Things You Should be Composting to Reduce Waste and Lower Your Carbon Footprint

A woman adding scraps to compost bi

In the United States alone, an estimated 300+ billion pounds of food end up in trash cans and landfills every single year. With food shortages still plaguing large areas of the world and the rising demand for sustainable and green practices only growing, I feel there has never been a better or more important time to start making a positive change.

That is why I love Lomi and its innovative composting process. It takes the complicated decomposition process and breaks it down, so it’s easy to understand. This is such a great set up as an indoor compost pile and there is much that it has to offer families like mine, and yours who want rich organic matter for their plants!


Things You Should be Composting

So, counter top composting sounds like it is an incredibly easy system and a really good idea, but what all can be added to the bin to compost right in the comfort of your own home?

While it is obvious that brown and green materials are a go, what exactly is included in green and brown material lists?



The following are 40 of the many household items that can be turned into beautiful compost right in your own home using an in-home compost pile system.

  1. Peels- soft peels of food products such as apples, bananas, oranges, and potatoes.

  2. Rinds- softer portion of foods such as watermelons, cantaloupe, and soft pits.

  3. Fruit waste- remnants of items like strawberry tops, apple cores, and bruised pieces.

  4. Vegetable scraps - carrot ends, bad spots on potatoes, root and lead tips, and stems.

  5. Yard waste- mulch, dead leaves, pine needles, yard trimmings, and garden waste.

  6. Coffee grounds- used or unused grounds of any type or flavor and coffee filters too.

  7. Tea - cotton tea bags and strings of any type, and tea leaves can be added as well.

  8. Grass clippings- small cuttings and shreds of grass and fallen leaves from the yard.

  9. Eggshells- broken down eggshells in small amounts.

  10. Old herbs and spices- leaves and stems of most aromatics used in cooking.

  11. Dinner table scraps- kitchen scraps and left-over food on plates and in cooking pans.

  12. Spoiled or expired food- small amounts of lightly molded and spoiled food waste.

  13. Soft bones- fish bones, shrimp tails, and small thin shells and bones

  14. Meat scraps- in small amounts, small bits of meat of all kinds can be added.

  15. Bread- sale and moldy bread, crusts, crumbs, and end slices.

  16. Cereal- stale or expired non sugar cereals, dust and crumbs, soggy cereal remnants.

  17. Oatmeal- leftover cooked or raw oatmeal, dust, and crumbs.

  18. Pasta- all cooked or uncooked pasta can be added in small amounts.

  19. Soup- liquid from cooked and condensed soup, and soup leftovers.

  20. Honey- in very small amounts honey-like items can be added.

  21. Syrups- small amounts and remnants from breakfast plates can be added.

  22. Flour- remnants from bags, or flour left over after baking.

  23. Nutshells- thin shells of pistachios, acorns, and pecans are ok sparingly.

  24. Rice- cooked and uncooked remnants can be added in small amounts.

  25. Tofu- can be added in any form if broken into smaller pieces.

  26. Jellies and jams- in small amounts, drippings and leftovers can be added.

  27. Nuts and butters- tiny amounts of butters and nut products are safe as well.

  28. Salad dressings- all dressings can be used with other compost items.

  29. Flowers- dried, wilted, and fresh flowers of all kinds.

  30. House plant clippings- leaves and seeds and bark from indoor plants.

  31. Paper towels- soiled, new, shredded, and used paper towel products.

  32. Cardboard- shredded cardboard can be used in small amounts.

  33. Newspaper- newspaper strips can be added in low amounts.

  34. Paper cartons- if broken into pieces, biodegradable packages are ok.

  35. Non-glossy magazines- untreated paper from books or magazines.

  36. Shredded fabric- small scraps and pieces of fabrics, cotton balls, and material.

  37. Dinnerware- paper napkins and plates, and bamboo toothpicks can be added.

  38. Nail and hair- small amounts of nail clippings and human or pet hair are ok.

  39. Paper envelopes- standard paper envelopes, junk mail, and paper bags are ok.

  40. Bio plastics- in small amounts certified bio plastics can be added as well.

This is by no means a fully inclusive list of good green and brown materials to add to your indoor composting bin. There is a wealth of items that get thrown in the trash every single day that could be turned into compost and added to your garden.

For a more comprehensive list on what to compost and what not to, you can check out this article.



