What to compost

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! (G) refers to items that are mostly “green” or nitrogenous, or that decompose very quickly; (B) refers to items that are mostly “brown” or carbonaceous, or that take much longer to decompose.

100 Things You Can Compost

 

From the Kitchen

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

From the Bathroom

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

From the Laundry Room

  1. Dryer lint (from 100% natural fabrics only!) (B)
  2. Old cotton clothing and jeans (ripped or cut into small pieces) (B)
  3. Cotton fabric scraps (shredded) (B)
  4. Old wool clothing (ripped or cut into small pieces) (B)
  5. Old cotton towels and sheets (shredded) (B)

From the Office

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

Around the House

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

Pet-Related

  1. Fur from the dog or cat brush (B)
  2. Droppings and bedding from your herbivorous pet rabbit, gerbil, hamster, etc. (Do NOT use dog or cat poop.) (G)
  3. Newspaper/droppings from the bottom of the bird or snake cage (G)
  4. Feathers (B)
  5. Horse, cow or goat manure (G)
  6. Alfalfa hay or pellets (usually fed to rabbits, gerbils, etc.) (B)
  7. Dry dog or cat food, fish pellets (B)

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