Category Archives: Events

Wake Up to Compost: an Introduction

By Lucy Dilworth

lucy headshotHi everyone! I wanted to formally introduce myself as the newest addition to the Bootstrap community. My name is Lucy and I’m a fresh faced blogger from Maine who recently planted roots in the big city. I graduated last spring from Miami University in Ohio where I studied creative writing. Post-graduation, I indulged in my wanderlust and traveled to the opposite side of the world where I lived with an array of fascinating individuals, including a citrus farmer and a taxidermist. At one point, I found myself composting New Zealand soil with the locals! Despite my ever-changing scenery, I’m grateful to now be in a city where I have the opportunity to be educated on urban composting and pass my knowledge onto others.

Although it’s been awesome to see residential and commercial food scrap collections in an urban setting, I was even more astounded when I saw a composting bin at my 86-year-old grandmother’s house a few weeks ago in Manchester-By-The-Sea. In terms of my own awareness of composting, it’s been very limited until recently. During college, I lived with seven other girls. We certainly produced enough organic waste to compost. Sadly, our priorities lay within what we were going to wear out on the weekends rather than learning to recycle and reuse. When I saw my grandmother’s composting bin, I knew that I was way late to the game. Most people don’t compost because they don’t know how to or why it’s beneficial, which is a category I am guilty of falling into. However, with my new gig at Bootstrap and all the resources I have access to here and online, I can now start to learn about more sustainable practices at home and beyond. And composting? I guess it’s so easy my grandma can do it.

WUTE sponsorSpeaking of revelations, last month I worked my first Bootstrap event at the Wake Up the Earth Festival while also entering Jamaica Plain territory for the first time (or JP as the cool kids say). The festival was a perfect exposure to one of the communities I’ll be working with and an alternative and educational way to spend my Saturday afternoon. It was also the perfect place for anyone trying to get over their agoraphobia. It was a humbling, yet successful experience considering I ran out of flyers within the first hour and one of my managers mistook me for an eager client with inappropriate personal space as I stood with him behind the Bootstrap table. On a positive note, Continue reading

A Summer Job: Bootstrap Compost Gets Busy at an Array of Local Events

So much for summer being a time for rest and relaxation. It seemed that as soon as the temperatures really got cooking, Bootstrap did too — serving and/or presenting at several Boston-area events, festivals, marketplaces, and community forums. As a result, we made some new friends and reconnected with old ones, all the while spreading a message of sustainability, waste diversion, and easy tactics for leading a green lifestyle. Here’s a quick rundown of our wildly busy lazy season.

At the first annual Egleston Square Farmers’ Market Summer Kickoff in early June, hundreds of area residents gathered in this nook of Jamaica Plain to scoop up the choicest locally grown produce (including goodies from BSC partner Buckle Farm). It was there we set up several bins to collect compostable material as our neighbors hung out under the sun to enjoy the bounty and live music.

Happy pigs at Buckle Farm make for a happy local food system!

On June 6 we paid a visit to the Roslindale Farmers’ Market, where Andy set up and monitored a pair of BSC cans to capture compostables. With over 20 vendors offering potatoes, pottery and petunias, the Continue reading

Reading, Writing and Compost: Bootstrap Goes Back To School


Kids from the Warren Prescott K-8 prepare soil for their new gardens

With the longer days and the warm weather having finally arrived, it’s safe to say that the students of Boston are getting ready for summer. But before anyone has a chance to chuck their homework, Bootstrap Compost brought its lesson plan of environmental stewardship to several area schools.

Andy chats with the students of Conservatory Lab Charter School

Andy chats with the students of Conservatory Lab Charter School

Kicking things off, Team Bootstrap took a field trip to the Maurice J. Tobin School in Mission Hill (in partnership with a City Year Boston after-school program) where Bootstrap VP Igor Kharitonenkov championed the merits of composting and food scrap diversion to a group of worm-crazy 3rd, 4th and 5th graders.

Our Compost Specialist visits the EC Language School

Our Compost Specialist visits the EC Language School

Reportedly, the kids are still talking about saving their banana peels to feed our army of wigglers. Next, Andy Brooks, Bootstrap president, ventured to the Conservatory Lab Charter School in Brighton, where he addressed the intersection of climate change and healthy soil to a class full of knowledgeable 6th graders. Finally, Compost Specialist Everett Hoffman dropped compost wisdom to a group of international students at the EC Language School. Next up, the United Nations!

Although we at Bootstrap try to impress, it was really the students that directed the conversation. These kids really get it! It’s totally rewarding to hear them echo and support the value of our daily efforts.

Big thanks to the Tobin School and City Year for having us visit

The Tobin School expresses their gratitude for our visit

The Bootstrap crew also made their way to the Warren­ Prescott K-8 School in Charlestown to help students prepare new raised garden beds. We donated 40 pounds of some of Boston’s best black gold to the cause. The vibe was loose and fun as students, teachers and community business reps pitched in to prepare the school’s soil for spring gardening. School is way more awesome than we remember!

Undergrads at Boston College listen to  Bootstrap's take on social entrepreneurship

Undergrads at Boston College listen to Bootstrap’s take on social entrepreneurship

Finally, we delved into the world of higher education, as Igor travelled to Boston College. Speaking to a room full of undergrads, he lectured on the journey of Bootstrap and the significance of social entrepreneurship.

The kids of the Warren­Prescott K-8 School and Igor dig in to the fresh soil

Warren Prescott kids “dig” soil

And while school may be winding down, here at Bootstrap HQ we’re plotting our summer schedule with further educational opportunities at new venues. (Spoiler alert: Farmers’ markets). Stay tuned through Facebook.