Creating Sustainable Compost: What to Include

Hey there, eco-conscious folks! If you’re passionate about sustainable development and taking steps to reduce waste, you’ve probably considered starting a compost pile. Composting is not only great for the environment, but it’s also a fantastic way to enrich your garden’s soil. So, let’s dive into what you should put in your composter for optimal results.

The Building Blocks of Compost

Composting is essentially a process of converting organic materials into nutrient-rich, dark, crumbly soil conditioner. To create successful compost, you need the right mix of ingredients. Let’s break it down:

Greens and Browns

The magic combination in composting is the balance between “greens” and “browns.”

  • Greens: These are nitrogen-rich materials like kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, and fresh yard waste. They provide protein for the microorganisms that break down your compost.
  • Browns: These are carbon-rich materials like dried leaves, straw, and newspaper. Browns provide energy for those microorganisms.

Air and Water

For the decomposition process to happen efficiently, microorganisms need both air and water. Ensure that your compost pile is well-aerated and maintains the consistency of a damp sponge. Turning your compost occasionally helps mix the materials and introduce oxygen.

What to Put In

Now that we’ve covered the basics let’s talk about what specific items you can toss into your compost bin.

Kitchen Scraps

  1. Fruit and Vegetable Peels: Don’t toss those carrot peels or apple cores. They’re excellent compost material.
  2. Coffee Grounds: Used coffee grounds are a rich source of nitrogen. Learn more about recycling coffee grounds in compost.
  3. Eggshells: Crushed eggshells add calcium to your compost.

Yard Waste

  1. Grass Clippings: After mowing your lawn, those grass clippings can go right into the compost.
  2. Leaves: Dried leaves provide essential carbon.
  3. Weeds (without seeds): Be cautious with this one. Weeds can be composted, but make sure they haven’t gone to seed, or you’ll be nurturing new weeds in your compost. Read about best practices for composting weeds.

Paper and Cardboard

  1. Newspaper: Shred it before adding it to your compost.
  2. Cardboard: Cardboard breaks down more slowly, so cut it into smaller pieces or soak it before composting.

Wood and Sawdust

  1. Wood Chips and Sawdust: These can be composted in moderation, but they’re high in carbon, so balance them with nitrogen-rich materials.

Natural Fibers

  1. Cotton and Wool: Old cotton and wool clothing, as long as they’re natural and not blended with synthetic fibers, can be composted.

Stale Bread and Pasta

  1. Bread and Pasta: Stale or moldy bread and pasta can also find a new purpose in your compost bin.

Natural Materials

  1. Hair and Fur: Whether it’s pet hair or human hair, it’s compostable.
  2. Wooden Toothpicks and Matches: These small wooden items are suitable for composting.

Small Yard Debris

  1. Twigs and Small Branches: Chop them into small pieces to help with decomposition.


  1. Animal Manure: If you have access to well-aged animal manure (not from carnivores), it can be a valuable addition to your compost.

What to Avoid

While many items can be composted, some should be kept out of your compost bin:

  • Meat and Dairy: These can attract pests and create odors.
  • Oily or Greasy Foods: Fats and oils can slow down the composting process.
  • Diseased Plants: If your plants have diseases, it’s best not to compost them to avoid spreading the disease.
  • Pet Waste: Pet waste may contain harmful pathogens.
  • Synthetic Materials: Plastics, rubber, and anything synthetic should never be composted.

Tips for Successful Composting

To make your composting efforts even more successful, keep these tips in mind:

  1. Size Matters: Chop or shred materials into smaller pieces. Smaller particles decompose faster.
  2. Layer It: Alternate between layers of greens and browns to maintain that essential balance.
  3. Stay Moist but Not Soggy: Keep your compost pile as moist as a wrung-out sponge. If it gets too wet, add more browns; if too dry, add more greens.
  4. Aerate Regularly: Turn your compost pile every few weeks to introduce oxygen.
  5. Patience Is a Virtue: Composting takes time. Depending on various factors, you can expect finished compost in a few months to a year.
  6. Use Finished Compost: Once your compost is dark, crumbly, and earthy-smelling, it’s ready to be used to enrich your garden soil.

