Home Improvement

Let’s Clear the Air Around What to Compost or Avoid!

Any small step that saves the environment and financial stress deserves to become a part of your habit. Some households have realized that kitchens create plenty of waste, but all of that doesn’t need to go to the landfill. Likewise, there are ways to handle other items also responsibly. And it’s nothing but composting. You can use this method to save money, enhance soil quality, and reduce your environmental waste load. If you want to try this path, it will help to know what materials are compostable. Generally, most organic products are suitable. You can segregate your kitchen waste and others more mindfully. Let’s dig into the options now.

Veggie and fruit scraps

Installing a food waste disposal unit under the sink is a good decision. It grinds the food waste for easy discharge into the sewer, avoiding the landfill pile-up. With this, one more thing you can do is compost vegetable and fruit leftovers. Banana skin, potato skin, avocado seed, and other bits can go to your compost bin. Make sure the scraps are about 2 inches in chunks or smaller. Tinier pieces will decompose quickly. However, tomatoes, citrus fruits, pickles, and other high-acidity items require careful handling as these can harm the compost’s good bacteria, affecting the decomposition process. That’s why it’s better to restrict their quantity in the compost.

Lawn clippings

You can add lawn trimmings to your compost bin, but studies suggest leaving them on the lawn. Nitrogen gas from them will eventually enter the yard back, reducing your clipping effort. However, if the mowed grass pieces are longer and unsightly, you can compost them instead of sending them to the landfill. While throwing them away in the bin, spread them equally. Toss the compost from time to time to avoid mold and sogginess issues. Clumpy grass cuttings can become moist and flat soon, with air circulation also impacted. Due to this, healthy microbes may die, making it difficult for the compost to decompose. The final heap will also need more quality.


They contain loads of nutrients. Hence, returning them to the garden after composting them can be the best. You can treat them as brown waste or green waste. The fall leaves that are dry, crispy, and dull are brown waste, while the fresh, moist leaves form green waste.

Wood shavings and sawdust

Because wood flakes are rich in carbon, you must practice caution while dealing with them. Add the proper amount of sawdust, yard waste, and other nitrogen-rich materials to maintain balance. If these don’t contain any chemicals, you can toss them in the compost.


If you didn’t know, organic material like hair is compostable for its rich nutrients. However, don’t throw the clumps. Spread strands in the bin to help them break down quickly. You can compost them all, whether you recovered them from your hairbrush or the shower drain. Some people give this waste to local hair salons and pet salons for composting.

Bird feathers

Feathers can have decorative use or can make good quality pillows and blankets. You may get tempted to wear your DIY hat and try something. But it’s better to practice caution, especially if these feathers are from wild birds. You may need to find out if these are contaminated. You cannot compost them as well because of the harmful effect on the compost piles. Do you raise chickens? There will be loose feathers all over the ground. You can compost them quickly as they tend to be rich in nitrogen. In a couple of months, they will decompose.

Non-vegetarian animal waste

You can add animal manure to the compost bin even if they eat meat. Still, it requires some care and attention. The pathogens in the non-vegetarian manure may not die unless the compost reaches high temperatures. To avoid this risk, you may stay away from this matter. However, you can feel free about chicken manure. The nutrient-rich waste requires composting to destroy its nitrogen element before going to the soil. Else, it can burn the fertilizer. Check the temperature of the chicken manure to ensure it is hot enough. You can use a compost thermometer for this purpose.

Diseased plants

You can discard diseased plants from your lawn without delay, as compositing may not work. Instead, the disease germs can affect the garden area when you add the decomposed pile to your soil. So, stay away from this and save your garden.

Miscellaneous items

Fat, dairy, meat, and bone may not be suitable for composting for two logics – 1) risk of spreading disease, and 2) risk of attracting pests like raccoons and rats. The diseased items can make your whole compost pile useless. Also, these products are attractive for scavengers, which can cause severe damage to your bin for food.

Colored newspaper

Although most newspapers use non-toxic inks, you must be careful with color newspapers as they contain a thin waxing coat. These may break down more slowly than black-and-white printed papers, but they will dissolve better. Still, the decomposition process can suffer. To avoid risks, shred them well for easy decomposition. If you need to compost your waste faster, keep these aside for recycling bins.

Leftover bread and eggshells

You can put a smaller quantity of eggshells in the garbage disposal for grinding. However, pests love them. If your compost bin has a lock, you may not have to worry about these nasty little things. Otherwise, it’s better to avoid adding them to the compost bin. You want to avoid inviting trouble for your lawn and house.

Your garden, kitchen and the entire house will thank you when you take care of the waste. Above all, the whole environment will feel a little less burdened because these practices reduce the load from landfills, which produce toxic gases and pollute the surroundings. So, do your bit and manage your household garbage as smartly as possible. These small endeavors don’t consume much of your time; you only have to tweak your waste disposal habit a bit. It’s good for you and your family’s health.

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