Tag Archives: Traverse City

A Compost-errific Traverse City

10 Mar

 Spring has come early to Northern Michigan and we are so so so excited to ride bikes, sling buckets and get our hands dirty again.

This will be our 4th season (Whaa!?! How is that possible?) of bike-powered community composting and, as always, we’re Dreaming Big.

C’sC goals for 2015:

1. Help make Traverse City the most compost-errific town in Michigan The Universe.
2. Help more (lots more!) youth start bike-powered bucket slinging operations in their Traverse City neighborhoods.
3. Help build 100 community/”sharing” compost piles in Traverse City.
4. Ride bikes. A lot.
5. Create a compost-y Map.

“TC as the most compost-errific town in The Universe sounds awesome. How can I help?”, you ask?


1. Become a Compost Champion HERE and commit to recycling your kitchen scraps. Grow Traverse City Dirt not Traverse City landfills.

2. Support your neighborhood Compost Boy or Girl. Like Amelia. Or Max. Or Noah and Elise. Or Jack. Or Katie. Or William. Or our newest SlabTown and Boardman bucket slingers, Kyan and Moses. They make composting super easy. Plus they’re awesome. Sign up HERE for weekly bike-powered pick-ups for just $10/month.

3. Share your pile. Because compost pile sharing is the best kind of sharing and a Traverse City that composts together, stays together. We’re at 19 sharing piles. Only 81 to go.

More info on the power of pile sharing and how it works HERE.

4. Ride bikes with us sometime. Our sister project, Norte!, has grown up into a legit nonprofit advocacy organization. They are dedicated to building a more bike-friendly Traverse City by inspiring youth through bicycles. Norte! has lots of cool things happening. Check’em out HERE.

5. We’re also creating a map. An awesome map, actually. A map to help connect experienced/knowledgeable TC composters with our neighborhood bucket slingers and other TC neighbors who might not have the space or know-how to compost. All you have to do it is share it with at least on neighbor. Sound awesome? Sign-up to share your pile HERE and help us grow our map.

Click the map to check it out in more detail:


Thanks for helping us to green Traverse City one bucket at a time by supporting bike-powered community composting.

We’ll see you around the ‘hood this spring and, please, Compost On!

Carter and Team

Save The Coffee Grounds: A Traverse City Dirt Project

16 Oct


Here at C’sC World HQ, we believe that if there’s one thing that should definitely NOT go into the landfill, it’s coffee grounds. They’re just too valuable. A fantastic source of Nitrogen. Plus they smell super good!

Save The Coffee Grounds is a Traverse City Dirt community project where we are partnering with neighborhood coffee shops to grow more neighborhood compost. More TC Dirt.

We are currently helping Brew, Cuppa Joe Drive-Thru and Morsels compost/recycle/de-landfill ALL of their coffee grounds. That’s a lot of coffee grounds! But, we’re dreaming big and not stopping there. We hope to one day save ALL of the coffee grounds from ALL of TC’s coffee shops. To achieve that goal, we need your help.


1. We will use our bike trailers to transport the buckets of coffee grounds from coffee shops to C’sC World HQ. You will come to the alley (841 Washington) to pick-up the coffee grounds. We hope to establish other pick-up locations around town in the future. Stay tuned on that.

2. Take as many buckets as you want and dump them into your backyard pile. If you don’t have a pile we can help find you some pallets to build one but you have to promise to share it with your neighbor ;)

3. Harvest a bunch leaves from your neighborhoods trees (they’re starting to fall as we type!) to mix in with the grounds. Maples leaves are best. No offense, Mr. Oak tree. If you have extra leaves, maybe you can bag some up and share with us? Read more on our #Leaves4Carter program HERE.

4. Return the empty buckets to C’sC World HQ and grab more coffee grounds if needed.

5. Build a big heap of leaves and coffee grounds (and other kitchen scraps too) so that come spring, you will have lots of compost to use in your garden.

6. Give yourself a pat on the back for being a Compost Champion and helping to support a greener, more awesome Traverse City.

Putting the FUN in Fungi : Grand Traverse Mycological Society and The Radical Mycology Tour

9 Sep


The Grand Traverse Mycological Society is hosting the Radical Mycology Collective’s Tour for a 2-day Mushroom Cultivation and Application Course in Traverse City, September 27-28.

