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Embrace Earth’s Dirt! COMPOSTING 101



This week on One Less Bag we are tackling the ins and outs of composting, something you may or may not be familiar with. Before we get into the nitty gritty, let's break it down.


Composting is nature's way of recycling organic materials and it’s an age-old practice that has been around for hundreds of years. It's the process of decomposing organic matter like fruit and vegetable scraps, eggshells, coffee grounds, leaves, and grass clippings into a rich soil amendment known as compost. Composting isn't just about reducing waste (although that's a big plus!). It's also about giving back to the earth. 


In this blog, we will give you all the information you need to get your composting like a pro! Let’s start out with the basics by giving you the supplies you will need to get started.


Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

You'll need a compost bin or pile (think of it as a mini compost kingdom), some brown (carbon-rich) material like dried leaves or shredded paper, and some green (nitrogen-rich) material like fruit and veggie scraps.


Step 2: Mix It Up

Layer your brown and green materials in your compost bin or pile like you're building a delicious lasagna. Add water to keep it moist but not soggy, and give it a good mix every now and then to speed up the decomposition process.


Step 3: Wait for the Magic

Composting is like a slow-cooked stew – it takes time. Be patient, and before you know it, you'll have rich, crumbly compost ready to nourish your plants and help them thrive!


Now that we’ve settled what you need to begin your compost, you are probably wondering what you can and cannot compost. Not everything can be thrown into your compost, so check out our handy cheat sheet to help you sort through compostables and non-compostables. 

COMPOSTABLES

NON-COMPOSTABLES

  • Fruit and veggie scraps (make sure those produce stickers are not on any peels!) 

  • Eggshells

  • Coffee grounds and filters

  • Tea leaves and tea bags (ensure the tea bags are made of compostable materials)

  • Yard trimmings (e.g., grass clippings, leaves, twigs)

  • Plant trimmings and prunings

  • Straw and hay

  • Shredded paper (e.g., newspaper, cardboard)

  • Paper towels and napkins (unbleached and free of chemicals)

  • Sawdust (from untreated wood)

  • Wood chips and bark

  • Dry leaves

  • Pine needles

  • Corn cobs and husks

  • Nutshells (e.g., walnut shells, almond shells)

  • Seaweed and kelp

  • Cotton and wool scraps (natural fibers)

  • Hair and fur (from pets or human hair)

  • Fireplace ashes (in small quantities and from untreated wood)

  • Dryer lint (from natural fibers)

  • Paper towels and napkins

  • Meat and fish scraps

  • Dairy products (e.g., cheese, yogurt, milk)

  • Bones

  • Fats, oils, and grease

  • Diseased plants

  • Weeds with mature seeds

  • Coal or charcoal ash

  • Non-compostable paper products (e.g., glossy paper, colored paper, receipts)

  • Plastic or synthetic materials (e.g., bags, utensils, packaging)

  • Metal objects (e.g., aluminum foil, nails, cans)

  • Glass

  • Glossy or coated cardboard

  • Chemically-treated wood or sawdust

  • Synthetic fabrics (e.g., polyester, nylon)

  • Disposable diapers or sanitary products

  • Cigarette butts and ashes

  • Invasive plants

  • Pesticide-treated plants or grass clippings

  • Large branches or logs

Remember to chop or shred larger items to speed up the composting process, and ensure a good balance of green (nitrogen-rich) and brown (carbon-rich) materials for optimal decomposition. If you’re ever unsure if an item is compostable, we like to say “when in doubt, leave it out!” Stick to composting items from the "compostables" list to avoid any stinky surprises in your compost pile.


The Power of Home-Compostable Products


Now, let's talk about a game-changer: home-compostable products. Say goodbye to single-use plastics and hello to a zero-waste lifestyle! Home-compostable products, like bagasse utensils, food packaging, and bags (hello PlasTechFree!), completely break down into nutrient rich compost when properly disposed of, reducing landfill waste and pollution.


Home-compostable bags are the superheroes of the bag world. Made from plant-based materials like cornstarch or sugarcane, these bags are designed to break down completely into compost when properly disposed of. That means no more plastic pollution, no more guilt trips every time you reach for a bag – just pure, guilt-free convenience.


By making the switch to home-compostable products, you're not just reducing your environmental footprint – you're also sending a powerful message to businesses and policymakers that sustainable alternatives are the positive way forward.


So, are you ready to join the composting revolution? Let's roll up our sleeves, get our hands dirty (in the best possible way), and turn waste into wonder, one compost pile at a time. Together, we can make a difference for our planet and create a greener, healthier future for generations to come!


Happy Composting! 🌱🌍✨



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