rich brown, dead leaves can be easily found around your house. However, you do need to shred them before adding them to your pile. Layer them with fresh grass clippings or other greens, and moistened with water.
4. Fruit and vegetable trimmings
Scraps like cores, peels, skins, and stalks from vegetables and fruits are some other things you can compost instead of simply disposing them. You should keep them buried deep in your compost heap to prevent pests from appearing.
5. Tea bags
Compared to loose tea leaves, tea bags are more complicated to compost because they can be made up of a variety of materials, and not all of them may be natural fibres.
If you drink Nilufer Tea's organic and pesticide-free herbal teas, you can empty the contents into your compost pile and discard the bag.
6. Cereal boxes and other cardboard materials
It is critical that all the cardboard you use for your compost is shredded into small pieces because large pieces take longer to decompose.
Remember to turn the pile every five days to speed up the decomposition. In six to eight months, the compost should be ready to use.
7. Plate scrapings (excluding meat and bones)
Compost in a DIY bin typically doesn't get hot enough to break down meat or bones. So if you do want to use plate scrapings in your compost pile, avoid these items.
8. Juice pulp
If you’re the type who juices a lot, you can actually salvage the skins, peels and pulp for your compost pile. Not only does the fibrous pulp break down quickly, but it enriches your compost with a variety of nutrients too.
9. Used paper towels and napkins
Paper towels and napkins are considered carbon-rich browns and can be used as a substitute for dried leaves. Make sure they’re not overly greasy so they can decompose quickly. This is because oil and grease reduces the amount of air in your compost, eventually leading to the growth of anaerobic bacteria, which creates an unpleasant stench.
10. Hair (human or otherwise)
Yes, you can actually compost hair! After all, it is simply protein filaments and thus, natural. Spread the hair out so that the larger surface area can help it to break down faster and easier. It’ll take a bit more than a month for it to break down enough before you can add it to your garden soil.
11. Pencil shavings
Most pencils are made from cedar, a wood that insects hate. Using pencil shavings in your compost pile and subsequently soil therefore, prevents pests from appearing.
12. Latex balloons
Latex is a biodegradable material. So if you have tons of them lying around after a party, toss them in your pile – they’ll be gone within six months.
13. Pet droppings
If you’re set on minimising your household’s waste output, you may want to try composting your pet’s droppings. However, if you do, remember never to use it in any garden that is growing edible vegetables and herbs. Let it compost for a long time so as to kill off as many harmful microorganisms as possible.
Composting doesn’t have to be a confounding process, so get to it, and you’ll be doing a great service to the environment!