Composting is amazing, breaking down natural materials into soil that can be reused by the earth to sprout new life. However, the word natural gets thrown around a lot these days and sometimes consumers can be left scratching there head "is this actually compostable?". That is why we've compiled a guide to all the natural materials we list on our website. We will look into each type of material, its composting time, and recommend a few products from each.
One of the fastest and strongest plants on Earth, bamboo is a renewable powerhouse. I've had a bamboo plant in my backyard for over 20 years, and it grows like crazy. The speed and durability of bamboo make it one of the premiere compostable products.
- 3 months - 3 years to compost
- Fast growing and edible
- Invasive plant that can run wild
- Durable and strong
It's difficult to pin down wood as a single type of material because it really depends on the tree. There are also major differences between softwoods (conifers - evergreen) and hardwoods (deciduous - leafy). Hardwoods like teak and oak are very versatile and great for toys and kitchen items. Softwoods like pine, fir, and cedar are good for cooking, outdoor projects and your fireplace.
- 3-4 years to compost
- Medium (hardwood) to slow (softwood) growing
- Tree's clean the atmosphere from carbon
- Versatile and widely available
Polylactic Acid (PLA):
PLA is one of the newest materials in the compost world and is derived from corn starch mixed with tapioca root or sugar cane. It is not a true natural material, but does break down like one and isn't made with any toxins or harmful materials like petroleum or plastics. PLA is the only compostable material that can replace certain plastic items because it is a polymer, which means it easily can be formed into many daily use items.
- 1-6 months to compost in Industrial facility
- Difficult to home compost (needs heat)
- Long decomposition time in landfill and wild
- Arguably not very 'natural'
- Recyclable in some areas