We all know about tossing fruit peels and veggie scraps in the compost bin – and if you’re savvy enough to invest in your own fab Bokashi composting kit, you’ll know it doesn’t end there. Stale bread, mouldy cheese, coffee grounds, tea bags and even meat; there’s hardly anything your Bokashi bin can’t handle. It really is an eco-geek’s dream come true – a convenient, completely odour-free indoor composting system that works like a charm, and produces a nutrient-rich compost tea you can use to nourish your indoor plants.
If you’re a compost-crazy greenie like the folks on our Faithful team, we know you’re always on the lookout for even more ways to cut down on your household waste – which is why we’ve put together a nifty list of unexpected things around your home that you might not have known are compostable!
Old wine and beer are both compostable – in fact, they even help to encourage decomposition. Beer in particular is full of nitrogen and rich in yeast, adding some really tasty nourishment for all those busy microbes in the compost pile. Next time you’re stuck with old, half-empty cans and bottles after a party or picnic, you can simply tip the contents onto your compost heap, then pop the containers in your recycling bin. Don’t forget, you can compost wine corks as well.
Human hair and pet hair is fully compostable, and another great source of nitrogen. Next time you’re cleaning out your hairbrush, add all those stray strands to the compost heap. You can also add nail clippings, provided they’re free of any lacquer or polish.
Nitrogen-rich composting materials are known as “greens” – but don’t forget your compost heap also needs plenty of “browns” (carbon-rich ingredients that are slow to rot). These include any sort of wood and paper product, provided it has no glossy coating. Old newspapers, pine cones, sawdust and paper bags are a few obvious examples – but there are so many lesser-known browns you might be missing! Toothpicks, skewers, used matches and even pencil shavings from the office are compostable.
Your old vegetable sponges and natural loofahs can be composted, provided you’ve been using natural body wash instead of harsh synthetic soaps. Same goes for cotton swaps and paper towels, just so long as they haven’t been used to wipe up any toxic chemicals (but then we hardly need to tell you green beauties that, do we?)
Lint from inside your tumble dryer or vacuum cleaner bag can also be composted! Clothing fibres like cotton and wool are good carbon-filled “browns”. Just use your discretion and make sure there’s not too much synthetic stuff in there.
Another great example of nitrogen-rich greens. If you have any old jams, marmalade, herbs or spices that have passed their expiration date, mix the contents into your compost before recycling the bottles. (And of course any of our Faithful fans will tell you, preservative-free, organic condiments are always best!)
If you’re an animal-loving household, rest assured you’ll have plenty of additional and unexpected compostable stuff at your disposal! Dry pet food, rawhide dog chews and stale catnip are all welcome additions to your compost heap (be sure to bury these well to keep pests at bay). Sweep up any loose fur or feathers and add them to the mix. Wood-chip bedding used for hamsters, gerbils and rabbits can also be composted after use. Even goldfish food is compostable – fancy that!
Is there anything we’ve missed? We’d love to hear your composting tips!