How to Compost: Easy Steps and Ideas

We believe that making a difference can be easy. Recycle. Take a shorter shower. Turn off the lights. Easy, right? Well another great way to reduce your impact on the environment is through composting. Composting takes a little effort to get started, but once you have a thriving compost bin the benefits are clear.

Why Compost?

Composting is an efficient way to get rid of your kitchen scraps and your gardening waste without adding to our ever-growing landfills. But to put it simply, composting produces great dirt. Micro-organisms in the soil break down organic material into rich fertilizer that will improve your garden. This fertilizer continues to re-introduce great minerals and nutrients into the soil, strengthening your local environment.

What do I compost?

You can compost most of your kitchen and garden waste. To make it simple, here’s a very basic list of the do’s and don’t’s of what to put in your bin:



Garden Waste–          Flowers

–          Leaves

–          Weeds

–          Grass and shrubs cuttings

–          Wood chips

–          Straw or hay

Garden Waste–          Perennial weeds

–          Black walnut leaves

–          Diseased plants

Kitchen Waste–          Fruit and vegetable scraps

–          Eggshells

–          Coffee grounds

–          Table scraps

–          Tea leaves

Kitchen Waste–          Banana, orange, or peach peels

–          Meat of any kind

–          Fish scraps

–          Dairy

–          Fats

–          Pet droppings

Paper–          Cardboard

–          Coffee filters

–          Newspaper

–          Dryer lint

–          Shredded paper

Paper–          Colored paper

–          Inorganic materials such as aluminum foil, glass, plastics, and metals


To start your compost bin, you should begin on a patch of bare earth in your garden. Lay down several layers of straw or twigs so that the pile has access to some air flow, or you can build your own composting bin. Air circulation, good drainage, and partial shade are key to efficient composting. Then you can begin adding organic materials such as those listed above; moisture is also vital to effective organic breakdown. If you live someplace that gets a lot of rain, consider setting up a roof for your compost. On the other hand, if you live in a drier climate, make sure to water your compost occasionally.