Tuesday, August 18, 2009

75 Things You Can Compost

From Planet Green comes a great list of 75 Things You Can Compost. I've composted quite a few things on this list, though never a used condom. I'm not very squeamish, but that pushes the limits a bit. Here are the things regularly composted at our house. My list isn't as comprehensive as the one on Planet Green, in part because we recycle our clean paper waste and in part because most of our food scraps go to our chickens. We compost their manure, though, so the food scraps eventually make it to the compost pile.

  • yard waste, grass clippings, etc. - a/k/a the usual
  • vegetable food scraps that don't go to the chickens
  • napkins
  • tissue paper
  • newspaper used to wash windows (the extra ammonia is a good source of nitrogen, right?)
  • used paper plates
  • egg shells
  • dead houseplants and their soil
  • shredded paper (we shred anything an identity thief might find useful)
  • jack o'lanterns
  • nut shells, coconut hulls, etc.
  • the disgusting sludge I clean out of the sink strainer (ewwwww)
  • pencil shavings
  • dryer lint - but be sure to bury it in the pile. The first time I composted dryer lint, I felt very virtuous. About 2 days later we had a big windstorm, and I found dryer lint all over my front yard. Ugh.
  • cedar shavings from the bottom of the corn snake's tank. I'm not sure it's really proper to compost them, because reptile poop contains salmonella, but I figure a) people compost chicken manure, which often contains salmonella, b) the snake smell might deter the giant rats (think ROUS's from The Princess Bride) that often seek food and shelter in our compost bins, and c) we don't eat our compost.

After one of my Facebook friends commented that her husband bleeds on the compost pile when he cuts his finger (blood is a good source of nitrogen, right?), I thought maybe I should have composted my husband's bloody bandages from his last surgery. But I'm pretty sure that falls into the same category as the used condoms: compostable, yes, but it pushes the limits a bit.