Posted in community

Eastern Elementary: Growing Compost Champions

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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?!

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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.

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Guest Blog: MYOI and Traverse City Community Composting

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Editor’s note: The awesome MYOI crew joined us again for some compost making and bucket slinging last week. Here’s a highlight of our day from MYOI Coordinator, Tim Bottrell.

MYOI is a state run program that works with current and former foster youth ages 14-23. As coordinator of MYOI (Michigan Youth Opportunities Initiative) in Grand Traverse/Kalkaska/Leelanau Counties, it is my job to find educational experiences in our community that focus on transportation, finances, health, education, housing, employment.

Another big part of what we do is getting involved in our community and giving back to the community who supports us.

One of my favorite annual events is our visit to Carter’s Compost to help Carter, his dad Ty, and little brother Jamo. It’s the one day a year that our youth are able to take part in an event that hits on every single aspect of what MYOI is about.

  • We focus on health and affordable transportation by hitting the town on bicycles to get some exercise, smile, and practice safe biking.
  • We gain valuable work experience by picking up buckets of kitchen scraps from customers, rotating the piles at Oryana’s Neighborhood Compost Station, and screening worm castings from Grand Traverse County‘s Vermitech that’s housed at C’sC World HQ.
  • We also learn about creating your own job by hearing the simple story of an elementary kid who started his own business with the help of his family.
  • Learning that most of Carter’s earnings go to his college savings relates to our program focus of saving and pursuing education. Not to mention the lesson of turning old food into new food through composting and gardening.

Perhaps the biggest take away from our day with Carter’s Compost is how everything ties into community. They see that Carter’s Compost can’t exist without community, and that Carter’s Compost builds community. Our youth see that they are an important part of this community, and they are able to give back to their community.

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Compost Screening Party @ Oryana

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Join us at Oryana, Saturday, May 16 from noon – 4pm for a community compost screening party.

Compost parties are the best parties and this one is going to be happening right in the middle of Oryana’s Earth Day North festivities so it’s going to be extra special fun.

Here’s The Scoop:

1. Bring some garden gloves at meet us at Oryana’s Neighborhood Compost Station anytime between 12-4.

2. Use our sifters to screen some finished compost. This isn’t just any regular compost, though. This is 100% awesome, neighborhood compost grown with love using neighborhood kitchen scraps and neighborhood leaves. It’s truly Traverse City Dirt. And your plants will LOVE it.

3. Put the screened compost into one of our buckets.

4. Take the compost home and use it in your garden. Use it to grow food to “Complete The Cycle”. This makes us happy.

5. Return our bucket to the Compost Station the next time you shop at Oryana.

6. Send us a photo of your garden when it’s in full swing to show off you neighborhood food grown with neighborhood compost. This will also make us happy.

7. Give yourself a pat on the back for supporting bike-powered community composting and helping to green Traverse City one bucket at a time.

Compost On!

More info on Oryana’s Earth Day North:

Oryana is hosting a fun afternoon for the whole family. Join us as we celebrate Earth Day with an extravaganza of demonstrations and presentations by our green-minded community partners, a variety of local vendors, and non-profit organizations. Make a day of it and participate in the North Lake Adventure. Have your passport stamped at Oryana or simply stop by the TART trailhead and join in the fun.

Enjoy specials in Oryana’s Lake St. Café, a local food truck Pigs Eating Ribs, and free iced tea and water at the trailhead.

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On-Demand Bucket Pick-Ups

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Because sometimes you just have to get those kitchen scraps composted NOW! C’sC is excited to offer on demand/same day kitchen scrap pick-up using Square’s new Cash app.

An easy, convenient service for those who may not need weekly pick-ups.

How It Works:

  1. Register HERE.
  2. Sign up for Square’s Cash service HERE.
  3. We’ll then drop-off a clean bucket and lid.
  4. You fill up your bucket with your kitchen scraps (no meat, dairy please). Full list of no-no’s HERE.
  5. When you’re ready for us to pick-up your bucket use your phone to send $4.00 to $CartersCompost via your Cash app.
  6. On that very same day, we’ll pedal over to pick-up your bucket, leave a clean one and then compost your kitchen scraps here at C’sC World HQ.
  7. Easy! Give yourself a pat on the back for reducing your waste and helping to make Traverse City greener than ever.

On-demand service is only available in the Oak Park neighborhood at this time.

Weekly pick-ups subscriptions also available for $10/month. Sign up HERE.

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A Compost-errific Traverse City

 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?

Well…

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:

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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

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Save The Coffee Grounds: A Traverse City Dirt Project

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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, Horizon Books 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.

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS:

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. Buckets also available behind Brew and Cuppa Joe Drive-Thru  on 8th..

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/Brew/Cuppa Joe 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.

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

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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!

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Compost Drop-Off @ Sara Hardy Farmer’s Market

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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.

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May. So far. So good.

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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!

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Happy Compost Awareness Week !

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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.

Worms.
Buckets.
Dirt.
Chickens.
Bikes.
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!