You may be thinking -ok this is a good idea in theory, but why should I bother having an indoor compost pile and having plants in my home to use the compost on? That is a very common and valid question and the answer may surprise you, so keep on reading!


Benefits of Having Plants in the Home

Having plants in the home is a quick and easy way to get a little slice of nature indoors right where you are. And plants thrive with the right care and attention.

A potted fern in the window sill, an orchid on the table, or a lily on the desk can all bring many amazing benefits to you and your family. There is a reason why office cubicles always look and feel better and people seem a little happier when there are plants around. Plants are amazing and bring many wonderful benefits with them.

Highlighted here are ten of the most impactful things you can gain from having plants indoors to use your garden compost pile soil and organic materials on:


1. Lowers Stress Levels

There is a reason why people tend to gravitate to nature and the great outdoors when they are stressed and need a break from the madness of the world around them.

It is not always possible to get out into nature so bringing a piece of it indoors into your space can have a similar effect. It has been shown that being around plants can help you relax and focus and improve your mood and outlook.


2. Helps with Boredom

There is a saying that idle hands are the devil’s favorite tools. Having plants around the home can give you something to do and focus your energy and attention on. There is also a certain sense of pride and accomplishment that comes from seeing your plants grow and thrive.

You can keep busy and enjoy your time indoors by being productive and doing something good for yourself, your family, and the environment.


3. Improves Oxygen Levels

Plants are valuable to us as humans because they provide the oxygen that we need to survive. Indoors oxygen levels can become lower and the air can get stale when there is no good ventilation or airflow from outside.

Keeping plants inside the home and help boost oxygen levels which, in turn, can help you feel happier and more restful at nights because your oxygen levels remain at a healthy level.


4. Cleans the Air

Not only do plants help provide the oxygen we breathe, but they also help filter and clean the air. Plants absorb the carbon dioxide we breathe out so by having plants around you in the home, your home’s air levels stay high and clean.

Plants remove other pollutants so your home stays fresh and smelling great. Good air quality has many health benefits, so it is well worth having plants around to clean the air.


5. Teaches Responsibility

There is also a certain level of responsibility and stewardship that can be learned by taking care of plants in the home. Children and adults alike can learn to be responsible as they care for another living thing that relies on them and their attentiveness.

Learning to care for plants can teach vital skills such as time management, reliability, being a good steward of nature, and how to think beyond one’s own little bubble.


6. Improves Overall Health

With higher oxygen levels and better air quality, you can enjoy many health benefits if you keep plants in your home. Cleaner air means people with breathing issues such as asthma and allergies can see a reduction in symptom severity and enjoy fewer flare-ups.

It can also help prevent other common issues associated with poor air quality and can keep kids and adults alike safer and healthier.


7. Can Be Very Therapeutic

A more mental aspect of taking care of plants can come into play as well and bring benefits for those who are in periods of recovery or who are looking for a therapeutic outlook.

Recovery times are often difficult and very limited and disruptive to our normal activities and lives. Spending time taking care of plants in the home can help provide much needed focus and redirection during these times.


8. Adds Beauty to the Home

Many people start growing plants in the home purely for the aesthetic appeal that they can provide. Having flowers in the home can add a wonderful splash of color to any room.

Attractive foliage arranged in a corner or in the windowsill can also help add a relaxing and calming ambiance to any room. There are so many types of indoor plants to choose from there is definitely something for everyone to fall in love with.


9. Generates Food

An added benefit to growing plants indoors, if you choose the right kind of plants, is that you can have delightful things to eat right at your fingertips. Window boxes, potted plants and other small-scale plantings can be a way to grow delicious herbs indoor.

You can use these tasty plants in your cooking to always keep things interesting when you are cooking meals for your family or for friends.


10. Increases Productivity

The final reason why growing plants indoors can be a great option is how they can boost productivity and creativity. Studies have shown plants help us relax and help improve our mood. When we feel good, we can concentrate.

When we are relaxed, we can be more creative. And when we are creative and energized, we become much more productive and get more things done faster and more easily.

People often are not aware of the many benefits of indoor plants and how growing plants inside can do more than just breathe some fresh air and color into a room. These are just a handful of the health and wellness benefits plants have to offer. With a home based compost bin setup, it is easier than ever to get the best looking plants possible with high quality finished compost made right at home.

