Composting – Steps to Break it Down

Did you know that the first full week of May is Compost Awareness Week? Sounds like a good time to begin composting on even the most basic level.  While this may be one of the most difficult habits to begin for a variety of reasons such as living space, time and downright desire to implement but understanding the reason why is a great place to start.


  • Save land fill space and ultimately avoids the production of methane and leachate formulation.
  • Improves the soils ability to retain moisture thus reducing watering efforts and costs.
  • Provides needed nutrients for healthy plants.
  • Eliminates the need for chemical fertilizers.

What to Compost:

  • Kitchen scraps such as fruits, vegetable peelings, cores, egg shells, coffee grinds to include the filter
  • Lawn clippings, leaves, wood – all chipped and shredded in pieces smaller than one inch
  • Plants  – maybe those discarded from a garden
  • Manures from herbivores (cows, rabbits, chickens) not the family pet dog or cat
  • Newspaper clippings, cardboard rolls, clean paper

What not to compost:

  • Meat, bones, greases, dairy products or bread which all attract pests
  • Anything treated with pesticides or herbicides
  • Black Walnut leaves,  oak leaves or pine needles
  • Diseased plants or weeds with seeds
  • Pet or human waste
  • Plastic, foil, etc.

For some, a compost bin or tumbler is preferred rather than creating a outdoor space specifically for composting.  Start with lawn clippings along with the approved kitchen scraps.  Keeping a container on the kitchen counter top can make it easier to collect the day’s waste and then take out to the bin. There are many decorative compost crocks and containers available, but using some kind of  homemade version can work well too – just make sure there is a tight fit for the lid so not to attract fruit flies and other critters!

For more info and resources check out these below.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 renee June 16, 2010 at 7:53 am

I just found your site through GreenPower NC and I love it! I look forward to following your composting {and other green} exploits!

2 Jeanne June 16, 2010 at 9:50 am

So glad to hear – thanks for visiting. I’m learning as go and share these posts so welcome any and all feedback!

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