8 Things You Didn't Know You Can Compost

If you want a flourishing garden that you can enjoy, you will want to consider adding the art of composting to your gardening routine. Compost piles are just one great addition that any homeowner can add to their home and garden. Adding compost to your soil will help aid plant growth because it will create a bed of nutrients for your plants. There is a reason composted soil has been nicknamed “black gold.” This gardening gold will help your home-garden flourish.

It may seem intimidating at first. Composting seems like a lot of work. If you’re not already doing it, you may have a picture in your mind of the couples on HGTV’s “Tiny Houses” who compost and think to yourself, “that’s not me”. You don’t have to go off the deep end with your lifestyle to add compost to your routine. In fact, you likely have everything you need in your own home - you just don’t know it.

Here are some uncommon, everyday items that you can compost:  

1. Wood Shavings and Sawdust
If you, or someone in your family, is into woodworking of any sort, you’ve likely stepped into your garage and found your feet covered in sawdust a time or two. Instead of being frustrated by the mess (and tracking it into your house), consider sweeping it up and adding it to your compost! You’ll have gorgeous, healthy plants instead of footprints all over your hardwood floors.

2. Dry Cat or Dog Food
Any pet owner knows the frustration of finding the right food for their furry friend. Even if you think you’ve found that perfect fit, your dog or cat could suddenly get sick and need a new food to support their diet. Instead of tossing the bag of uneaten food, add it to your compost pile! It’s organic and a great source of goodness for your garden!

3. Dryer Lint
Yep, even the never-ending task of laundry has a benefit (besides clean clothes)! Did you know that your dryer lint can be added to your compost? Every time you throw a load of laundry into your dryer, you’re likely scraping the lint away to avoid a fire hazard and simply throwing it away. Rather than adding another item to your trash can, throw it in with your compost and watch your garden thrive. If your clothes are made from natural fibers (cotton), the lint is compostable. After all, cotton is a plant!

4. Human and Pet Hair
Do you have a hairy pet? How often do you clean out your own hairbrush and toss the hair into the trash thinking nothing of it? It’s a normal reaction to just discard hair (because who wants to keep hair around?), but human and pet hair can actually be composted! So, next time you have to sweep up a bunch of dog hair, get excited because it will mean better crops!

5. Expired Jelly
Like many food items, that old jar of jelly in the back of the fridge can be used to feed your plants. You could toss it and call it a loss, but adding it to your soil is a much better use of it. Just be sure to recycle the glass jar it came in!

6. Old Wine
Remember that bottle of wine your friends gave you as a hostess gift, but it wasn’t your favorite flavor? Or how about that half-drunk bottle that has been sitting in your fridge for a month? Instead of letting the wine (that you’re definitely not going to be drinking) take up valuable space in your home, add the liquid to your compost! Even your plants enjoy a good drink of wine now and then.

7. Pizza Boxes
Pizza boxes are tough to throw out. Some recycling companies accept them, others don’t. Not to mention, they are big and take up a lot of room in the trash or recycling bin. So, consider shredding them up into your compost. Pizza boxes are made of cardboard, which is a great source of nutrients for your plants. Bonus points if you have any leftover crust to add as well!

8. Your Old Christmas Tree
If you get a real tree every year for Christmas, you know the pain of having to drag it to the curb or take it somewhere to be discarded. What was once a symbol of joy and family is now a chore that’s leaving pine needles seemingly everywhere. If you’re able to chop up the wood (like in a wood chipper) you can actually give the tree new life by adding it to your compost pile! The tree has a lot of joy left to provide if it’s given the right opportunity.

Composting doesn’t have to be a gross/dirty task. It’s truly as easy as looking at the things in your home that you discard anyway and finding out if they can be used to feed your garden. Chances are good you have more than enough organic material that can be used!

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