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10 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Compost

As more people aim to lessen their carbon footprint, there’s been a quest to learn about all the things you can upcycle, recycle and compost.

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Wine Corks

The next time you’re recycling your wine bottles, throw their corks into the compost pile. Corks are a natural product, and although some wineries are now using plastic corks that look a lot like the real thing, remember that you can compost the wine stoppers if they are made of natural cork.

Facing a cork without a corkscrew? Don’t worry! Here are 6 ways you can open wine without a corkscrew.

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sponge for ware washing, selective focusMettus/Shutterstock

Used Loofahs and Sponges

If you’re already using a natural loofah, then remember that you can tear that thing up and compost it the next time you’re ready to replace it. If you’re currently using synthetic sponges, consider making the switch to a natural one. Man-made sponges can carry germs and add a ton of waste to the environment if you’re going through them regularly. By the way, here’s how to wash your kitchen sponge because it’s really, really dirty.

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Hairy dog brush, Pet Grooming, Close up, dog in a backgroundTomislav Pinter/Shutterstock

Fur, Hair and Nail Clippings

If you have a pet pup or cat that sheds more than you like, you can find at least some solace in the fact that you can compost their fur. You can also clean out your and your family’s hair brushes and add all nail clippings to the compost heap. It may be a little gross but your compost will be happy about it.

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Tissue Paper RollStray Oddity/Shutterstock

Small Paper Rolls

While you can always recycle cardboard products, consider throwing the smaller stuff in your compost bin next time. Recycling can be costly and also uses a lot of resources, so compost smaller cardboard instead.

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Natural-Fiber Clothes

If you have natural fiber clothing—pure wool, cotton, silk or linen—that is too old or damaged to donate, then cut it up in chunks and add to your compost pile. If you do compost clothes, be sure that there are no synthetic threads, plastic buttons, metal zippers or stains from motor oil, paint, wood stain and other non-compostable substances.

If your city collects your compost, be sure to double-check if clothes are an acceptable component. New to composting? Here’s how to get started.

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Latex Products

The next time you’re cleaning up after a child’s birthday party, throw the popped latex balloon fragments in the compost. Latex is a natural and biodegradable material but for some reason, most of us usually forget that. Other natural latex products? Compost them next time instead of throwing them in the trash.

If you’re having a party for a DIYer, get them one of these 11 adorable gifts.

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Glue Creativity and The Arts Concept Image.Brooke Becker/Shutterstock

White Glue and Masking Tape

Arts and crafts enthusiasts, rejoice! Your traditional Elmer’s glue and masking tape bits and scraps can all be composted. It makes cleaning up projects just a little bit better knowing it’s not all going in the trash. Or, turn them into the ultimate gift basket for crafters.

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Pet food

Old Pet Food

If you have some stale kibble on the shelf, just throw it in the compost bin. Be sure your pup can’t smell it though because chances are if they smell it, they’re going to try to eat it. Be sure you know how to pet-proof your home the right way.

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Vacuum Bag Contents

Typically, the stuff your vacuum picks up is composed of compostable materials: dust, hair, dirt, etc. In some cases, even the vacuum bag itself can be composted if it’s made from natural products (be sure to check the bag to see what it’s made of). If you have a bagless vacuum, the contents of the dirt collection cup can be dumped directly into your compost pile. So, unless you’re vacuuming up after a glittery birthday party, your vacuum dirt should be okay to compost. Speaking of cleaning, be sure you know these secret cleaning tips from professional cleaners.

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Cotton swabs

Cotton Swabs and Balls

Consider adding a tiny compost trash bin to your bathroom so you can collect all the compostable bathroom garbage. As long as the cotton swabs you’re using are plastic-free, then you can add those to the bin along with cotton balls and toilet paper rolls. Just be sure that the dental floss doesn’t get in there.

The Family Handyman
Originally Published on The Family Handyman