Things you didn’t know you could compost (or didn’t think to):

Composting is a great way to improve your garden and do your bit to reduce waste. You could dramatically reduce the waste that leaves your property by composting it in your backyard.

A good, balanced Compost heap is made up of an even mix of carbon and nitrogen materials. Carbon (dry) materials are leaves, twigs, newspapers, cardboard etc and the nitrogen materials (wet) consist of kitchen scraps and garden waste. In your compost bin, layer carbon products with nitrogen products and check the moisture of the pile, adding more water if it is too dry and more carbon products if it is too wet. Ideally, your compost should feel moist but not wet and regular aerating will help it to break down quicker.

So, what are some things around the house that you can compost? Just about all natural products can be put in your compost bin. For large items, they should be broken down before you add them to the bin. This allows them to break down quicker.

Some things you can compost that you may not have thought of:

  1. Toothpicks, bamboo skewers and bamboo toothbrush handles (remove the bristles)
  2. Wine corks
  3. 100% cotton tampons and sanitary pads (including used)
  4. Cotton fabric scraps
  5. Hair from hairbrush, dust bunnies and contents of vacuum (be sure to remove anything that isn’t organic)
  6. Nail clippings
  7. Latex balloons (must be latex only)
  8. Droppings from herbivorous pet such as rabbits and hamsters.
  9. Pet hair
  10. Crepe paper decorations
  11. Old loofahs (natural and cut up)

As you can see, there is a large amount of material that you can compost. You’ll also find that once you start diverting more to your compost, there’s no need for bin bags! Just wash your bin out with a teaspoon of All-in-1 Concentrate after emptying directly into your curb side garbage bin to keep it smelling fresh & leave it in the sun to dry out. Check with your local council if it is a requirement to contain your garbage before putting it out for collection and if so, you can opt for a newspaper liner to wrap it instead.

If you live in an apartment and do not have the luxury of loads of space, a Bokashi bin (or similar) is a great alternative and achieves the same result. These work on the same principles however you won’t be able to direct as much from your trash because they simply aren’t as big. These are best used to put your wet food scraps in and will give you a nutrient rich “juice” which can then be used to water your houseplants. The only downside is that you will need to find a garden or patch of earth to bury the organic matter in once full.

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