30 Cool Things To Compost


“My whole life has been spent waiting for an epiphany… the kind of transcendent, magical experience that lets you see your place in the big picture. And that is what I had with my first compost heap.”

– Bette Midler


Compost your Jack O’Lantern!

What are you doing with your Jack O’Lantern after Halloween? Did you throw out your used coffee grounds this morning? How about that empty toilet paper roll? Don’t toss them; compost them!

It is said that “One man’s trash is another one’s treasure.”  This is true about compost, where nature magically recycles kitchen scraps into “black gold” soil.


Compost is “black gold” for your garden!

There are many benefits of compost that include increasing the quality of your soil with nutrients, air and texture. “Volunteer plants” often pop up, too. Some of my best producing tomato plants miraculously grew from my compost heap. I even discovered an avocado tree! All for free! (Shhh… it’s our “dirty” little secret!)

If you’re new to composting, check out the basics of composting. I started by simply cleaning out my refrigerator. (Gross, I know!)


Most people compost kitchen scraps like banana peels and apple cores. Others throw in stale bread and old lettuce leaves.


You can compost the apple peel AND core!

You probably already compost eggshells.  Toss in the (cut up) cardboard egg carton, too.


Add eggshells and the egg carton to compost.

My list of things to compost seems endless. Did you know that can compost:

  1. Counting Sheep: old woolen socks (cut into small pieces)
  2. On Cloud Nine: 100% cotton balls; cotton from vitamin bottle; cotton swabs with wooden middle
  3. Cheers: wine cork (real cork)… and stale or old wine and beer
  4. Veggie Delight: cooled water from steaming veggies
  5. Sprout It Out: growing sprouts in a jar? compost the rinse water
  6. Hair of the Dog: pet hair (human hair, too! – untreated)
  7. Go Fish: dirty water and dirt from aquarium; fish food
  8. Plain White T’s: old 100% cotton t-shirt (cut up into pieces)
  9. Crab Shack: crab and shrimp shells; seaweed
  10. Bag It: contents from vacuum cleaner bag
  11. Pumpkin Patch: Jack o’ Lantern/pumpkin (cut into smaller pieces)
  12. Dirty Laundry: dryer lint
  13. Good to the Last Drop: coffee grinds and used coffee filters
  14. Perfect Match: used matches
  15. Chop, Chop: chopsticks (broken into pieces)
  16. You’re Fired: fireplace ashes (cooled!)
  17. Lots of Pastabilities: cold pasta noodles (no sauce)
  18. All Cracked Up: stale crackers
  19. Tea for Two: tea bags/loose tea leafs
  20. Pulp Fiction: pulp from the juicer
  21. Eggcellent: egg shells (rinsed) and cardboard egg cartons (cut into pieces)
  22. Pickin’ and Grinnin’: toothpicks
  23. Mikey Likes It: old cereal and cereal boxes (shredded)
  24. The Nutty Professor: shells from nuts and seeds (no salt)
  25. Featherweight: real feathers
  26. Totally Tubular: cardboard tubes from toilet paper, paper towels and gift wrap
  27. Prom Night: dried out corsages, bouquets and flower arrangements
  28. Brown Paper Packages: ask for paper bags at grocery store; cut into pieces
  29. Pick Up Sticks: popsicle sticks  
  30. Tis The Season: Christmas tree and natural holiday wreaths (chopped up).  Don’t forget to remove decorations first! (HaHa)

Check out my “black gold!”

Imagine the huge reduction in landfills if we all composted. Plus, we’d have the healthiest plants in town! It can’t hurt to make dirt!

So, before you toss something in the trash, think to yourself, “Can I compost this?” The answer may just surprise you! Can’t you just dig it?!

I am sharing The Dirt with Busy Monday, Fiesta Friday, Tuesday Garden Party, Natural Living Monday, Melt In Your Mouth Monday, Mix It Up Monday, Motivation Monday, Tuesdays With A Twist, Totally Talented Tuesday, Wellness Wednesday, Home and Garden Thursday, Share Your Cup Thursday, Great Idea Thursdays, Wake Up Wednesday, Full Plate Thursday, HomeAcre Hop, Green Thumb Thursday, Plant Based Potluck, Meet and Greet, Simple Lives Thursday, Old Fashioned Friday, Real Food Fridays, Weekend Bites, Gluten Free Fridays, Foodie Fridays, I’m Lovin It, Farm Hop, LHITS DIY, Farm Girl Friday, Backyard Farming Connection, Natural Family Friday, Simple Saturdays, Simply Natural Saturday, Creative Style Link Up, Creative Mondays

Do you compost? What items do you add to your compost pile?

Photos courtesy of Kirsty Hall, Normanack, Net_efekt, Michael Gil  and Seedy Lawyer.

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  • homemaidsimple

    I love composting, but didn’t know about a lot of these. Especially the tshirts. Thanks for sharing on Weekend Bites

    • Hi, Thanks for having me on Weekend Bites! When I first started composting I barely knew anything. I learn more each day from my garden friends 🙂

  • TheCozyCook

    WOW so informative, I’m definitely bookmarking this, thank you so much for sharing! I like the list of occasions up there that make for great composting afterwards! 🙂

    • Thanks! Yes, the list of composting items goes far beyond kitchen scraps 🙂 It’s fun to discover new things to compost!

