It is a fact of life: we all have to get ill at one point or the other. This is why we need doctors in our lives, to help us through the illness as well as advise on how to stay healthy and stronger. One of the greatest pieces of advice from doctors is to consume fruits. One of these fruits is ‘the green gold’, avocado.
Avocados are known for their versatility, their health benefits and their provision of minerals and vitamins. Each avocado is characterized by the skin on the outside, green flesh and a brown pit, which is can withstand floating across the sea and passing through the guts of animals. However, can the skin and pits be used differently? Can the composting bin intimidate the pits? This article has more.
- Are Avocado Pits Compostable?
- Can You Compost Avocado Skins?
- Are Avocado Pits Biodegradable?
- Can You Put Avocado Seeds in the Compost?
- 5+ Great Ways to Reuse The Pit of an Avocado
Are Avocado Pits Compostable?
Yes, avocado pits are compostable. This might come as a surprise but an avocado pit can be composted, although not in its whole state. The composting process involves organic matter, moisture, oxygen and microorganisms.
Organic matter includes plant residues, which in this case include the avocado pits, as well as some animal manures. The pit is a brown material and is a source of carbon to the composting process.
This, therefore, means that green materials, including grass clippings, kitchen waste and yard have to be added to introduce nitrogen to the process. Not only is the avocado pit compostable, but also all parts of the avocado, including the flesh and the skin, can be composted.
As you can tell, if the pits are added whole to the compost, it will take a very long time before they fully decompose. There is also the risk of them sprouting into trees, defeating the whole purpose of composting. As such, the pits have to be cut into small pieces before being added to the composter.
Being a brown material, the avocado pit should be placed in the bottom layer of the pile. In the moist conditions of a compost pile, avocado pits may sprout easily, although they also decompose over time. the seed of the avocado can begin to grow, although it will not continue to do so in the sunless compost pile environment. This is why you have to chop the pits into small pieces using a knife or scissors.
Apart from cutting the pits into small pieces and placing them at the bottom, you also have to consider the moisture and temperature levels inside the bin. Moisture can be added to the pile by sprinkling each layer until it is wet but not soggy. Water helps start the decomposition process.
Moisture helps these materials decay and allows microorganisms to feed. As pertains the temperature, decomposition occurs most rapidly when the compost pile reaches 110°F to 160°F (43.3°C – 71.1°C) a new compost pile can achieve this temperature within two weeks and the pile will appear to have settled and reduced in size, an indication that decomposition is taking place.
Since the avocado pits and other fibrous plant stems will be at the bottom of the compost pile, decomposition will be at a slower rate. All in all, avocado pits and woody stems will take up to six months to fully decompose.
Can You Compost Avocado Skins?
Oh yes. Actually, there is not a better place for the inedible avocado peels than a compost pit. Like other fruit rinds or peels, they are inedible and only end up in the trash and composting is the healthier and environmentally-conscious alternative.
Still, the avocado peels do not break down as fast as you would ordinarily expect them to. It is therefore highly likely that you will find them in the final compost. To be better at composting avocado skins, be sure to cut them finely and provide sufficient time for them to break down.
To compost avocado peels, start by removing the fleshy part for your consumption, and leave some behind on the covers. You do not necessarily have to scrape the skin clean for composting. Then, cut the skins using kitchen scissors or a knife to small pieces, like two square inches each.
Cutting the skins into small pieces is crucial to speed up the process of decomposition and allow them to mix better into the rest of the compost pile. You can also crush them to reduce their size.
Avocado peels are partly green but mainly brown, but it being so tough ensures that nothing is required to balance them. Balancing out the brown and green parts of your compost pile is essential to provide a perfect blend, but I think the avocado skin does all the job for you.
As soon as you have shredded all the peel, add them into the compost pile with the rest of the food scraps. In case you are just starting your pile, put the rind in the green layer. If your pile is already established, bury the pieces in the middle of the pile. The avocado peels must make no more than 10% of the food scraps in your compost pile.
Since the skins are rather tough, the more you add them to your pile, the longer it will take for them to decompose the rest of the materials in them. Also, you may add the avocado peels to both a hot or dark pile, though it will take even longer to decompose the rest of the material.
Are Avocado Pits Biodegradable?
Yes, avocado pits are completely biodegradable. this explains why it is possible to recycle and compost them. Once they are cut into smaller pieces and then placed in a composting bin, they will biodegrade in a matter of months.
