4 Myth-Busting Facts about At-Home Composting

At ZENB, we strive to inspire a reduction in food waste by using more of the veggie (including seeds, peels, and skins) in our products. One way you can reduce (and even eliminate!) food waste in your home is by composting — the process of turning trash into Mother Nature’s treasure. Cherished by professional gardeners to eco-conscious citizens alike, composting produces rich, nutrient-dense soil from household waste. Learning what to compost and how to do it can be a difficult task — that’s why we’ve debunked the top 4 myths about composting so you can get to work!  

Woman putting vegetables scraps into a bin.

Myth #1: You need a yard to compost

Fact: Say it with me: You 👏 can👏 compost 👏 in 👏 any 👏 living 👏 situation. If apartment-living is your vibe, there are plenty of options for at home compost. You can find community garden drop offs, or check with your building if there is already a composting program in place.

Want your hard-earned soil for yourself? You can also create organic compost in a small area with worms. Known as vermicomposting, this indoor-friendly composting strategy only requires a 5 gallon container, composting materials, and some garden-variety worms. (Literally! Look for the species name “red wigglers” to make sure you’re bringing the right friends home.)

Person puts a tea bag on top of a compost pile.

Myth #2: You can only compost food

Fact: Absolutely not! You can use a wide array of household waste in your organic compost. Things such as tea bags, shredded newspaper, coffee filters, and even latex gloves can be added to your compost pile!

However as easy as that would be, there are a few limitations as to what to compost. Any non-biodegradable products like plastic and styrofoam shouldn’t make it into your compost bin (usually any packaging other than cardboard is a no-no). It’s also best to avoid animal products like meat and dairy — as they would attract some pretty unpleasant critters (and smells!) to your pile. Also, skip throwing in any fats or cooking oils, and avoid any yard clippings that have been treated with chemicals. Pretty much anything after that is fair game!

Outdoor compost bin.

Myth #3: The compost process happens automatically

Fact: Although the main appeal of at home compost is that it reduces household food waste, you still gotta be wary of throwing just about anything in that bin! It takes the right curation of ingredients to create ✨soil magic. ✨ Otherwise, you’ll just end up with a pile of rotting stuff. (Not cute.) An easy way to remember how to create compost is to use the “Greens and Browns” rule of thumb. Greens in composting are wet (and typically green) things that provide nitrogen — think grass clippings, old flowers, leaves, eggshells, and coffee grounds. Browns are, well, brown. Dry materials that add carbon and aeration like egg cartons, cardboard, dried leaves, and pine needles are the perfect browns to pack your compost with. For a perfect compost environment, shoot for a 1:3 ratio of greens to browns.

If you’re still worried about your compost getting enough tlc, you can pick up a nitrogen booster at your local gardening store to help kick start the decomposition!

Person scooping dirt.

Myth #4: Once you have the right mixture in your compost, you can leave it be

Fact: Okay, let’s say we’re baking a cake. Do we just put all the flour, sugar, and eggs in a pan and put it in the oven? Unless you love people skipping your birthday party, absolutely not! As with a cake, you need to make sure the ingredients in your at home compost get a good stir. When compost gets mixed up once in a while, it spreads those carefully curated greens and browns get where they’re supposed to be. A good stir helps get the nutrients flowing, and ensures that your compost is decomposing — NOT rotting.

In short, at home compost requires a few rules in order to get the best earthy stuff out there. Whether you’re dropping off at a community compost or willing to adopt some worms — a good, organic compost is a big step to a more sustainable lifestyle!

Curious about how we’re working to reduce global food waste? Learn more about ZENB’s plant-powered ingredient philosophy! And don’t forget to catch up with the ZENB community on Instagram and Facebook to stay in the know on the latest tips, tricks, and fun facts you need to live a more veggie-filled, balanced life. 

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