Composting 101


There’s a really easy and fun way for families to reduce waste- composting! Composting is the process of recycling decomposed organic materials into a rich soil- in other words, taking our organic waste and returning it to the earth. It’s easy to throw things into the garbage, but over 30% of the trash we throw out is made up of organic waste from food, and landfills are filling up quickly. Composting is not only a great way to reduce our waste and be kind to the environment, but it’s a fantastic tool to teach kids all about the cycles of nature (and it’s a lot of fun for them too!)!

compostNever composted? Want to learn more? This Saturday, we’ll be joined by our friends from the East Side Compost Pedallers for a workshop on composting- Composting 101 (for ages 7 & up). East Side Compost Pedallers is a compost recycling program in Austin, TX that collects compostables from homes and businesses and pedals them directly to nearby urban farms and community gardens to grow more local food. They make composting simple and fun for everyone. Oh, and did we mention that the East Side Compost Pedallers are 100% bike-powered!?

They’re thrilled to teach the basics of composting to families here at the Thinkery. We asked them a few questions about their business, composting, and what we’ll be learning in the workshop (registration is still open! Register online (select “Family Workshops” for Event Type), or call (512) 469-6201) 

How did East Side Compost Pedallers start? Why did you decide to make your business 100% bike-powered?

The Compost Pedallers was born from the intersection of my love of bikes, gardening, and this city that I call home.  I realized that we are missing a big opportunity by throwing all of our organic resources in the trash, especially when there are farmers and gardeners right here in our community that are ready to use them to grow more food.  The Compost Pedallers exist to connect theses dots and close the loop on the local food chain.

Why the bike? Because our composting sites (we call them compHOSTS) are embedded right in the vary neighborhoods producing the organics, we find that the nimble cargo bike to be the perfect vessel for connecting these dots in the safest and most sustainable way.  Much like we’re changing the way people think about their waste, we’re re-imagining the bike as a vehicle capable of transporting much more than human beings. More food, less waste, zero fossil fuels.

Why is composting important?

Composting is nature’s recycling program.  Think of it as the process of turning decaying organic matter into natural fertilizer that will feed the soil and ultimately grow our food.  Even though composting is literally the way our planet has been sustaining itself for billions of years, our society has gotten away from this this natural process during the last 50 years, opting instead to throw our valuable organic resources into stinky landfills that pump out harmful green houses gases at alarming rates.  Over 30% of the average American household’s waste stream is compostable.  Getting those items out of the trash and into a compost pile is one of the simplest ways we can all reduce our impact on the planet.

 What will families learn at the Composting 101 workshop this weekend?

The families that attend this weekend’s workshop will walk out lean, mean, composting machines. We will be exploring the many benefits of composting, geeking out over the magical process of transforming our banana peels into nutrient-rich plant food, and covering some simple practical steps to get started with composting!


Big thanks to East Side Compost Pedallers, and we hope to see some of you Austin families here on Saturday for Composting 101!

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