Thursday, January 23, 2014

Three Gross Things You Didn’t Know You Can Compost

We all have varying tolerances and differing opinions on what is “gross.” To many non-composters rotten broccoli and slimy lettuce are “gross” but we composters see the potential of food scraps and happily hoard them in our backyards.

But in the hours I have spent pouring over compost information online, I have discovered some pretty “fringe” ideas on what you can compost that I have not yet tried.

Toenail and Fingernail Clippings
Really? Something tells me our landfills are not going to overflow with nail clippings no matter how often you get out the clippers. Nails are made of a tough protein called keratin which eventually will decompose. I don’t know why, but once trimmed off nail clippings completely gross me out.

Especially other people’s nails. Yuck.

Cotton Swabs and Balls
Check to make sure the cotton swab is made of all cotton or cardboard (no plastic), but after you clean your ears, nose, or whatever (I don’t want to know) you can toss them in the compost bin. Just make sure they are chemical and medicine free.

Vacuum Cleaner Dust
Most of the stuff your vacuum sucks up is dirt, dead skin, and hair (all compostable). So you can empty your vacuum contents into the compost bin instead of the trash bin. Human hair is actually high in nitrogen though it does take a long time to decompose.

Of the three, maybe I’ll give the vacuum cleaner dust a try. I bet after dumping it in the bin, you never even see it again.
Would you try composting one of these “gross” items?

Energetic cotton swab clip art