HOW TO: Start Composting

Make your garden happy with scraps from your kitchen

Looking to start going greener and have no idea where to start? Look no further than your dinner plate. If you’re eating a lot of vegetables, then you are a person who probably could be composting — which will help your houseplants, make your garden explode with happiness and reduce your trash bill.

Marilyn Carothers, a master composter who often teaches free workshops on composting at Sun People Dry Goods, says pretty much anyone can compost with the right materials.

If you’ve got a yard and a fledgling garden, you can make room for a compost bin. Carothers says you can start composting with simple, available materials: grass, leaves, biodegradable food waste. She says first-time composters should ensure their compost bin never sees pet waste, oils, fats, meat, dairy or chemical-coated products, like paper plates.

Apartment dwellers can also get in on the action by vermicomposting — aka composting with worms. Carothers recommends reading up on vermicomposting first in order to “keep the worms happy.” But essentially, worms break down kitchen waste and then poop it out — and that worm poo is “very nutritious for plants.”

Aspiring composters are in luck: Spokane Regional Solid Waste System is hosting its Spring Compost Fair on Saturday, April 27, from 11 am to 2 pm, where county residents (bring proof of your residency) can learn how to compost and take home a free compost bin. Check out for all the details. 

Reclaiming Culture: The Tlingit and Haida Tribes of Alaska Repatriation @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through May 2
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About The Author

Leah Sottile

Leah Sottile is a Spokane-based freelance writer who formerly served as music editor, culture editor and a staff writer at the Inlander. She has written about everything from nuns and Elvis impersonators, to jailhouse murders and mental health...