This Author Wrote A Book About Composting — That You Can Actually Compost

Cassandra Marketos, the cover of "Compost This Book," and a pile of compost

Cassandra Marketos is a compost queen. 

Working in Los Angeles to help build and maintain composts with neighbors, educate students, and divert waste from landfills, she also shares her skills with newsletter readers through her Substack, “The Rot.”

And now, she’s releasing a compostable book.

Compost This Book by Cassandra Marketos
Photo courtesy of Cassandra Marketos/Apogee Graphics

The book, aptly titled, “Compost This Book,” is a short but detailed primer on composting for the “very, very beginner” that is available for pre-order and will release in mid-September. 

The book takes readers through a journey of composting that helps break down the mechanics of decomposition, and hopefully, encourages folks to opt for composting instead of any myriad of extractive and harmful methods of waste disposal.

And here’s the kicker: You can really compost it.

“The book is made with recycled paper and printed with vegetable inks, and the final page contains a simple set of instructions on how to use the book itself to make your first compost pile,” Marketos wrote in a recent newsletter announcement

Marketos hopes the book is intuitive and easy to embrace, as opposed to the memorization-based learning that doesn’t quite stick for a lot of folks. (Thus, why it’s easy to compost when you’ve finished reading it!)

“Ultimately, I made this book for all the people out there like me, who don’t do well with spreadsheets or on tests, and who have been typically alienated from things like ‘science’ and ‘chemistry’ in traditional school settings,” she continued in the newsletter.

Contents include chapters such as “How to Compost,” “What You Should Compost,” “(Micro)Biology-Chemistry,” “Composting in Small Spaces,” and more. 

Contents: Hello, Ethos, History, Where to Put A Compost, How to Compost, How to Use Compost, What You Should Compost, (Micro)Biology Chemistry, Composting in Small Spaces, Vermicompost, What You Shouldn't Compost, Compost This Book
The table of contents in "Compost This Book." Photo courtesy of Cassandra Marketos/Apogee Graphics

The book also features detailed depictions of food items, bugs and insects — and of course, dirt. The designer behind it is local-to-LA publishing company Apogee Graphics

Marketos’ audience shared excitement surrounding the announcement of the book, generating buzz from the ground up.

“Can’t wait!” one user wrote on Marketos’ Instagram post. “Love all the critters and stuff on the pages.”

“This is so fantastic,” another chimed in. “I’m going to buy ten copies to give to my friends who want to compost but are scared.”

That fear is what Marketos hopes to eliminate, encouraging readers to simply start on their composting journey.

“‘Compost This Book’ focuses on learning through action, practice, observation, and — most importantly — making huge mistakes. Lots and lots of huge mistakes,” she writes. “ I want people who read it to feel empowered to mess up, and I also want them to feel invited into deeper learning on their own terms.”

Header images courtesy of Cassandra Marketos

Article Details

August 14, 2023 9:55 AM
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