Closing Thoughts

Composting is a fantastic way to reduce waste, enrich your garden, and contribute to sustainable development. By knowing what to put in your composter and following a few simple guidelines, you can turn your kitchen and yard waste into nutrient-rich compost that will benefit both your plants and the environment. Happy composting! 🌱


This post is a continuation of Part 2 on COMPOSTING: SIMPLE AND NATURAL WAY TO SAVE OUR PLANET. Lately, in part 1, we have gone through:



In part 2, we covered the following:




In this final part, we will see:





Garden waste can be composted. However, grass clippings are often too much material for a composter. The solution? Grasscycling, which involves leaving the grass in place after mowing, is an environmentally friendly method of fertilizing the lawn. Grass clippings, which consist mainly of water, provide a vital nitrogen supply and affect soil moisture and help protect the lawn from certain diseases.

Many municipalities encourage grasscycling among their citizens through awareness campaigns. Some have even adopted regulations prohibiting the collection of grass with green waste or household garbage.

Some practical advice:

– Mow the lawn regularly, at the height of about 7 cm (3 inches) but never less than 4 cm (1.5 inches), and when the grass is dry.

– Make sure the mower blade is sharp or use a mulching blade to reduce the size of grass clippings, which increases the rate of decomposition.

– If mowing is too late, collect the grass clippings and deposit a 15-centimeter (6-inch) thickness in the compost bin or use it as mulch.


It is relatively simple to recognize a mature compost: dark brown, it looks like good soil, has a good humus smell, and you can no longer identify the residues used (except for some materials that are difficult to compost, such as eggshells).

How to use the compost?

Compost is not a fertilizer but an excellent amendment for garden soil because it nourishes the soil, improves its structure and aeration, and increases its water retention capacity. You can use it both indoors and outdoors:

– Mix in the first six inches of garden soil and use it around trees, shrubs, vegetables, and flowers.

– Mix into your plant and transplant soil (at about one-third compost by volume).

– Spread the sieved compost on the lawn after aerating it.

To speed up the process

You will quickly learn how to make compost. To improve your practice, you need to know the factors that can influence the maturation time:

– The right proportion of wet and dry matter

– The size of the residues used (the smaller the pieces used, the faster the process)

– The proper ventilation and the right degree of humidity

– The method used and the volume of material composted


You will increase your chances of success if composting is not complicated!

– Keep a re-sealable container in the kitchen in which to put your table scraps. An attractive stainless steel container placed near the sink is convenient.

– If you generate a lot of waste and you have room, use two composters: while the compost matures in one container, you use the other one every day.

– You can place residues in the compost bin all winter long. The decomposition process is slower or stops when the pile is frozen, but it starts again quickly in the spring, after a good turn.

– Empty the compost bin as much as possible in the fall to make room.

– If you don’t have a garden, you’ll be happy to donate your compost to a school or community group for use in their landscaping.

The United States is the only developed country whose waste production exceeds its recycling capacity, underscoring a lack of political will and infrastructure investment. The United States has a better recycling capacity than most countries globally, but the amount of waste produced is not treated in the same way. As responsible citizens, we need to take care of our waste, and composting is a natural and straightforward way to save our planet.

Don’t forget to share and comment on this article. Please, feel free to share your link to related posts that promote the sustainability of our planet.


This post is a continuation of Part 1 on COMPOSTING: SIMPLE AND NATURAL WAY TO SAVE OUR PLANET. Lately, we have gone through



We will now cover:





To help you choose the right composter, here are a few useful questions:

– How much space do I have?

– Is the appearance of the composter important?

– What is my budget?

– Are there any municipal bylaws that govern the use or size of composters?

– Does my city or a local organization subsidize the purchase of composters or provide composting training?

There are many models, some very elegant! Most hardware stores and garden centers carry them. But why not have one made of wood by a social economy enterprise or a local craftsman? It’s also not very complicated to make your composter.

If you have a large plot of land, you can compost “in a pile”: in a remote corner, pile the waste. Make piles and turn them regularly to activate fermentation. The natural watering and the large surface area (oxygenation) will be your advantages.

The essential characteristics of the composter

A cover to protect the compost from rain and snow and control the compost’s moisture content.

