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Traverse City Dirt : The T-Shirt

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So we crushed this crowd-funding thing 😉 Just 15 days in and we’re already fully funded. Thank You to everyone for supporting us and believing in us.

It’s not over yet though. We still have a few more days. Let’s keep it rolling.

In addition to funding 2 new bike-trailers, our Kickstarter Project is raising money for the most awesome community compost T-shirt in Traverse City history. It was designed locally by the creative geniuses at Tee See Tee and looks sweet. 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 will WANT to wear this T. It will not be a throwaway T. It will be your favorite T! You will wear it with pride to let your neighbors know that you stand for a greener, healthier, more connected Traverse City.

For a $25 donation you will not only be supporting Traverse City’s bike-powered community bucket slingers but you’ll also get your very own TC Dirt T-Shirt plus a hand written Thank You from Carter and your name added to Our Donors page.

You can back us HERE.

Thank You and Compost On!

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2014 Sponsorship Opportunities

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As part of our Bike-Powered Community Composting Kickstarter, we are offering sponsorship opportunities for Traverse City businnesses/organizations who would like to sponsor/underwrite Carter’s Compost.

Last year our sponsors helped us purchase a new cargo bike trailer and mountain bike to pull it with.

This year, we’re raising funds to help us invest in 2 more bike trailers that we’ll loan out to other Compost Boys (or Girls!) in TC like Max or Jack/Izzy. We will also use your sponsorship dollars to “hire” local kids to help out with bucket slinging, dirt screening, worm wrangling, pile turning etc.

Green Neighborhood Jobs for Neighborhood kids = Awesome

2014 sponsorship opportunities are available at 2 levels:

Pitchfork Power Level ($250)

Your name/business logo included in our quarterly “Update From The Pile” +
Your name/business logo added to “Our Sponsors” page +
Your business logo sticker on our new bike trailers +
Your own “Traverse City Dirt” T-shirt

Compost Champion Level ($500)

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

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

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Tucson, AZ // A C’sC Family Adventure

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We escaped Michigan’s winter again this March for a month long, car-free adventure to sunny southern Arizona. It’s been awesome! Lots of bike riding. Burrito eating. Desert exploring. Vitamin D soak-upping. Spanish speaking.

The weather has been truly wonderful but our friends here are what make Tucson amazing.

Our Awesome 50 (in no particular order):

1. Reid Park
2. Eckstrom – Columbus Library
3. Mt. Lemmon
4. Edith Ball Aquatic Center
5. Tucson Zoo
6. The Loop
7. Flandrau Planetarium
8. La Salsa
9. Izaac and Izabel
10. Tucson Festival of Books
11. Pima County Library’s Book Bike
12. 4th Ave Street Fair
13. “Magic Buttons”
14. Lineweaver Elementary
15. Steward Observatory Mirror Lab
16. Himmel Park and Library
17. 3rd Street Bike Route
18. Science City at TFOB
19. San Clemente Neighborhood
20. Tucson Raquet Club
21. Tucson Children’s Museum
22. Cross-Country “race” at Reid
23. Armory Park
24. Bean and cheese burritos
25. Food Conspiracy Co-Op
26. Picolo Tag-a-long
27. Happy hour with St. Joe’s Crew
28. Gramma Tenley
29. Pot luck at the Adams’
30. Friends who lend us their bikes
31. Rocks and Ropes
32. Joel Valdez Library
33. The Sonoran desert in bloom
34. Pan dulce
35. Eegee’s
36. Casa Littlefield
37. Rattlesnake Bridge
38. El Grupo
39. Peddler On The Path
40. AZPM
41. Jack and Lucas
42. Zemam’s
43. Aviation Bike Path
44. Basket Bridge
45. Fair Wheel Bikes
46. Scruff – our vacation house dog
47. Devon and Mckinley
48. Rillito Bike Path
49. Poblano Hot Sauce
50. Estrella bakery

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Mr. Cockroach: Compost RockStar

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We’re staying close enough to the Reid Park zoo that we can walk and we bought an annual pass so we’ve been going a lot. The zoo is really awesome. The new elephant exhibit is cool as are the monkeys, the lion family and giraffes but what is really neat is the educational building with the cockroachs. They have 100 or so of these big guys in a case highlighting their composting efforts. They are decomposers as well as scavengers. They eat everything and are therefore omnivoires. They’ve been around for 300 million years and seem to have a bad rap but some people keep them as pets. Awesome!

Other decomposers include worms, millipedes, mites, bacteria and fungi. These guys help to break down the compost pile and heat it up. The world would be a pretty trashy place without these important decomposers so high five to Mr. Cockroach, the compost rock star, for being so awesome and for helping to green our beautiful planet Earth.

