Posted in community

Eastern Elementary: Growing Compost Champions


Thursday is a special day at Eastern Elementary because Thursday is compost day.

The Compost Champions Club, a pilot program run by 3rd graders, with support from two very compost-errific teachers, Mrs. LaBarre and Mrs. Radakovich, launched this past fall and is off to an awesome start.

Upon arriving to school on Thursdays, these 13 Compost Champions, who all opted into the club, get to work. They’re each assigned 1-2 classrooms where they grab the week’s worth of organic waste and then replace the bag in the small compost bin (Shout out to our friends at Biobag for donating the MaxAir bins and compostable bags),

What can be found in these bins? Mostly apple cores, banana peels, grape stems and orange rinds. Thanks to some in classroom, pre-program education by each Compost Champions,  there is very little no-no’s. Read: meat, dairy, plastic.

The Compost Champions then bring the bags of snack scraps to a centrally located C’sC bucket outside Mrs. LaBarre’s class. They check off each classroom to make sure that none are missed.  Escorted by volunteer parent, the bucket is then walked out to the school’s on-site compost station.

They cover the classroom snack scraps with some leaves harvested from the school’s trees to add in some carbon so that things stay balanced and lovely.

Come spring, these Eastern snack scraps and Eastern leaves will have turned into Eastern compost to help the Eastern garden grow to then feed Eastern kids. Less waste. Full circle. How awesome is that?!


Much more than a simple pick-up service, these Compost Champions, by leading the way and making food scrap recycling an easy daily thing for their classmates, are changing behaviors and shifting habits about the importance of reducing food waste and upcycling Eastern’s organic waste.

“I think the program is going great – the 3rd grade compost kids show up eagerly each week, ready to collect and I’ve heard nothing but positive feedback from staff.  Students are reminding one another what can and cannot be composted and even my preschooler tells me how they compost at snack time.  I’ve had a handful of students asking why we aren’t composting in the cafeteria because so much gets thrown out in there.  I feel like we’re off to a great start! “, says program leader and 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. LaBarre.

Already a very green school – bike friendly, walk-tastic, paper recycling – Eastern, thanks to its Compost Champions, is on the verge of environmental greatness and C’sC is so proud to help them get there.

Posted in bike-powered, community, compost

The Story Of Change + Bike-Powered Community Composting

We love The Story of Change. We love everything about it. Flexing our citizens muscle, aiming high, working together and acting boldly.

Big Idea + Teamwork + Action = Real Change

The video got us thinking about Traverse City’s Household Kitchen Scrap Composting Rate and our Community Sustained Compost Project.

We scribbled down this equation:

Bike-Powered Community Composting +
The Awesome People of Traverse City +
Harnessing The Power of the Bicycle To Transport Neighborhood Kitchen Scraps (and other resources*) to a Network of TC Drop-Sites** =

A Greener, Stronger and More Connected Traverse City Which Produces Less Waste, Saves Landfill Space And Grows Lots Of Awesome Garden Soil.

* Think bagged leaves, straw bales, palettes for building compost bins, worms, veggie plants, dirt screeners, wheelbarrows etc.

** Drop-Sites could include our “Sharing” Piles, Community Gardens, Schools, Churches, Neigborhood Compost Stations etc.

We believe that a community that composts together, stays together.

We also believe in the power of the bicycle.

Let’s put the two together and do something awesome, TC.