20 Things to Add to your Composting Pile

What is composting?

Composting, in general, is the organic matter that has been decomposed into a soiled conditioner for agricultural needs.

If you’re new to the world of composting one thing you’re probably wondering is, what are some things I can add to my compost pile?” When it comes to composting there are two basic categories that the materials you’ll use fall into. Greens and browns are otherwise known as nitrogen-rich and carbon-rich material.

When it comes to composting there are many different materials that you can use. The materials gathered in the list below are just some basic materials. Before we dive into all the great things you can use we’re going to take a brief look at each category.

Greens (Nitrogen-Rich Materials)

Greens or nitrogen-rich materials are the first category vital to producing a compost pile. These type of materials tend to contain a lot of moisture and break down quickly making them a viable addition to your compost pile. Since most of the materials listed in this category are plant-based and contain nitrogen, we call them greens.”

Here are a few things to consider adding to your greens pile:

Corn Cobs

Cooked plain pasta or rice

Tea bags/loose leafs

Fruit & vegetables

Coffee grounds


Stale bread


Old or unused spices

Dead plants

Browns (Carbon-Rich Materials)

Browns or the carbon-rich materials are the second vital category in producing a composting pile. Unlike greens which break down quickly, these type of materials tend to break down more slowly. When adding browns to your pile it’s always a good idea to make sure the pieces are fairly small. You can do this by shredding, chopping, or cutting the material.

Here are a few things to consider adding to your browns pile:


Used paper coffee filters

Used brown paper lunch bags

Shredded newspaper

Raffia ribbon

Twigs & small branches

Pine cones

Sawdust from untreated wood

Used napkins


Do you have your own compost pile? If so, tell me about it below. I’d love to hear about it!

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