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Carter’s College of Compostology : What to Feed your Worms

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Worms will eat almost anything. But, like you and I, they have foods that they love and foods that they would rather not. Here’s a list of some of me and my worm’s faves and not-so-faves:

Foods I Really Love:

Veggie Pizza
Pad Thai
Bean and Cheese Burritos
Grilled Cheese Sammiches

Foods My Worms Really Love:

Pumpkin
Banana Peels
Watermelon Rinds
Egg Shells
Cantaloupe Rinds

Foods That I Sort of Like:

My Dad’s Beans & Rice
Salads
Butternut Squash
Kale

Food That My Worms Sort of Like:

Coffee Grounds
Tea Bags
Vegetables Scraps (carrot tops etc)
Fruits Scraps (apple cores etc)

Foods That I’m Not a Big Fan Of:

Zucchini
Green bean casserole
Steamed spinach

Foods That My Worms Aren’t Big Fans Of:

Citrus Peels
Onions
Garlic

Worm Bin No-No’s:

Bones (stinky)
Meat (stinky)
Dairy products (stinky too)
Oils (hard for their skin to breathe)
Salty foods (dries their skin out)
Grass Clippings (makes the bin heat up too much)
Inorganic products (duh!)

Pro Tips:

1.Cut food up into smaller chunks. This decreases the time it will take for the worms to eat their food.

2.Feed your worms a diverse diet and always feed in moderation. Read: Mix it up and Don’t Overfeed them!

3. Worms love to eat tomatoes, but they can’t process the seeds.

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Free Bucket Week!

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We LOVE Compost Awareness Week. As a thank you to our TC neighbors and in collaboration with our Community Partners, Oryana, GT Pie and BioBag, C’sC is offering FREE Buckets from May 5-11.

It’s easy:

1. Email us at carterscompost@gmail.com and we’ll drop a bucket off. If you live outside our pick-up territory, you can come to C’sC World HQ to pick one up.

2. Over the week, fill the bucket with your kitchen scraps. More info HERE on what goes in and what doesn’t.

3. I’ll come and pick-up your kitchen scraps with my bike or you can drop-off.

4. Pat yourself on the back for being a Compost Champion and keeping recycle your kitchen scraps forever and ever.

Why compost? Mostly just because it’s the awesome thing to do but also because, we think, it’s the most environmentally responsible method of recycling there is but also to reduce your waste, save landfill space, and build awesome garden soil to grow yummy vegetables in your neighborhood.

Compost On!

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The Ladies of the Washington Street Hennery

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Meet the Ladies of the Washington Street Hennery.

Sunny the Araucana. Georgia the Barred Rock. Astro the Australorp. And Jenny the Silver-laced Wyandotte.

We got them as one-day old chicks and they’re now almost 4 years old. Pretty much grandmas!

My chickens are a super important part of the C’sC operation. Here’s how they help:

1. They handle the kitchen scraps by eating leftover veggies, dairy, and grains.

2. They work hard in the Carter’s Compost Urban Farm by eating bad bugs and cultivating the soil with their scratching.

3. Their poop is an part of our compost recipe. Really!

4. They give me nutritious and delicious eggs so that I have lots of energy to bike Traverse City around and pick-up the buckets.

Our hens rock! Carter’s Compost would be way less awesome without them. Thanks, girls!

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Most Awesome Cycling Jersey in Compost History!

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Like banana peels? Think green spandex is rad? Want to support bike-powered neighborhood bucket slinging? You’re in luck!

We’re now taking orders for the most awesome jersey (custom super-“green” C’sC bottoms also available) in compost history.

Cost?

$55 (Jersey)
+ $5 (Shipping)
+ $15 (donation to support Carter’s Compost)
= $75

Here’s How It Works:

1. Choose your size and cut (Race or Club). Details HERE.

Bottoms also available:

See different options of bibs, knickers, shorts here: http://champ-sys.com/cycling/cycling-collection/bottoms. Choose your pad type.

Cost of bottoms + $5 + $15 = Total

2. Email your pre-order to us at carterscompost@gmail.com

3. Once 10 pieces are pre-ordered to reach the minimum, we’ll put the order in.

4. Send your payment to:

Carter’s Compost
841 Washington St.
Traverse City, MI, 49686

Checks made payable to: Carter’s Compost

PayPal also available with a $5 service fee.

5. We’ll ship (worldwide if needed) or drop-off your gear if local. Expect at least 6-8 weeks from the time the order is placed.

6. Wear your C’sC jersey with pride and be the envy of your riding buddies. Give yourself pat on the back for being so awesome and supporting bike-powered neighborhood bucket slinging.

Back of Jersey:

Raglan Jersey

Bottoms:

FullWrapCycleBibshort_BSH003.pdf

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Carter’s Compost : Oryana Community Partner

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We love our Co-Op. Oryana is one of TC’s most awesome places. Top 5 for sure.

They sponsor bike-powered neighborhood bucket slinging, host Compost Fiestas and celebrate dirt. They build legit Community Compost Stations, grow native plants and perennials in their commemorative garden and are true Compost Champions.