The course will finish with a hands-on, collaborative mushroom installation here at Carter’s Compost World HQ. The plan is to innoculate new mushroom beds around 2-3 of our Apple Trees using Oyster and King Stropharia. Our Mirror-Mirror Pile will also be inoculated with Shaggy Mane mushrooms. Compost and Mushrooms. Like Peanut Butter and Jelly. Awesome, right?

In addition, The GT Mycological Society will be hosting a kids workshop in the Carter’s Compost Urban Farm Sunday, September 28, at 2 pm.

Putting the FUN in Fungi:

What do mushrooms eat?
What does it mean to be a decomposer?
How can we work with mushrooms to clean water and soil?
Come find out through a hands-on activity where we will make mushroom growing kits that you can take home!

Join us as we play games, act out ecological roles and explore the amazing world of forest fungi. Expect a 1 hour workshop. Perfect for kids aged 7-13. Donation based to help cover costs, suggested $10, however no one turned away for lack of funds. There are only 10 openings so please reserve your spot by emailing us at carterscompost@gmail.com.

To learn more about The Grand Traverse Mycological Socitey and their mission of providing people with the resources necessary to learn and explore the fungal kingdom email GTMycoSociety@gmail.com.

Register for the Cultivation and Application Course HERE.

As always, please, Compost On!

C’sC + MYOI : Youth-Driven Community Composting

14 Aug


We’ve been fortunate to partner with the crew from Michigan Youth Opportunities Initiative (MYOI) on several occasions. Last year’s Neighborhood Compost Fiesta, July’s Community Compost Screening Work-bee at Oryana and a recent bike-powered bucket slinging session. They are a great group of young people. Eager to learn. Hard working. True compost champions.

Together we rode bikes, picked-up our neighbor’s kitchen scraps, screened Traverse City dirt, grew community compost and greened our neighborhoods. We talked about C’sC and our vision of small-scale, bike-powered, youth-driven community composting. We shared our start-up story of re-using/re-purposing/re-loving things (bike trailers, buckets, pallets, organic waste) to launch our social-entrepreneur-ish business. We encouraged them to become involved in their community and seize opportunities.

Carter’s Compost is definitely looking forward to more collaborations in the future.

Keep awesome, MYOI, and Compost On!

Compost Drop-Off @ Sara Hardy Farmer’s Market

4 Jun


Starting this Saturday, June 7th, we’ll be offering kitchen scrap drop-off for the Sara Hardy Farmer’s Market goers. We’ll be bringing our bike-powered Mobile Compost Pile to transport your scraps from the market to C’sC World HQ or one of our Neighborhood Sharing Stations. This is a pilot project for the month of June to test it out.

Here’s How It Works:

1. Come to the market. Shop local. Buy local. Eat local. We’ll by near Norte! TC’s Bike Valet on the west side of the market by the SEEDS Office (aka “The Birdhouse”). Maybe you can even come by bike? That’d be awesome.

2. Bring your bucket full of kitchen scraps to the market.

What can go into the bucket? Well, most everything that grows is OK.

“If is grows, it goes!”

Fruit and vegetable scraps, non-greasy food scraps like rice, pasta, bread,
cereal etc., coffee grounds & filters, tea bags (staples OK), egg and nut shells, pits.

Please NO meat, dairy, bones, chicken, fish, greasy food scraps, fat, oil, dairy, animal waste, litter or bedding, coal or charcoal, coconuts, yard waste.

3. Grab a clean bucket and lid off the bike trailer.

4. Buy lots of yummy/healthy/local veggies and fruits from the market and start filling up your bucket again with scraps. Come back the following Saturday to drop-off and grab a clean bucket. If you can line the bucket with a regular grocery store paper bag (keeps the bucket scrubbing to a minimum) before adding to it, that’d be fantastic!

Feel free to email us at carterscompost@gmail.com with more questions.

Cost? Because we love our Downtown Farmer’s Market, drop-offs will be by donation only during this pilot period.

Compost On! and we’ll see you Saturday.

May. So far. So good.

15 May


How’s your May going? Our’s has been killer. It’s only half way done and May is already been the most awesome month of the year. So far. So good.

