If you want your garden to flourish, you might want to consider learning how to compost. Adding compost to your soil can help aid plant growth because it will create a bed of nutrients for your plants. And no, you don't need anything fancy to make your own compost pile. Here are five items you didn't know you could compost.
Dry Cat or Dog Food
Believe it or not, you can compost dry cat or dog food! Now, this isn’t to say you should dump the whole bag into your compost pile right now. However, sometimes your furry friend may not like the dry food you’ve bought for them and it would be a waste to just dump it out. Or sometimes your pet won’t finish everything in his bowl, or they’ll leave a mess of half eaten dry food all over the place. What to do with this? Don’t toss it! Add it to your compost pile. Dry pet food will decompose and provide a great source of nutrients to your garden once it becomes compost.
Did you know you can compost your dryer lint? More than likely you didn’t because you’re probably scraping the lint away and dumping it into the trash to avoid a fire hazard. But if your clothes are made from natural fibers (like cotton or linen), the lint is compostable! If your clothes are mainly made out of synthetic fabrics (aka plastic), they’ll shed microplastics which go into the dryer lint. Unfortunately, that kind of dryer lint isn’t compostable, so just be aware of what kind of clothes you’re washing before you toss the lint into your compost pile.
Human & Pet Hair
I’ve got long hair, so I’m cleaning out my hairbrush every week. Thankfully, hair is compostable, so I just add it to the compost pile! Pet hair can also be composted, so if you find any hair balls or hair clumps, you know what to do with it. Also, if your hair tends to come out by the handful in the shower, make sure to take a tissue, scoop it all up, and add it to the compost too! The next time you see a bunch of dog or cat hair, get excited because it’ll mean a better, healthier garden.
Pizza boxes are kind of tricky to recycle because some recycling companies accept them, while others don’t. They’re also pretty big and take up a lot of room in the recycling bin, making them hard to fit in there. So another great option is to skip the confusion entirely and just compost them! Make sure you shred them up before you add them to your compost pile, of course, and take out any items inside the box that cannot be composted (like the mini plastic table they sometimes put inside of it). Pizza boxes are made from cardboard, which can be broken down and used as nutrients for your plants. Bonus points if you add in any leftover crust to your compost pile as well!
Wood Shavings & Sawdust
Know someone into woodworking? Then you’ve likely stepped into their garage and found your feet covered in sawdust, right? Instead of being discouraged by the mess (and tracking it into your home), consider sweeping it up and adding it to your compost. Wood shavings and sawdust come from actual wood after all, so why wouldn’t it biodegrade? Your garden will surely thank you for the extra nutrients!
Want to learn more about composting? Be sure to check out these 9 tips for quality compost. Also, here are some zero waste gardening basics you should start practicing to further help your garden flourish!