By filling your home and garden with beautiful plants, you are doing a lot to help protect the mental and physical health of you and your family! You can ensure your plants have all the rich soil and natural nutrients that they need by making compost quickly and easily! Rather than slaving away at a large compost heap outside, you can get all the benefits of rich organic soil right in the comfort of your home.


Things to Never Compost in a Home Garden Composting System

Like all good things in there, there is a downside to composting, and it is the simple truth that not everything can be composted, even some organic materials. Some items are just too big or hard or are simply not safe to add to counter top composting bins.

Other items can attract pests or may be harmful to the beneficial composting organisms that live in the organic soil. There are many things you should be composting, but there are also things that are better left out of the composting bin. While the no-go list is short, it is important to ensure you are not adding any of these items into your composting.

These items can damage the system, cause the compositing to not turn out correctly, lead to diseased plants, cause unwanted pests, or pose a health and safety risk if it gets into the soil. With this in mind, here are the household items I recommend never be put into your home composting system.

  • Hard bones (chicken, beef, pork, lamb)- these items are too hard to break down easily

  • Cooking oils, grease, fats- these will often rot and mold before they break down enough

  • Fruit pits (avocados, peaches, apricots, mango)- can grow before the break-down

  • Soaps, shampoo and conditioner bars- will add poisons to the soil that will kill plants

  • Lined bags (chip, cookie, pet food)- are not biodegradable and will accumulate

  • Plastic bags- cannot be broken down and will clog up composting bins

  • Soiled diapers, baby wipes- pose a serious health hazard and must never be composted

  • Cigarettes- contains chemicals that will poison the soil and any plants it contacts

  • Metal, plastic, glass- cannot be decomposed and should not be added to composts

  • Diapers, wipes, hygiene products- full of chemicals that pose a major health hazard

  • Produce netting – usually is not compostable as it is plastic or plastic-based

  • Styrofoam – does not break down at all and will contaminate the soil and compost

  • Pet waste- dog or cat feces bring the risk of spreading harmful diseases to humans

  • Alcohol- cannot be broken down easily and will poison the soil and plants

  • Walnut shells – shells won’t decompose and contain a toxic chemical called juglone

  • Treated plants- plant material treated with synthetic chemicals can poison the compost

  • Treated lumber- untreated wood chips are ok, but treated wood is a no-go

  • Seeds- weed seeds should not be added as they can sprout and begin to grow as weeds

  • Dryer lint- fabric shreds are ok, but lint also includes soaps and dryer sheet remnants

  • Vacuum contents- again, much of it may be ok but unknown contaminants are likely

  • Charcoal ash- it can be ok in low amounts, but it is easy to overdose and best to avoid

  • Cat litter- most of the litter won’t decompose, and the waste products are a hazard

  • Diseased plants- obvious plant diseases and insect ridded plants should not be added

  • Dairy product- the chance of dairy materials souring before they decompose is high

Like the list of things that can be safely composted with home compost bins, this is not an all-inclusive run down. If you are uncertain if something is safe, it might be best to just leave it out until you can find out for sure.

There are plenty of things that can be added to a composting pile so leaving out one or two questionable additions is not that bad of a compromise in the long run.


Get Lomi Today and See How Easy Composting at Home Can Be!

Lomi is a one of a kind table-top home composting system that can convert common bio-waste into usable soil. And it does it all without the smell and hassle and time investment as it can be done in just a few short hours.

It creates beautiful brown and green materials that can be added to any indoor plants or gardens that you have. Lomi is even better than home composting systems of the past as it can handle more than just food scraps, giving you and your family a quick way to reduce your waste and lower your carbon footprint every single day!

Lomi by Pela



Lomi allows you to turn food waste into plant-ready nutrients in under 24 hours. Boost your plants while reducing your waste.


Food waste and other organic waste has to be put to an end and people need to take steps, even little steps, right not to embrace a more sustainable way of living. Lomi was dinged based on this idea. This system was designed to be one of the most efficient and powerful compost bins on the market.

All the compostable items are easily broken down using heat, abrasion, and oxygen in a quiet and speedy process that gives you rich and beautiful soil that can be used in and around your home.

Our innovative compost bin design turns food scraps and other waste into soil in just four hours and requires very little downtime between cycles. Making compost can be fun and enjoyable for you and your family with Lomi.

Call today to get yours and start making a positive impact on the world in your own powerful way with an indoor compost bin and limitless access to right organic matter for your plants and garden!