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By now, most of us have a general idea what to put in our mix for compost: vegetable scraps, fruit peels, leaves and twigs are all great, but there are a number of other things around the kitchen and house that can be broken down just as effectively.
Take for example pet fur, your dog or cat's hair is nitrogen-rich and nitrogen is one of the key ingredients for well-balanced compost. Here's our list of some common household throwaways that are surprisingly valuable and can positively contribute to the creation of an excellent compost crop.
As long as the paper or towel hasn't been used to wipe up away any spillages or pick up any items that's not meant to be composted (see list of items not to add to your compost), and the paper is produced plastic free (preferably uncolored); it's generally good to go into your compost mixture. This item breaks down easily as it is composed of natural products. You can throw in the inner cardboard tube for compost!
Found a box of expired pasta? Don't toss it in the bin, you can use this for your compost mix. Uncooked pasta has an added advantage compared to cooked pasta as it attracts less insects and other pests.
Just the cotton ends, not the plastic stick.
Your nails consist of keratin, which can be broken down. Make it a weekly ritual to toss in your nail clippings along with your carrots!
Found an old pack of stale tobacco? Or have you recently given up smoking? Tobacco is safe to add to your compost mixture as it is essentially natural.
If you've left a wine bottle open for too long and now it tastes like vinegar, simply add it to your compost. When it comes to adding wine, less is best so only pour in small amounts to avoid attracting any pests and foul odors.
Leftover beer is an excellent additive to your compost as the mix of yeast and nitrogen in the beer will initiate a faster rate of decay.
Essentially a teabag is a mesh bag containing (natural) tea leaves. It's a good idea to moisten them before burying them into the mixture as teabags have a tendency of quickly drying out.
Most people don't know it but, coffee filters are completely compostable. After use, remove them from the machine and while still wet, place them into your compost mix.
Instead of throwing your leftover popcorn in the bin, recycle them into compost. Even if the popcorn is salted or caramelized, it all can be broken down into your compost heap. Do keep in mind that sugared popcorn will most likely attract insects and/or other unwanted pests.