– Holes or openings to promote air circulation

– A means of removing the final product, usually a hatch at the bottom of the composter


Two types of residues to be mixed:

– Wet, rich in nitrogen (also called green matter)

– Dry, carbon-rich (also called brown matter)

To obtain an optimal maturation of the compost, mix about 1/3 wet material for 2/3 dry material.

Wet materials

Wet waste contains water, which is very useful in the process, but on its own, it settles and suffocates, generating juice spills and unpleasant odors.

– Fruit and vegetable peelings and leftovers

– Green garden waste: wilted flowers, pruning residues, mowing residues, weeds (without ripe seeds), etc.

Dry matter

Rather carbonaceous waste composts very slowly if left alone.

– Tea, herbal tea, and coffee grounds bags (with filter)

– Leftover bread, rice, pasta, legumes

– Nutshells

– Crushed eggshells (contain mineral elements and facilitate aeration)

– Dried tree leaves (they decompose faster if they are shredded)

– Dry grass

– Old potting soil

– Straw, hay, sawdust, twigs,

– Newsprint paper

– Animal hair and hair

Materials to avoid

– Meat, fish, shellfish, and bones

– Dairy products

– Fats and oils

– Plastic

– Metals

– Animal excrement and litter

– Rhubarb leaves

– Seeded or crawling weeds

– Diseased plants or foliage

– Wood ash

– Lime (lime)

– Barbecue briquettes

– Contents of the vacuum bag

– Dryer Lint

– Materials contaminated with pesticides or hazardous materials (e.g., treated wood)


Vermicomposting is the solution for people who don’t own land to set up a composter or don’t want to use their composters during the winter. This type of composting is also very popular with children!

This method involves making compost using red worms – a different kind of earthworm from the worms found in the garden – available at various locations. These worms consume and digest a phenomenal amount of waste, quickly producing rich compost.

It’s easy to make a vermicomposter. You can set it up outdoors, but you must provide an indoor space for the cold season as the worms would not survive.

The rest of the topic (below) will continue in part 3:



And the final point will cover TIPS FOR COMPOSTING

Stay posted, and don’t forget to comment and share!












The USA alone produced 292.4 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) in 2018. This means 4.9 pounds per inhabitant per day. Of the MSW generated, 69 million tons were recycled and 25 million tons composted. (the United States Environmental Protection Agency, National Overview: Facts and Figures on Materials, Wastes, and Recycling).

According to The Guardian (July 2019), the US produces far more waste and recycles far less of it than other developed countries

These figures come when the world faces a growing waste crisis in developing countries and oceans. The United States is at a crossroads, with China and other developing countries refusing to continue accepting their waste, the report’s authors say.

 The US has only 4 percent of the world’s population but produces 12 percent of the world’s municipal solid waste. By comparison, China and India account for more than 36% of the world’s population and produce 27% of the world’s municipal solid waste.

 While Americans recycle only 35% of their municipal waste, Germany, the most efficient country, recycles 68%.

Composting is an easy, environmentally friendly way to reduce these materials destined for landfill or incineration.

This practice reduces the many negative impacts of the transportation and disposal of waste: air, soil, and water pollution, not to mention the effects on human health, fauna, and flora.

The return to the earth of waste that is not waste.

Naturally, organic matter decomposes when exposed to air. Over time, it forms a soil that allows nutrients to return to the ground. Composting speeds up this decomposition.

Many organic materials, representing up to 30% of our household waste contents, can be composted: fruit and vegetable peels, coffee grounds, dead leaves, etc. With minimal maintenance, the compost is ripe within a few months and then becomes a high-quality amendment for flower beds, vegetable gardens, flower boxes, lawns, etc.

Don’t forget: many municipalities have waste management programs and offer information and sometimes even composters. Contact your local government to find out about these programs or to suggest their implementation.


Composting is a process of biological transformation of organic matter in the presence of water and oxygen. Fermentation occurs, and micro-organisms transform the waste into compost after maturation: a stabilized, hygienic and humus-rich product, very useful in the garden.


Composting is not complicated. By respecting a few basic rules and by organizing yourself well, this gesture quickly becomes quite natural.

