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17 Things That You Can Actually Compost

Compost is a great natural alternative to chemical fertilizer, (the excess of which runs into waterways and can be harmful to fish and other aquatic species). Using compost on your garden will help to increase nutrients in your soil, ward off plant diseases, and improve soil structure.

Composting also cuts down on food waste, which is a big issue around the world. It's the second largest source of methane in our atmosphere and makes up 40% of the average curbside garbage bin. Starting a compost bin or pile for your food and yard scraps can divert 30% of waste away from landfill!

Good compost is a delicate balance of carbon and nitrogen, or greens and browns. Greens are your fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, grass clippings and browns are things like leaves, straw and shredded paper.

Here are another 17 "ingredients" for your compost bin that may surprise you!

Old toothpicks and golf tees (as long as they're made from wood, not plastic)

Stale bread and toast crusts that the kids won't eat

Ice-cream sticks (wood)

Old shoelaces (be sure they're made from a natural fibre such as cotton, and remove any metal or plastic ends before they go in the compost)

After-dinner plate scrapings (but avoid meat or dairy)

Old cardboard business cards

Stale marshmallows

Hard-as-a-rock jelly beans and other sweets

Fabric scraps and thread snips from your latest craft project (natural fibres only: cotton, wool and felt scraps are perfect)

Toenail and fingernail clippings (ew but true)

Pencil sharpenings

Pulp from your juicer

Dust bunnies/fluff that gathers under your bed

Dead insects (finally, somewhere to lay to rest those 10,000 dead flies discovered in the attic)

Rabbit, hamster, guinea pig and bird cage cleanouts (but not dog or cat droppings)

Used matches

Animal and human hair (is it time to clean out your hairbrush?)

What's an unusual compostable material that you've come across? Let us know your top tips in the comments below!

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READ THIS NEXT: Everything you need to know about recycling

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