From the self-improvement desk…

New Year’s Resolutions from Compost for Brooklyn
Did you resolve to waste less in 2012?  We were so inspired by the examples some of our neighbors set in 2011 that we turned them into a list of resolutions anyone can use.
# 1: Start a compost collection collaborative
Colleen Grant recognized that busy New Yorkers may not have the time to make it to a compost drop-off every week, so she organized a youth crew to pick up compostables from residents on each floor of her apartment building. It is now called Project Beekman Compost, and they come to C4B regularly!
What you can do: Share the task of transporting compost to C4B or your local drop-off with your neighbors. Start a collection bucket in your building and coordinate duties.
# 2: Start a worm bin at home
Anna Larson and her roommates compost using a worm bin under their kitchen counter (also known as vermicompost). Says Anna: “After carrying the new worm bin, and tupperware full of worms, home on the back of my bike the first evening three years ago I was super excited to prepare their little newspaper home in the kitchen. The next afternoon, the floor was covered with worms.  We called the “Compost Hotline” (212-477-3155) and they said not to worry, that this often happens when they’re adjusting to a new place, but if you put them back in they will get used to it soon enough.  At this point I felt two things: glad the worms were going to hopefully stay in the bin this time and happy to know that when they stay it is because they really like it.  They are not trapped in there working against their will!”
What you can do: Go to the NYC Compost Project’s worm bin workshop on February 1st to learn how to do this at home.
# 3: Compost at work
Kasia Nikhamina brings food scraps home from work in a reusable container a few days a week, and keeps it in the fridge in between. She also removed the waste bin from her cubicle to remind herself to save the food scraps. Added bonus: She is now more aware of her trash because it requires phsyically getting up to throw things out!
What you can do: If you prefer not to bring scraps home, ask your facilities managers about composting in the office. They can always take advantage Compost for Brooklyn’s services  for help!
# 4: Become a Master Composter!
C4B’s Louise, Kate, Abbe, Colleen, and Nancy are all NYC Master composters, and they LOVED the program.
What you can do: The Brooklyn Master Composter Certificate Course starts soon. Submit your application by February 17!
# 5: Use as much of your produce as you can
Beet greens make a great side dish, vegetable scraps make a delicious stock (for soup). Or like our neighbor and herbalist, Kristy Bredin, you can use your orange peels and egg shells to make herbal remedies (check the C4B websitefor information on an upcoming workshop with Kristy).
# 6 Take a close look at what you throw out
Rachel Schragis saved all of her trash for one year. More info here: (click on “the waste of one year”)
What you can do: Consider a symbolic action that would help you think more about your footprint, such as recording everything you throw away for one week. This can help you make more informed decisions about what changes you make (Dishtowels instead of paper towels, reusable water bottles instead of disposable ones, etc.), by giving you information about what waste you’re actually making!
# 7 Become a shift leader for Compost for Brooklyn
Have fun with other volunteers while keeping the project doing what we do best! Email if you are interested.
# 8 Get to know your local composters
Here are a few we know, but there are many more. If you know a composting project we haven’t listed, let us know!
Western Queens Compost Initiative (Queens)
Lower East Side Ecology Center (Lower East Side and Union Square)
Added Value (Red Hook)
6/15 (Park Slope)
GrowNYC (Many locations)
Gowanus Canal Conservancy (Gowanus)
Sustainable Flatbush (Flatbush)
Vokashi (Many locations)

About compostforbrooklyn

Compost for Brooklyn empowers city residents to sustainably reduce waste and cultivate healthy urban ecosystems.
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