Worm compost bins are incredible tools anyone can utilize to reduce the amount of waste they're sending to landfills. Once you get started, you might be curious about what else you can compost outside of the standard banana peel, avocado skin, and old newspaper. Here are five items you might not have realized you could add into your compost bin to turn into soil:
1. Old, Smelly Socks
Do you have a shirt filled with holes or a pair of socks that has seen better days? Throw it in the compost bin! As long as it is made with natural fibers like cotton, silk, hemp, linen, wool, or leather, fabric can decompose over time (that said, it can take up to a year to see it compose completely). Be careful to not compost polyester or spandex to avoid the material breaking down in your bin and adding microplastics into your compost.
2. Your Ex's Love Letters
What could be better than turning trash into treasure? Throw those old letters, yearbooks, even torn-up books into your compost bin. Helpful tip: glossy paper, like photos, won't compost properly due to the film that creates its shiny finish.
3. Takeout Chopsticks
For millions and millions of years, seeds have been planted, trees have grown, trees have fallen, and they decompose right back into nature. You can recreate this process at a very small level by composting wooden materials like bamboo chopsticks and twigs from your garden in your compost. Keep in mind that these materials, like fabric, tend to take awhile to break down.
4. Dead Plants
You don't need a green thumb to compost. Toss those dead houseplants and garden cuttings into your compost bin to break down the material into new soil. Then, keep growing and going - gardening is a practice that takes time to master!
5. Moldy or Freezer Burnt Food
Just like you don't need to be a world-class gardener to compost, great chefs and newbies alike can turn their kitchen scraps (or kitchen disasters) into gold by composting the materials in your worm bin. Be sure to avoid adding spices, garlic, citrus, or animal byproducts into your compost bin to avoid inviting smells and bugs into your bin.
Let’s Go Compost is a community-led effort to make compost bins free and accessible. We upcycle empty bulk ingredient bins into free, food-safe worm compost bins that are donated back to the community. Click here to sign up to get a free compost bin.