Reuse before composting

By Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Do you know your bin is full of reusable refuse? Instead of composting fruits and vegetables immediately, there are ways that you can give them a final reuse before tossing them to be turned into great garden soil.

For cooking:

Use citrus or orange peels to make an infused olive oil. Add the rinds to your extra virgin olive oil to give it a new flavor, one that you, so far, cannot even buy.

Don’t throw away vegetables leaves. Cook them up and blend them to make into soup.

You can also use those leaves, plus many other bits of vegetables to make into vegetable stock.

The rind from all kind fruits and vegetables give a special flavor to dishes. For example, stuff a chicken with a mixture of scraps of fruit and veggies and during the cooking a very subtle and different flavor will infuse into the meat. The plus of this is that the baking actually helps the scraps break down faster later in the compost pile.

For skin & beauty:

If your skin is dry, use papaya skins or pulp. Papayas are full of vitamin A and papain (an exfoliant) which helps remove all dead skin cells. Carrots, spinach and melon contain a lot of vitamin A too. You can make use of those things too by rubbing them on the dry parts of the skin.

If you have smelly feet, rub the fruit peels on it.

To make your hair darker, don’t use chemical products but potato peels. Boil it 30 minutes and strain out the peels. After your shampoo rinse your hair with this water. This natural hair dye will gradually and naturally darken your hair.

For home:

To polish metal you can make use of citrus rinds; orange, lemon, lime, etc. As they are full of citric acid they make for a great cleaning and polishing agent. To speed up the process, mix it with a little baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) or a little ketchup.

Ketchup on its own also is great for cleaning silver and copper.

Therefore I always drain the ketchup out of the bottles before throwing them and keep that as a cleaning agent for metals.

If you rub a banana peel against the leaves of the plants it would give them a special shine. Banana peels can also be used as a natural fertilizer. They also can be used to shine shoes.

This is but a small list ands there are many more things that can be used in this way. But I doubt that most people even as much as suspect that those bits of household waste I have mentioned here could be so useful.

Reuse is also most beneficial in other quarters and not just as regards to compostable household waste. Every piece of potential waste should be put under scrutiny as to whether it cannot be reused, reworked or upcycled before every it should go on the trip to the recycling bin and the recycling center; and I mean every piece.

© 2011