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What is Compostable? List of Compostable in your Home and Office

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Do you want to contribute to making a positive impact on the environment? One of the best sustainability ways you can make is composting. In this post, you will learn what is compostable. 

Before we proceed, let us first know what compostable is. 

Compostable materials are like biodegradable materials since they are aimed to return to the earth safely. The only difference is that compostables can offer nutrients to the earth once it breaks down completely. They can be added to compost piles. Take note that a compostable doesn’t always naturally biodegrade in landfills. You need to place them in the right condition, which is usually found in industrial compost facilities. 

What is compostable in your home? 

A compostable material can be categorized into two, brown and green. Both these compostable materials can be piled successfully in thin layers. 

Also, read about Pros of Domestic Waste Management At Home


These compostable materials are rich in carbon, such as wood-based waste and dead plant matter. It can offer structure and aeration, but slowly break down, so it works best when divided into small pieces.


These compostable products are rich in nitrogen, such as vegetable or fruit waste and live plant material. It offers moisture on your pile and quickly breaks down.

By composting, you can reduce the waste in your home. So, what can you compost at home? The following are the materials in different parts of your home, which you can compost. The materials are also classified into greens and browns, so you can easily identify the compostable products

Compostable in your kitchen 

Green Compostable in your kitchen 

  1. Chopped up cobs and corn husks
  2. Vegetable and fruit scraps like apple cores, stalks of broccoli, melon rinds, moldy peppers, seaweed, soggy lettuce, and more
  3. Fruit seeds and pits, you can chop it to avoid sprouting in your compost
  4. Non-acidic fruit peels such as avocado skins, banana peels, melon rinds, and more
  5. Moldy cheese, you can bury small amounts in your pile
  6. Spoiled plant milk like rice, almond, coconut milk, and soy, but avoid dairy milk
  7. Herbs and spices
  8. Coffee grounds
  9. Expired preserves and jams
  10. Liquid filling from canned vegetables and fruits
  11. Natural paper tea bags and tea leaves 
  12. Moldy tomato pastes and pasta sauce
  13. Old condiments like relish, ketchup, mustard, soy sauce, and more, make sure to use small amounts since it can be acidic
  14. Liquor, soured beer, and wine 
  15. Tofu 

Brown Compostable in your kitchen 

  1. Oatmeal, stale cereal, and granola bars
  2. Grape as well as other fruit stems
  3. Dry pasta and rice
  4. Popcorn, burnt, or unpopped 
  5. Paper lunch sacks
  6. Used paper napkins
  7. Eggshells must be crushed to quickly decompose 
  8. Corrugated cardboard pizza boxes
  9. Bamboo skewers and wooden chopsticks
  10. Leftover pizza crust, tortilla shells, and stale bread
  11. Cardboard egg cartons
  12. Coffee filters which are unbleached 
  13. Real wine corks, you can chop it into smaller bits
  14. Nutshells but not walnut 
  15. Non-grease soaked paper towels 
  16. Non-coated paper plates 
  17. Paper cups without waxy lining 

Compostable in your bathroom

Brown Compostable in your bathroom

  1. Shredded toilet paper rolls
  2. Old sheets and cotton towels
  3. Wooden toothpicks
  4. Razor trimmings and human hair
  5. Used facial tissues
  6. Fingernail clippings
  7. Cotton swabs with cardboard sticks and cotton balls
  8. Cardboard packaging of personal care products
  9. Cut-up loofahs, only natural loofahs and not plastic ones

Compostable from your lawn or garden

Lawn/ Garden Composting Browns 

  1. Dead leaves
  2. Straw, hay, or alfalfa 
  3. Shrub and bush trimmings
  4. Pine needles and pine cones 
  5. Dead plants, as well as the soil and roots
  6. Wood chips and sawdust 
  7. Seed trays and peat pots 
  8. Outdated or leftover potting soil
  9. Abandoned or leftover bird nests 

Lawn/Garden Composting Greens

  1. Green leaves
  2. Deadheaded flowers
  3. Spent bulbs
  4. Grass trimmings 
  5. Sod chunks
  6. Thinned out, weaker plants
  7. Weeds, but those don’t seed

Compostable in your office

Office Composting Browns

  1. Pencil shavings
  2. Sticky notes
  3. Newspaper
  4. Corrugated plain cardboard boxes and mailers
  5. Envelopes without plastic address window 
  6. Subscription cards from magazines, take note that you can’t compost the glossy pages 
  7. Plain junk mail, bills and non-glossy cards and paper 

Compostable from animals and pets

Pet Composting Browns

  1. Animal feathers or fur
  2. Dry food of dogs and cats
  3. Newspaper cage liners
  4. Rodent pet bedding but from herbivorous pets only
  5. Chewed up hemp, cotton, or bamboo dog toys

Pet Composting Greens 

  1. Bird droppings
  2. Manure of non-carnivorous animals only such as chicken, goat, horses, gerbils, rabbits, and hamsters

Compostable from holidays

Compostable Browns from Holiday

  1. Raffia
  2. Wrapping paper which is not plastic coated
  3. Crepe paper streamers
  4. Paper table cloths
  5. Real Christmas trees
  6. Popcorn strung around Christmas tree 

Compostable Greens from Holiday

  1. Cut floral arrangements
  2. Jack O’ lanterns and decorative gourds 

Other materials you can compost at home 

Home Composting Browns 

  1. Natural potpourri
  2. Spent matches
  3. Worn out or stained clothes, it must be made from 100% natural fabrics such as wool, linen, cotton, hemp, bamboo, or silk
  4. Packaging that is labeled compostable 
  5. Non-glossy price tags
  6. Dust and dirt bunnies
  7. Unwaxed, organic string, twine, and thread

What is the importance of composting? 

Composting is aimed to break down and repurposing organic waste through microbes such as fungi, bacteria, insects, and worms. It breaks down the waste of biological origin like food waste and plant matter. 

So, composting has a good impact on the environment. Thus, it can reduce waste worldwide. With proper implementation, it can help to lower the factors that can cause climate change. Additionally, it can also produce a useful substance for the soil.

Compost, or the nutrient-rich humus, is a natural fertilizer and pesticide which can help to heal depleted soil. It is also efficient for hazardous waste remediation. Composting allows you to contribute to re-balancing the nutrient cycle. 


Composting is one way that allows you to contribute to making a positive effect on the planet. There are lots of compostable materials, but you must also know the items that are not compostable. 

Do you want to help with taking care of the environment? What are you waiting for? Start composting today! 



Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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