Food & Drink

Compost a Summer Must?

Good morning! I’m about ready to begin summer vacation and lately, as we’ve been eating cleaner around here, I’ve realized we are throwing away so many compostable trash items. When Justin and I first bought our house, we composted. He built me a little compost box and I was vigilant with it for about … oh I don’t know … a summer? lol. However, with more greens going in the trash and more egg shells stinking up the joint, I’ve decided it’s time to get back to composting what we can.

I believe in using less and trashing less. I hate when I throw away food that we didn’t end up eating, but it happens. We live in an imperfect world and I’m an imperfect housewife/person. But we can always try again. The good news is that each morning gives us a second chance to do better than the day before, and you don’t want to waste that chance … ehem … by wasting more than we need to.  So today, I’m going to start the process over again.

By composting I hope to accomplish a few things:

  1. Less trash in the trash and landfills
  2. Setting a good example for Lydia
  3. Maybe some compost for a possible garden next year?
  4. Feeling better about the waste that we produce

You can clearly compost too! If you’ve never tried before, then I’m including a list below of ingredients that you can compost. Rule of thumb: if it came from the ground, then you can probably compost it. Second rule: put that compost pile downwind from where you might be standing 😉 I found the perfect sized plastic tub at our local Bulk Foods Store. It was only ten cents! So I won’t feel bad if I end up having to recycle it due to smell and get a new one. Try asking at your bulk store or bakery. They may have old tubs they plan to just throw away.

Are you ready for this? I found  a list of 162 things that can be composted! I had no idea! Some of these items might now apply to you, but I bet many will. I hope you’ll check out the list and remember that by composting or simply by remembering to reduce, recycle, and compost we can make the world cleaner. And gosh darn it, I think that’s important! ❤

Paper napkins
Freezer-burned vegetables
Burlap coffee bags
Pet hair
Potash rock (???) lol
Post-it notes
Freezer-burned fruit
Wood chips
Bee droppings
Lint from behind refrigerator
Popcorn (unpopped, ‘Old Maids,’ too)
Freezer-burned fish
Old spices
Pine needles (why did they have these??)
Matches (paper or wood)
Seaweed and kelp
Chicken manure
Leather dust
Old, dried up and faded herbs
Bird cage cleanings
Paper towels
Brewery wastes (why were they wasting anything from a brewery?)
Grass clippings
Hoof and horn meal  (again … ???)
Molasses residue
Potato peelings
Unpaid bills (yes!)
Gin trash (wastes from cotton plants)
Rabbit manure
Hair clippings from the barber
Stale bread
Coffee grounds
Wood ashes
Tea bags and grounds
Shredded newspapers
Egg shells
Cow manure
Winter rye
Grapefruit rinds
Pea vines
Houseplant trimmings
Old pasta
Grape wastes
Garden soil
Powdered/ground phosphate rock
Corncobs (takes a long time to decompose)
Jell-o (gelatin)
Blood meal
Winery wastes  (why??? I’d never waste this!)
Spanish moss
Fish meal
Aquarium plants
Beet wastes
Sunday comics
Harbor mud
Felt waste
Wheat straw
Peat moss
Kleenex tissues
Milk (in small amounts)
Soy milk
Tree bark
Starfish (dead ones!) (I actually have one of these from my last beach moment! No way would I toss it!)
Melted ice cream
Flower petals
Pumpkin seeds
Q-tips (cotton swabs: cardboard, not plastic sticks)
Expired flower arrangements
Elmer’s glue
BBQ’d fish skin
Bone meal
Citrus wastes
Stale potato chips
Rhubarb stems
Old leather gardening gloves
Tobacco wastes
Bird guano
Hog manure
Dried jellyfish
Wheat bran
Guinea pig cage cleanings
Nut shells
Cattail reeds
Granite dust
Moldy cheese
Shredded cardboard
Dolomite lime
Cover crops
Quail eggs (OK, I needed a ‘Q’ word)

Rapeseed meal
Bat guano
Fish scraps
Tea bags (black and herbal)
Apple cores
Electric razor trimmings
Kitchen wastes
Outdated yogurt
Toenail clippings
Shrimp shells
Crab shells
Lobster shells
Pie crust
Leather wallets
Onion skins
Bagasse (sugar cane residue)
Watermelon rinds
Date pits
Goat manure
Olive pits
Peanut shells
Burned oatmeal (sorry, Mom)
Lint from clothes dryer
Bread crusts
Cooked rice
River mud
Tofu (it’s only soybeans, man!)
Wine gone bad  (I don’t let this go bad.)
Banana peels
Fingernail and toenail clippings
Chocolate cookies (These don’t go to waste either.)
Wooden toothpicks
Moss from last year’s hanging baskets
Stale breakfast cereal
‘Dust bunnies’ from under the bed
Pencil shavings
Wool socks
Artichoke leaves
Leather watch bands
Fruit salad
Tossed salad (now THERE’s tossing it!)
Brown paper bags
Soggy Cheerios
Theater tickets
Lees from making wine
Burned toast
Animal fur
Horse manure
Vacuum cleaner bag contents
Coconut hull fiber
Old or outdated seeds
Macaroni and cheese
Liquid from canned vegetables
Liquid from canned fruit
Old beer
Wedding bouquets  (oh 😦 )
Greeting card envelopes
Snow (?)
Dead bees and flies
Horse hair
Peanut butter sandwiches
Dirt from soles of shoes, boots
Fish bones
Ivory soap scraps
Spoiled canned fruits and vegetables
Produce trimmings from grocery store
Cardboard cereal boxes (shredded)
Grocery receipts

This list came from Marion Owen, Co-author of Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul.

Perhaps you’ve already been composting, what things go into your compost pile? I’d love to know ❤ … maybe…. 🙂

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