A recap:

– Crushed our Bike-powered Community Kickstarter Project. We raised almost $4200 via 70 backers from all over the planet. We’re super excited about our new cargo trailers and the Traverse City Dirt Tshirt.

National Compost Awareness Week rocked. Signed up/renewed 14 members who’ve committed to being Compost Champions. Screened 15 buckets of our 100% awesome locally grown compost during our Neighborhood Dirt Party. And added another “pile sharer” to our map.

– Scored a $1000 grant from the wonderful people at So Delcious. We won there #140Difference contest with this tweet:

Bike-Powered, Youth-Driven Community Composting: Compost Boys (or Girls!) slinging buckets to green our #tcmi neighborhoods. #140Difference

We will be using this money to expand our bicycle cargo trailer fleet as we aim to get more trailers to more kids in more TC neighborhoods.

– Enter the crew from Gainesville Compost and Kanner Karts. We’re teaming up with them to bring 3, yes 3!, of their awesome PRO trailers to Northern Michigan. They will be our Big Boy (or Girl!) trailers and allow us to Dream Big as we expand our bike-powered, community bucket slinging operation here in Traverse City.

– Inked deals with some awesome Sponsors. If you see any of them around town make sure to give them a High Five for supporting C’sC and helping us to green our TC.

Thanks for reading and Compost On!

Happy Compost Awareness Week !

3 May


International Compost Awareness Week (also known simply as The Awesome Week) is upon us. It runs May 5 – 12.

It’s a big, big week for us.

Neighborhood Fiestas.
Rotting Organic Waste.

Sounds like fun, eh? They don’t call it The Awesome Week for nothing.

Here’s the Scoop:

1. Take the C’sC Promise and commit to being a Compost Champion.

2. Collect your kitchen scraps. Start a pile. Pick some red wigglers and build a worm bin. Or sign up for our bike-powered pick-ups and get a Free Bucket.

3. Inspire your mom/dad/sister/bus driver/neighbor/bank teller/ co-worker/librarian to take the C’sC Promise and become a Compost Champion too.

4. Join us on Saturday, May 10, 2-4pm, at C’sC World HQ for a Neighborhood Fiesta. We’ll screen dirt, wrangle worms and listen to latin music together. Take some of the dirt that you screened home and use it in your garden. Growing neighborhood food with neighborhood compost made from neighborhood kitchen scraps is awesome.

Our C’sC College of Compostology will also be in session so if you want to learn how to compost in your own backyard, we’ll be giving tours/demos.

It’s going to be awesome. You should come. Bring your garden gloves and your smiley face.

See you soon and Compost On!

The Carter’s Compost Promise

2 May

photo (5)

Commit to being a Compost Champion!

The Carter’s Compost Promise is a grass-roots initiative designed to create awareness about the awesomeness of small-scale/backyard/neighborhood composting and to increase TC’s composting rate. Composting is easy. Really. It’s also, in our opinion, the most environmentally friendly form of recycling there is. We hope that by taking the Promise you’ll give it a try or get back in the groove if its been awhile.

Here’s How It Works:

1. Raise your right hand and repeat these words:

“I, [your name], promise to be awesome and to try my best to compost my kitchen scraps. I will harness the power of the pile to reduce my waste, grow great garden soil and make Traverse City greener than ever. I will be a Compost Champion and inspire my neighbors to be one too. Yay, Compost!

2. Complete this form:

3. Post this blurb to FB/Twitter/Instagram using hashtag #CompostTC:

“I just took The Carter’s Compost Promise. I’ve committed to being a Compost Champion and will now be composting my kitchen scraps like a rock star.”

4. Be a Compost Champion by recycling your household kitchen scraps. You don’t have to be 100% awesome. Just try your best.

5. Share your victories/successes/problems/failures/discoveries on our FB page: www.facebook.com/carterscompost

6. Give yourself a High Five for being awesome and helping to Green our TC.

Not sure how to compost your kitchen scraps? The EPA’s website is a good place to start. Our GT County’s RecycleSmart site is also great.

We also offer tours/demos/education here at C’sC World HQ with our College Of Compostology.

Stay tuned for more C’sC International Compost Awareness Week events.

Let’s Compost On! together and make TC the most awesomest town in the universe.

