The browns you add to your compost pile or compost heap are the carbon producers. Plants absorb carbons as they grow and turn this element into the plant structure. The following list contains some of the carbon producers that you can add to your compost pile to make good compost;
- Newspaper - Closely packed sheets of paper will not decompose they should be scrunched up to add volume and air.
- Envelopes - no plastic windows
- Magazines - coloured inks are made from vegetable dyes, the sheets should be scrumched up to add volume and air
- Computer printer paper - should be scrunched up to add volume and air.
- Toilet roll middles
- cardboard including corrugated cardboard - may need tearing into smaller pieces
- Pet bedding from chickens, hamsters, guinea pigs and rabbits etc - only vegetarian pet bedding please
- Egg boxes
- Woody plant stems up to the thickness of your thumb
- Tissue paper, kitchen paper and paper napkins
- Wood shavings and sawdust
- Coffee grounds and filter paper - also adds a nice aroma to your compost
- Tea leaves and tea bags
- Corn cobs
- Junk mail - should be scrunched up to add volume and air.
- Shredded paper - is a great way to add paper and air to your compost
- Bills, receipts and confidential papers - should be scrunched or shredded
- Hedge clippings - not coniferous
- Sprout stalks
- Animal manure with straw or wood shavings
- Thorny pruning’s including roses - the thorns will decompose
- Wood and coal ash
Other cardboard boxes from the kitchen such as cereal boxes, tissue boxes etc and gift wrap can also be composted however this type of cardboard/paper has a plastic coating and therefore the plastic will need to be removed from your compost once the card or paper has rotted down.
This list is quite comprehensive but in no way exhausted. If you have something that is not listed and want to know whether it can go into your compost pile or compost heap, please ask me.
Remember - "If in doubt, leave it out."