Start reducing household waste that you are sending to the landfill and create a valuable resource right in your own backyard by composting. It improves your soil quality and has numerous other benefits. Plus, the whole process is actually quite fascinating. It's nature's form of recycling that you can play a crucial role in!
Get started with the Composting 101 Infographic below and download this free printable outlining what you can and can't compost so everyone in your home knows what to compost and what not to.
(Text-based version with more information below)
What is Composting?
It’s the biological process of turning organic waste into organic fertilizer which requires a mixture of C02 (air), H20 (water), C (Carbon), and N (Nitrogen)
Why Should I Compost?
- To reduce waste to the landfill
- Improve your soil, plant growth and yield
- Save money on other fertilizers
- To use less water. Compost helps with moisture retention.
What can I compost?
You can compost the following organic material classified as "GREEN" material (rich in nitrogen):
- Fruit and veggie scraps (except citrus peels & onion)
- Coffee grounds
- Tea bags (if made with natural materials)
- Loose leaf tea
- Soy/rice/almond or coconut milk
- Cooked rice or pasta
- Grass clippings
- Leaves trimmed from houseplants
- Pits from fruit (cut up so they don’t sprout)
You can also compost the following organic material classified as "BROWN" material (rich in carbon):
- Yard waste (dead leaves, small branches, etc.)
- Sawdust/wood chips from untreated wood
- Uncoated paper products (ripped up)
- Crushed eggshells
- Dry cereal and breads
- Nut shells
- 100% cotton balls
- Dryer lint
- 100% Latex products (balloons, etc)
- Uncoated cardboard (ripped up)
- Wine corks (chopped up)
What cannot be composted?
Avoid putting this material in your compost bin:
- Fish, meat and whole eggs
- Dairy products
- Citrus peels (too acidic)
- Onions (too acidic)
- Dog and cat poop
- Coated paper products
- Cooking oil
- Stickers (on fruit peels)
- Coal fire ash
- Treated wood
- Large branches
- Synthetic fertilizer
How do I get started with composting?
Here are the steps to start composting:
- Make a box/bin or purchase a compost bin and set up on well-drained soil, near a water source.
- Add a mixture of brown material (rich in carbon) to the base and green material (rich in nitrogen) on top. Add in some existing compost or potting soil to help get things started.
- Keep it moist but not soaking wet.
- Keep it moving. For the composting process to work, it needs air so if you don’t have a box that does this for you, turn the pile every week.
- Your compost is ready when it looks and feels like soil.