Saskatoon HOME magazine Summer 2020

Page 44

compost COACHING

TURNING YOUR TRASH INTO TREASURE JULIE BARNES When Lisa Howse began working as a compost coach, she didn’t expect she’d be playing the role of couple’s counsellor, but that’s how the job plays out sometimes. At least, that’s how it did when I invited her to meet with my husband, our compost bin, and me, last summer. Lisa is a compost education coordinator with the Saskatchewan

Waste Reduction Council, a non-profit contracted by the City of Saskatoon to run the compost coaching program. She makes free home visits to offer composting advice— whether it’s for a backyard bin, Bokashi or vermicomposting (see sidebar). It turns out we’re not the only couple who clash about the correct way to compost. Luckily, her usual response

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to infighting is “you’re both right.” Although there are general rules to composting, we shouldn’t sweat the small stuff, she says. “If you do or do not cut up your fruit peels before they go into the compost bin, it’s not a life-ordeath situation.” Breaking Down the Basics With backyard compost bins, Lisa gets a lot of

questions about “green and brown” materials—what they are, and what’s the right mix. “Sometimes it’s better, instead of ‘greens and browns,’ to call the categories ‘fresh materials and old stuff,’” she says. Green, fresh materials add nitrogen to the mix, while brown, old materials add carbon. “Green materials are anything that will rot quickly