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Toss It In the Compost (Really!)

As we wrap up nearly a week’s worth of composting info [www.sundance.tv], tips [www.sundance.tv] and advice [www.sundance.tv], we wanted to remind you that you can put more than dead leaves and apple cores in your compost; there has been a big increase in bioplastics and other biodegradables that can not only help you make great compost, but can cut back on the volume of trash you send to the landfill. Here are some of our favorites.

First off, remember that anything that says “biodegradable” is game to go in your compost — it would break down eventually over time in almost any environment (and even in a landfill, though it doesn’t take much for you to have to wait hundreds of years for it to finish), but in your compost pile is one of the most efficient.

1) That definitely goes for bioplastics [www.treehugger.com], which includes lots of practical things like picnicware [www.treehugger.com] and other cutlery [www.treehugger.com].
2) Something else that’ll make you say “Oh yeah, that makes total sense” are these biodegradable leaf bags [www.treehugger.com] — your leaves can go in the pile, so now the bag can, too.
3) We love it when we find biodegradable versions of things that get thrown away millions of times per day; coffee cups [www.treehugger.com] and bottled water [www.treehugger.com] are two great examples. But remember: they really aren’t that different than their conventional counterparts if you throw them away. Compost them, and you’ll be making a huge difference!
4) Feminine hygiene [www.treehugger.com] and diapers [www.treehugger.com] may both be a bit gross, but it’s great that they don’t have to be mucking up landfills and sewers anymore.
5) More and more things are being produced to be “biodegradable” these days, like t-shirts [www.treehugger.com], bikinis [www.treehugger.com] (really!), scarves [www.treehugger.com], golf tees [www.treehugger.com], packaging tape [www.treehugger.com], cell phones [www.treehugger.com] and not one [www.treehugger.com] but two [www.treehugger.com] biodegradable coffins, so you can go out in green style (though we don’t recommend the compost pile for those).

While some of these are a bit wacky and may seem a little out there, we think it signifies an important sea change in the way things are made; think of the enormous change that’s possible if most everything we consume, including our food scraps but extending to our home furnishings, personal electronics and clothing, can be “recycled” as compost instead of pitched in the garbage…. With that future-forward idea in mind, we wish you good aeration, pleasurable piling and happy composting!