Friday, February 7, 2020

Little Known Items You Can Compost from the Bathroom



Guest Blogger Angela Rivera

Need some new inspiration of what else you can compost? I went on a search recently to see what else I could put in my compost pile and found I needed to start a small collection in my bathroom. 


Here are some bathroom items you can put in your compost bin:
  • Used Tissues
  • Paper Q-Tips
  • Toilet Paper Cardboard Rolls
  • Hair from Hairbrush
  • Facial Hair Trimmings
  • 100% Natural Loofahs
  • 100% Cotton Balls
  • Wooden Toothpicks

These items take up about 95% of my bathroom waste and now I get to put them to better use! Did I also mention a compost pile can also take urine? Although I am not ready use my compost pile as a bathroom, it’s good to know it is an option.

What new compostable item have you added lately?






Guest Blogger/ Composting Enthusiast Angela Rivera

Thursday, January 30, 2020

How Composting Helps Me Eat Healthier in the Winter



Guest Post by Jonah Christner



The middle of winter never fails to make me feel like the glummest, plumpest of raccoons. The holiday season has passed and responsibilities resume, but it always seems to be either cold, dark or a combination of the two. Every action takes a little extra effort. I scurry home from work at 5 o’clock and it’s already dark, so I scavenge through my cabinet and eat until I’m happy. I don’t want to get up, I don’t want to exercise, and I don’t want to bother with my food scraps.

It’s time for a little mental manipulation.

As a 22 year old college student (and seasonal raccoon), I am prone to eating the most comforting food my little paws can grab. Ice cream, frozen pizza, cookies, mounds of mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, and bags of various candies. However, this is not the best practice. No, what’s best is a plant-rich diet with plenty of veggies, a few sweet fruits, and lean proteins. 



I am able to check up on my habits though. Unlike the typical fruit and veggie skins that fill my compost, plastic sleeves, films, and trays are not compostable. I am not able to compost as much as I used to, simply because my diet has changed. For most people, composting is a way to sustainably get rid of organic scraps. For me, composting is a way to ensure I’m nourishing my body properly during these miserable winter months.

I make it a goal to frequent my kitchen scrap collector. “You typically fill this container up regularly. Make this your goal. Eat enough organics to fill this container,” I say. Suddenly, it becomes a little bit more difficult to justify eating the plastic sleeve surrounding cookies. I begin to eat better, slowly at first. This only feeds my willingness to go the extra mile. This winter, I will be a little more human than raccoon.  


Guest Blogger Jonah Christner, Solid Waste Intern/ Seasonal Raccoon

Friday, December 20, 2019

Need some dirt on composting?



As we jump into the new decade, we would love to hear from all of you what you’d like to learn in 2020 about composting. 


Do you have a compost story to share? If so, fill out the survey above and we will contact you. Maybe your story will be spotlighted on the blog!

Happy New Years and be ready for a new decade of composting love!



Monday, December 9, 2019

Composting 2.0 Quiz!



Since most of you enjoyed our Composting 101 quiz last winter, we thought we would spice things up again to challenge you to the next level!




A handful of delicious compost.



Didn’t do so well? Maybe pick up one of these great composting books for the winter season.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Happy 10 Year Blogiversary!



Yes, that is a thing.

We’ve reached double digits, y’all! Ten years ago we embarked on a great composting journey together, picking up composting lovers along the way. Maybe you have only been reading for a few months or maybe you stuck around for the whole decade but we want to give a big shout out to you.

THANK YOU!!!

Without you reading, it would be just us amusing ourselves with bad composting puns. And that’s just biodegrading.

As a way to thank you, we are giving away I ❤ Compost bumper magnets! Just send me an email  before the end of the year (12/31/19) with your address and we will mail one off to you (Hamilton County, Ohio residents only- sorry).

To celebrate the last 10 years, I wanted to share our top ten posts of all time and how many views they have received. They are mostly from the first few years which makes sense since those posts have had more time to collect web traffic.

10. Zen and the Art of Balancing Compost, 2010: 2,396 views

9. Can You Compost Wine Corks?, 2011: 3,473 views

8. The Lowdown on Compost Tumblers, 2013: 7,045 views


6. When Composting is the (Fruit) Pits, 2012: 19,543 views


4. Can You Compost Paper Towels? 2017: 21,458 views



1. Can You Compost Bread? 2013: 65,163 views

Since the beginning of the blog, we have received 601,044 page views. WOW, that’s a lot of compost loving. Hopefully we can keep it up for another 10 years.

Keep on composting!

Was this the cheesiest clip art I could find in 30 seconds? Yes, yes it was.


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Headless Horseman’s Guide to Backyard Composting



“His appetite for the marvelous, and his powers of digesting it, were equally extraordinary”
  -Washington Irving, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

To gather these composting tips, I traveled to the mist covered, rolling hills of 18th century Sleepy Hollow, New York. With the glow of a full moon visible through the newly bare tree branches and the cold breeze just hinting of the winter to come, I interviewed everyone’s favorite Headless Hessian to see what wisdom he could share about backyard composting. Here is what I learned.

  • Never Stop Collecting – whether it is food scraps for your compost pile or the heads of unsuspecting victims, persistence and consistency are key. Even in the winter, continue to add to your collection (e.g. compost pile) and your perseverance will pay off.
  • Mist is Your Friend – nothing makes creeping up on horseback behind Ichabod Crane easier than a nice cloaking mist. A full out rain would be too wet and a clear night would provide no cover at all. Likewise, your compost pile should be as wet as a wrung out sponge (link) for optimal composting.
  • Sunshine is Not Necessary – we imagine Sleepy Hollow as forever shrouded with gray cloud-covered skies but you could still manage a steaming compost pile with the right materials. Compost piles create their own heat through microbial activity and do not need the sun, or paranormal influence, to transform “waste” into a dark, crumbly soil amendment.

Luckily, I managed to escape my interview with the Headless Horseman with my head intact. Perhaps bonding over the shared passion of composting will make me and the Hessian forever friends.

If you love Halloween and composting as much as I do, check out past Halloween posts:




Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Harvesting a Compost Tumbler in Three Steps



In the last post, I explained the step-by-step process of harvesting compost from a standard, sit-on-the-ground compost bin. But what about composters who use tumblers? Yes, you’re special and deserve your own post.

Before we begin, this post covers harvesting compost from a tumbler. For other tumbler-related advice check out this post.

Step One: Stop adding food scraps for three weeks before harvest. This one is hard, guys. But unless you have a really fancy double-barrel unit or you are okay screening out the unfinished compost, you have to stop adding food scraps and let the compost “cook.” You could stash the scraps in the freezer during that time or invest in a backup compost bin.

Step Two: Keep turning the bin during those final few weeks of composting.

Step Three: Dig out your brown gold and enjoy.

You can screen the compost for an extra satisfying finished product. If after three weeks of “cooking” your compost is still not progressing, you may need to troubleshoot. 

  • Is it really dry? Add water. It should be as wet as a wrung out sponge.
  • Is it really wet? Add shredded leaves or newspaper. 
  • Is it still not breaking down? Add a few shovels of good garden soil to boost the microorganisms.

Any other tips to add? Please post them in the comments below.

Photo credit: Cara Harpole