They support bike friendly events like TART’s SmartCommute, Norte! TC‘s Winter Bike To Work (or School!) Day and our Tour de Pile last spring.

They cook yummy food in their cafe, make fantastic tofu, carry healthy snacks and local fruits/veggies, give you a discount if you ride your bike, and accept BayBucks. They even let you have a free piece of fruit when you’re shopping with your mum!

So we are proud to officially be an Oryana Community Partner.

This entitles all fellow Oryana members to one free month of bike-powered kitchen scrap pick-ups per year.

It isn’t a lot but we’re happy to give back as a small Thank You to our Co-Op.

Keep Awesome and Compost On!, Oryana.

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Traverse City’s Household Kitchen Scrap Composting Rate

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Thanks to everyone (N = 648!…how awesome is that?!?) for taking my survey and helping me with my 4th grade science fair project. I got an A+!

Here’s the information that I had up on my Project Board:

PROBLEM QUESTION
What is Traverse City’s household kitchen scrap composting rate?

HYPOTHESIS
Due to my experience as a Compost Boy, I predict that Traverse City’s household kitchen scrap composting rate will be 30%.

RESEARCH
30-40% of household waste in the U.S. is compostable. Food waste makes up 21% of what goes into landfills for a total of 36,000,000 tons every year. The total recovery of food waste is only 1.6% but there are cities that are very compost friendly like Madison, WI. Their household composting rate is 35%.

EXPERIMENT
I designed a scientific online survey on surveymonkey.com. It had 22 questions about composting, gardening and demographics. I researched other municipal composting surveys including one from Madison, WI. I shared my survey via email, social media, my Carter’s Compost website, and through Grand Traverse County’s Recycle Smart newsletter. I sent a test survey to several organizations including GT County’s Resource Recovery department who gave me feedback on my survey questions. The survey was open for one month. Even though I only measured Traverse City’s rate, I allowed all Grand Traverse residents to take part so I could establish data for future studies.

RESULTS
N = 305 (TC residents only)
“YES, I’ve composted my kitchen scraps in the past year” 72%
“NO, I haven’t composted my kitchen scraps in the past year” 28%
5.55% Margin of Error at 95% Confidence Interval

HOW TRAVERSE CITY RESIDENTS COMPOST
Backyard Pile 53%
Plastic Commercially Made Bin 28%
Pick-up Service 25%
Drop-off at Community Pile/Share with Neighbor 18%
Worm Bin/Vermicomposting 9%

WHY TRAVERSE CITY RESIDENTS COMPOST (“CHOOSE YOUR TOP 3”)
“Reduce my waste” 84%
“Nourish my plants naturally” 65%
“Contribute to my ecosystem at home by being responsible for the entire cycle of my food” 61%
“Save landfill space” 60%
“Cut down on greenhouse gas emissions (compostable items in landfills emit methane)” 32%
“Teach your kids that their waste is a resource” 29%
“Reduce groundwater pollution (toxins leaching from landfills into the environment)” 22%
“Save money on fertilizer for your garden” 19%

WHY TRAVERSE CITY RESIDENTS DO NOT COMPOST
“I don’t know how” 43%
“I don’t have enough space” 39%
“I’m afraid of attracting pests/critters” 30%
“I’m too busy. I don’t have enough time” 28%
“It’s too icky and it smells” 17%

WHAT % OF ORGANIC WASTE IS RECOVERED BY TRAVERSE CITY COMPOSTERS
Veggie Scrap 81%
Meat and Dairy scraps 17%

COMPLETING THE CYCLE
64% of TC composters have a garden
87% of these gardeners have a garden less than 500 sq feet
77% buy compost
94% make their own compost

WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO COMPOST IN TRAVERSE CITY
40 to 59 years old
Lives in a single family home
Has an advanced college degree
Earns 50,000 to 75,000 per year
Prepares more than 14 meals at home/week

REFLECTION
Although the data set is large with 305 respondents from Traverse City allowing me to have a low margin of error and high confidence interval, my sample was not random. The survey was shared online with my Carter’s Compost members, friends, supporters and sponsors . I was unable to get outside of my circle of friends. Apparently, with a 72% rate, all of my Traverse City friends are composters. This is a serious weakness of my survey because the data is skewed. Maybe if I randomly chose names from the phone book or stood outside the library, that would have provided more accurate results.

CONCLUSION
I guessed that we would have a higher than average household composting rate because Traverse City is a very environmentally friendly city and there is a lot of demand for my kitchen scrap pick-up service. I predicted 30% but my survey found the rate to be 72%. Due to that fact my sample was not random, I think 72% is too high. Based on these results, I also now think that 30% is probably too low. Traverse City is very compost friendly!

Bar Graphs for all questions can be found here:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/results/SM-PWDNC88/

Full Results from all Grand Traverse Respondents here:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/results/SM-62PH288/

What do you think TC’s actually household kitchen scrap composting rate is?