Burying them in the ground can also work, although there is one major flaw with that approach: they might sprout into a tree rather than fully decomposing. However, if you cut them into smaller pieces, that should do the trick. Avocado pits are biodegradable that a company in Morelia, Mexico now makes sustainable and biodegradable plastics from the pits.
According to Simplemost, avocado seeds contain a biopolymer, a degradable material produced by organisms that can be used as an alternative to plastic. The Mexican-based company, called Biofase, uses avocado pits to create cutlery, spoons, forks and straws that contain about 70% biomass content.
The products are extra strong, suitable for hot and cold food, and according to the brand, are the first to be made from fully renewable and sustainable sources. As Mexico produces about 50% of the world’s supply of avocados, avocado pits and seeds pile up in the nation like nowhere else in the world, and unfortunately, the majority end up in landfills.
The avocado-derived plastic technology began being developed some time back and is ideal for combating plastic pollution as well as overreliance on fossil fuels to make similar utensils. When taken to landfills, the products biodegrade in 240 days, unlike plastic alternatives, which can take more than 100 years to decompose. Moreover, the products can also be composted, helping you live a more sustainable lifestyle.
Can You Put Avocado Seeds in the Compost?
Yes, avocado seeds can be composted. Well, avocados have a pit which is also referred to as the seed. However, you can consider the part that grows into a new avocado tree as the pit, with the entire thing, called the pit.
The seed is responsible for a new life with the pit being used at that time as food for the germinating seed. The seed is also responsible for the entire thing germinating and sprouting into a new tree even when inside the composting bin.
Being organic compounds, they can also decompose inside a composting bin, making them sustainable and amazing for the environment. While you can send the seeds whole into the composter, it is advisable to chop them first into smaller sizes.
Without cutting them, you run the risk of the seeds germinating, and also takes longer to decompose. Regardless, the pits and seeds take even longer to decompose as compared to the peels.
5+ Great Ways to Reuse The Pit of an Avocado
1. Make dye
You can use both the fruit’s skin and pit to create a natural pink-hued dye for fabric. Yes, it is pink, unlike the green color you would be expecting. The shade of pink will depend on the fabric you use, but ultimately, avocado pits are good for making natural dyes.
All you need is a big pot, big enough to hold whatever you are dying, at most five fresh and cleaned avocado pits, the fabric you are dying and a wooden spoon for stirring and removing the fabric. The detailed dying process is available here.
2. You can eat it
Hold off for a second on making that ‘what?’ face. Yes, you can grind up an avocado pit into a smoothie that you can consume. The pits contain several nutrients including calcium, magnesium and potassium. Just split it with a heavy knife and cut it into small pieces. Then blend it while it is still wet. It is easier to mix and make the smoothie using your blender.
3. Make avocado tea
Simply put chunks of an avocado pit inside a tea infuser, put the infuser in a mug, and pour boiling water over it. Yes, the seeds can be bitter, so you may want to add a bit of honey or another sweetener.
4. Grow an avocado tree
The pit is the gateway to a new avocado plant. First, gently clean the avocado pit, and note which side is the top and which one is the bottom. The top end has to be kept dry while the bottom end will have to be submerged in water.
Then, push toothpicks into the avocado pit around its equator s it can be rested on top of a glass of water. Make sure the water level is around halfway up the pit and keep it topped up. The process will take several weeks before the pit sprouts in a sunny location.
Make sure the pit gets as much sunshine as possible and since sunshine is required, it is best to attempt this in the spring. A taproot will emerge and you cannot let this taproot dry out. With time, you will transfer the young plant to rich fertile soil and you will have your new plant growing in no time.
5. Make Christmas ornaments for your tree
You can paint, carve or decorate avocado pits and use them as decorations for a Christmas tree. You can treat them with a natural oil so their natural color shines through, or paint them in the desired shade using eco-friendly paints. You can also carve designs onto them using woodworking tools, or use pyrography to burn on a design before you oil or wax them.
6. Wash your hair
You can use some pits to make a homemade avocado shampoo and move away from the commercial shampoos. Use three dried and grated avocado pits, six cups of water and just a few ounces of your regular shampoo. The homemade shampoo supposedly thickens and softens hair. You can also use dried and ground avocado pits as an exfoliant to get rid of dry skin.