By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Apr 02, 2008 at 5:17 PM

If things look a little greener around here this April, there's a good reason. Our editorial staff is busy expanding the ideals of Earth Day into a month-long celebration of energy conservation, alternative transportation, recycling tips and about a million ways you can be a better friend to the planet. Welcome to Green Month, Milwaukee.

Prior to moving to my current house, I liked the idea of composting, but didn’t actually do it. I was, quite honestly, too grossed out by the thought of rotting food to move forward with a plan.

Four years ago, I moved next door to my friend Stacy and her amazing backyard composter. It’s a simple structure -- invented and constructed by her stepdad -- that’s made out of cedar planks. Basically, it is a big wooden box that’s divided into two separate bins and has a hinged lid. We dump our fruit and vegetable trimmings (and coffee grounds) on one side, occasionally turn it, and then in the fall, transfer it to the other side where it sits all winter and turns into rich compost by spring.

Most importantly, the composter is far away from our patios, so we don’t have to smell it, and it’s next to the garden, which makes transferring the soil to the beds very easy. Seeing the rich soil every spring -- and then using it in the garden -- has sold me on composting for life.

As for dealing with the rotting food, I have a large Tupperware container in my back hallway, and have learned to turn my head and not breath when opening the container. Actually, it’s not so bad.

What to put in your compost bin:
Vegetables and fruits (In fact, Stacy told me that natural sugars are great for increasing the composting process, so rotting fruit or expired fruit juice is great for compost.)
Coffee grounds (you can toss in the coffee filters if they are unbleached)
Yard clippings
Basically, anything plant-derived that’s not a fat

What not to put in your compost bin:
Fat (nothing with butter or oil)
Human or pet waste

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.