The One-Week-To-Go “Big Boy (or Girl!)” Trailer Kickstarter Stretch Goal

30 Apr


Our Kickstarter Project is going awesome. We’ve been truly humbled by the amount of support by backers from all across the US (and Canada/Europe too). It’s not over yet though. We’re Dreaming Big!

Behind every Compost Boy (or Girl!) is a Big Person. Usually an awesome Big Person like mom or dad or a friend. These Big People sometimes help with the heavy lifting that comes with bike-powered, community composting.

Pile turning.
Bike hauling.
Bucket lifting.

We may be youth-driven but these Big People are an important part of our bucket slinging operation.

In collaboration with our friends from Gainesville Compost and Kanner Karts, we are setting a stretch goal in our final 7 days to help fund a “Big Boy (or Girl!)” cargo trailer. It will be built to spec in Florida. With a hauling capacity of 350 pounds, this bike trailer is the real deal. It will allow us to scale up our Community Sustained Compost Project to help more of our neighbors reduce their waste by making composting super easy for them.

This Stretch Goal aims to raise another $1200 to cover the cost of the trailer and shipping. We’re almost half way there already so with a little more support we can make this happen.

“With the power of compost (and a Big Boy (or Girl!) Trailer), anything is possible.”

You can back us HERE.

Thank you and Compost On!

The C’sC Team

Bike-Powered Community Composting : A Kickstarter Project

27 Apr

We believe a community that composts together, grows together.

We also believe in the power of the bicycle. We have proven that bike-powered community composting can work in Traverse City. By using pedal power, we are greening our neighborhood, reducing waste, saving landfill space, and growing amazing garden soil.

Our Kickstarter Project will help us invest in two more bike cargo trailers. These trailers will go to other kids in TC who are slinging buckets in their own neighborhoods. The paperboy disappeared years ago but being a Compost Boy (or Girl!) is a great job for kids today.

Our backers will also be funding the most awesome compost T-shirt in Traverse City history. It has been designed locally by the creative geniuses at Tee See Tee and looks awesome. The T-shirt will be part of our “Traverse City Dirt” campaign which is focused on raising awareness about the awesomeness of growing TC food with TC compost made from TC kitchen scraps.

You can back us here:


Traverse City is an awesome town. We love our water, our local food and our local farmers. We are a foodie town but hopefully, real soon, we’ll be a compost town too. There’s a lot of value in those banana peels and apple cores and, as you know, you can’t grow awesome veggies without awesome soil.

So let’s be Compost Champions together and make it happen, OK?

Like my friend Gary said, “With the power of compost, anything is possible”.

You can support our KS Project at 6 different levels:

1. Worm Wrangler Level ($10)

A C’sC decal for your bicycle, bike helmet or gasp!….your fossil fueled transport pod. Banana peels rock! +
Hand-written Thank You note +
High Five from Carter

2. Bucket Slinger Level ($25)

A C’sC decal for your bicycle, bike helmet or gasp!….your fossil fueled transport pod. Banana peels rock! +
Hand-written Thank You note +
High Five from Carter +
Your name added to “Our Donors” page

3. Dirt Screener Level ($50)

Hand-written Thank You note from Carter +
Your name added to “Our Donors” page +
Your own “Traverse City Dirt” T-shirt


4. Pile Builder Level ($100)

Your name added to “Our Donors” page +
Your own “Traverse City Dirt” Tshirt +
Your choice of either a C’sC counter-top compost pail or a 5-gallon bucket of our amazing locally grown neighborhood compost.

5. Pitchfork Power Level ($250) [Corporate Sponsorship]

Your name/business logo included in the quarterly Update From The Pile newsletter +
Your name/business logo addedOur Sponsors” page +
Your business logo sticker on our new bike trailer +
Your own “Traverse City Dirt” T-shirt

6. Compost Champion Level ($500) [Corporate Sponsorship]

Your name/business logo included in the quarterly Update From The Pile newsletter +
Your name/business logo added to “Our Sponsors” page +
Your business logo sticker on our new bike trailer +
Your business logo sticker on 3 of our compost buckets +
Your own awesome “Traverse City Dirt” T-shirt

Thank for your support and helping us make bike-powered, youth-driven, community composting the new normal in Traverse City.


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