  • thenotsocreativecook

    Wow! I didn’t know about these stuffs – thanka for bringing these up. I may not have my garden, but I will remember these things once I have one. 😀

    • Hi. My friend doesn’t have a garden or compost but her neighbor does…so she saves her scraps and gives to neighbor to compost. Also, maybe little items like coffee grounds and egg shells you can add to your potted plants. 🙂

  • This is a great post! Where do you keep your compost bin, how did you make it, and how long does it take to break down? Another post please!

    • Hi, Julie! HAHA ok I will work on another post… maybe next one about worms! My neighbor and I have an outside compost that we keep covered. We manually turn it with a pitch fork, adding leaves, grass clippings, etc as needed. When it is almost ready to use on the garden, we start a new pile next to it! Happy composting!

  • Loretta

    What a great list. I miss my compost heap, since we’ve moved to the city, I no longer compost, but I miss that earthy, gold dust.

    • Hey Loretta, When I visit my folks I feel guilty when because they don’t have a compost heap. So, we do little things like throw the coffee grinds, banana peels and eggshells on their trees and potted plants 🙂

  • Here is my lazy composting method. It works pretty well. Last year we found a volunteer squash vine in our compost and transplanted it to the yard and grew one delicious squash!

    The only thing on your list I’d be cautious about composting is the contents of a vacuum cleaner bag: It depends on what you vacuumed into it. If there is any chance of sharp objects, toxic anything, or nonbiodegradable anything, better to put it into the trash.

    • Thanks for the info! I agree about the vacuum bag.. be careful with what’s in there. Good hint 🙂

  • Beatriz Basura

    You know how a package of hot dogs has 7 in it but the buns always have 8?
    The extra bun usually ends up in the pile.

    I wish I didn’t always have trouble with with those little ‘fruit flies’ hanging around my compost bucket in the kitchen though.

    • Hi Beatriz, I get those pesky bugs, too. I find that it helps to mix a little Apple Cider Vinegar with a couple drops of dish soap in a small bowl. Place next to the bin. It traps them 🙂

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  • margy

    In my dream house I have a big garden with a lot of plants, in my dream life i’m perfect gardener…. you are a couple of steps ahead, I guess. Thanks a lot for this very useful post, is very much appreciated at FF!

  • Angelique Tower

    Fantastic post! I’m stopping by from Creative Style Link Up .

    • Hi Angie, Everyone from Creative Style Link Up is so nice!! Thanks for stopping by. Happy composting 🙂

  • Hi. I never thought of these things until I did some research. So cool the things you can actually compost! Thanks for visiting!

  • Hi April. There are all types of little and big compost bins (not smelly at all). I found some neat bins on sale, too! Thanks for having me on Creative Style Linkup!!

  • Jann Olson

    Wow, would not think to compost a lot of these things. Composting is so great for the garden. I really need to do it! Thanks for sharing with SYC.

    • Even if you start out with basics like banana peels, egg shells and coffee grounds… and just add those directly to your plants, it helps a lot! 🙂

  • Coombe Mill (Fiona)

    What a great list of things you can compost, I’d never thought about composting things like dryer lint. Popping in from Creative Mondays.

    • Hi and thanks for stopping in! The list of things to compost is amazing… it grows (like my plants LOL) everyday 🙂

  • Brittnei Washington

    In my faint memory, I feel like I’ve heard about this before! I definitely am going to look at the post you said on the basics because when we move, even if it’s a little garden on our balcony, I really want to start one finally! I have a whole board on Pinterest for gardening. I’m going to have to check out that link and possibly add that one too. Thanks for sharing this with us at the Creative Style Linkup. 🙂

    • Happy composting, Brittnei 🙂

  • Miz Helen

    We compost year round and have great compost for the gardens and yard. Hope you are having a great day and thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

    • Composting is great!

  • Angi @ SchneiderPeeps

    Great list! We compost everything we can, although some of it gets composted through the chickens first. Thanks for sharing at Simple Lives Thursday; hope to see you again this week.

  • Thank you so much for sharing this enlightening post 30 Cool Things To Compost at the Plant-Based Potluck Party Blog Hop!
    What a comprehensive and helpful list of items that some of us may not be aware of that we can compost. I live in an apartment so I take my composting items to our community composting center in our neighborhood farmer’s market.I’m pinning and sharing this! All the best, Deborah

    • Thanks, Deborah!

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  • Hi LIsa,
    Just a note to let you know that I choose your post as one of my features for Real Food Fridays blog hop that goes live tonight @ 7 pm EST. Thanks so much for sharing on valuable information with us.

    • WOW! Thanks, Maria! What an honor!! Hoping all my blogging friends will also participate and learn from Real Food Fridays.

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  • ivyon

    This is just plain awesome! I wish a had a garden, but one day when i do, i am definitely Googlying everything about this! 🙂