First of all, organic matter requires adequate humidity, oxygen, and various residues to decompose. It is therefore essential to:

– Mix the different organic wastes

– Aerate and stir the mixture – to promote the micro-organisms’ action and homogenize the resulting mix.

– Ensure that the compost is not soaking wet but moist.

In practice, here are the steps to follow after choosing your composter:

1. Place the bin on a flat, well-drained surface that is easily accessible year-round and preferably in an area that is neither too sunny nor too shady.

2. Turn the soil in the area where you will install the compost bin.

3. After placing the compost bin, cover the bottom with a row of small branches to allow air to circulate and improve drainage.

4. Alternate between wet (kitchen scraps) and dry (dead leaves) waste. It is best to always finish with a layer of dry residue or potting soil to avoid odors.

5. Initially, add mature compost, garden soil, or a starter (available at garden centers) to your waste. This speeds up the composting process. You can repeat this process as needed.

6. At least twice a month, turn the fermenting compost pile over with a fork or shovel to aerate it, speed up decomposition and avoid odors.

7. Your compost bin should allow you to collect mature compost through a door at the bottom of the pile: as the residues are piled up, they decompose at the base and become compost.

This post will now continue in part 2. Stay posted, and remember to leave your comments below. 

8 Ways Green Living Can Help You Save Money

Going green is not only good for the planet; it can also be very good for your budget. And while some changes to the home of green living require a significant amount of money, others can help you reduce your costs! Here are some ways that green living may help you save money:


1) Opening the Windows and Using Ceiling Fans Instead of Air Conditioning

This tip may not be ideal during the hottest summer months, depending on where you live. But you can use this tip in spring and autumn to reduce your monthly electricity bills and save money. Make sure you turn off the air conditioner so you don’t get overcooled!

Girl, Window, Beauty, Hands, Dreamy, Memory, Thoughts

2) Recycling as Much as Possible

No, this is not about throwing all your garbage in a blue bin, although you should follow a big green attitude as much as possible. Instead, we are talking about an actual recycling process where disposable products are used more than once. Instead of using a new ziplock bag every day to pack your meal, take one and keep reusing it. You can reuse aluminum foil, bottles, and bags. Find a new use for each item and avoid buying more disposable items month after month.

3) Composting

Starting a compost reduces the amount of waste you throw away to keep it out of landfills. It also gives you free fertilizer for your garden.

4) Drying Your Clothes in the Sun

If you’re going to use your dryer, always do it when it’s full to save energy. However, a better solution is to skip the dryer entirely and dry your clothes, sheets, and towels in the sun as much as possible. If you are worried about stiffness, use fabric softener in the washing machine instead of drying the sheets in the dryer. This will help save energy and reduce your electricity bill at the same time!

Clothes Line, Laundry, Colorful, Wash, Color, Clean

5) Buying Products That Are Built To Last

The durability and shelf life of the products you buy are important factors that you should consider to be green and save money at the same time. The longer you can store the products without replacing them, the less you contribute to filling landfills with broken items. If you can keep a small device for ten years instead of just five, you’ll avoid wastage and reduce your costs by half.

6) Planting Drought-Resistant Flowers

If you water your lawn sufficiently in the summer to prevent plants from dying, it may require a considerable amount of water. In many countries, you may need to water every day to keep your garden green. This is a huge waste of our water resources and your income with higher water bills in summer.

Having drought resistant plants means you don’t have to water as often. Look for native grasses and ornamental plants that have evolved to be ideal for the environment you live in. For example, those that only require watering a few days only and won’t welcome you back home with dead flowers!

7) Walking Where Possible

Minus the cost of the shoes you have to wear anyway, walking is free. Therefore, look for ways to walk when possible. You should combine public transportation with walking to get to wherever you need to go if you live in an urban area.

Walking, Fitness, Girl, Dawn, Fall, Outdoors, Pathway

8) Ditching Paper Products and Choosing Washable Alternatives

Everything you can do with a paper towel, you can do with a good fabric towel! Cleaning countertops, cleaning dust, even draining oil from fried food, all these things can be done with a reusable and washable cloth. The same goes for fabric napkins versus paper napkins. Save paper, cut a few dollars every month from your grocery bill, and avoid wasting paper fillings from garbage cans.

What are your thoughts about these? Share it with us in the comments below!