Get insightful information from Michelle of Little Miss Recycle in Austin, Texas. If you have questions and concerns, we would be happy to help you out through this blog.
Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
We all have the power to make a positive impact on the planet. You can do your part in keeping it clean, safe, and green. Contact us to request a quote.
|Posted on July 17, 2018 at 3:35 PM||comments (5)|
Did you attend Earth day this year? Yes? No? No matter. We will fill you in on all the exciting events, how you can celebrate on your own, and how to get ready for next year!
April 29th, 2018* Earth Day was celebrated. In Austin, the Huston-Tillotson University hosted the event. The focus was Explore-Discover-Engage. From 12pm to 7pm the schedule was jam packed with a new film series, workshops, and local activists. The goal was to entertain and inspire us to make a difference in our day-to-day life. Our favorites were the bicycle adventure course, the modern vehicle zone, and of course the electronic recycling!
The bicycle adventure was a blast. It was a fun ride put on by Bicycle Sport Shop, Austin’s Yellow Bike Project, and the Ghisallo Cycling initiative. They partnered up and worked to repair and redistribute bikes for youths at the event.
Modern Vehicle Zone was sponsored by Z-bikez, Happy Hyrid, Tim Ziegner, and Dan Vogler. Thanks to their help they were able to feature a variety of electric and hybrid vehicles. Those in attendance were informed about the technology that goes in these cars and were shown the power behind such vehicles like the Toyota RAV4-EV.
Recycling was a major part of Earth Day, as the event was a zero-waste event itself! There also were collections take old electronics and textiles to have them disposed of properly. Little Miss Recycle help multiple recycling drives in connection with several local Austin companies throughout the month of April. We had rousing success as we collected TONS of electronic waste!
For certain Earth Day was a success! But you can turn Earth Day into a year long celebration with 5 simple changes in your everyday life. How so? Austin Blogger Sierra Camelia has some great tips!**
1. Eat more Plants!
We know you are good hearted Texan and BBQ runs through your veins, but you don’t have to cut out meat entirely to make a difference. Just by eating more vegetables you increase plant production and reduce meat production which is much harsher on our environment.
2. Stop single-use plastics
Single-use plastics really are everywhere, from your water bottle to your grocery bag. But investing in a glass water bottle and re-useable bag will save tons of plastic waste per year.
Cars are common in Texas, if you see a friend walking you would probably pull over and ask them if they are okay! It may be hard to ditch your car, so why not share instead. Drive together more often. We have shorter trips to the mailbox, park, and nearby stores for example, take a stroll or a ride on your bike!
4. Reduce your use of Electricity and Water
This is a win, win because you save yourself money as well. Put your lights and electronics on timers. Set your AC to higher temps/off when you are out of the house. Or try going al fresco, with open windows on a milder breezy day. Don’t let the water run. Do laundry less often. Only run dishwasher once it is full.
5. Forget the Fast-Fashion & Shop Secondhand
Our last blog post touched on the harmful effects production in the fashion industry can cause. Especially the cheaper, rapidly produced materials. So, ditch them. Buy better quality, wear long, repurpose, recycle and try shopping second hand.
*Date was changed due to weather
|Posted on May 23, 2018 at 5:05 PM||comments (0)|
The 19th century was like no other. Expansion happened rapidly, population, industry, and technology multiplied many times over. Seemingly improving upon themselves with each growth. We realize now, that expansion was cancerous, and those growths were more like mutations. Little, if any regard for our Earth was taken into consideration. We created a linear economy.
A linear economy has a process that ends in waste. The fashion industry is no different, in fact it is one of biggest culprits. We rarely think of our clothing when it come to our carbon foot print, but we should! The fashion industry generates more greenhouse admissions annually than international flights and shipping combined. The Farming of Cotton uses one quarter of the world’s pesticides. These pesticides seep into our water systems. Not only pesticides but also the many different chemicals used to dye and bleach fabrics, to soften materials and create different finishes.
For these reasons and more Fashion is working on becoming more sustainable. Austin had the annual Sustainable Fashion Week! The theme was “The Future of Fashion is Circular”. We realized a linear economy isn’t fit for the long term, but a circular economy can help preserve our valuable resources. A circular economy minimizes waste.
The City of Austin joined the Bard MBA Net Impact Chapter in hosting Sustainable Fashion Week, to shine on a light on reusable, reclaimed and remanufactured fashion. Austin’s Recycling Economic Development Program Manager Natalie Betts on their excitement for this inaugural fashion week: “We’re proud to showcase national leaders and local innovators who are paving the way for a more sustainable fashion industry, Austin’s fashion sector is an important contributor to our local economic vitality and is critical for moving toward a more circular economy.”
Trailblazing women were at the forefront, speaking about the future of sustainable fashion and how they are making an impact themselves with sustainable fashion lines. Turning electronics into jewelry, recycled gold into electronics, and t-shirts into bags were just a few of the eco-friendly fashion forward ideas featured. There is an exciting future for fashion on the horizon and we look forward to next years sustainable fashion week!
|Posted on April 17, 2018 at 2:05 PM|
We took a visit to our fellow environmental crusaders at Save the Creek. Every second Monday of the Creek Crew has a happy hour at Baker Street Pub. There you can eat and mingle while a speaker covers topics related to creeks here in Austin and SBCA’s mission.
We visited for the State of Barton Creek Address and learned about the updates planned for Austin’s Violet Crown Trail, a trail near the Barton Creek Greenbelt. The SBAC is helping to bring the vision for this out door space to fulfillment. The goal is to provide public access to nature and to historic, publicly owned ranch lands.
Ultimately the Trail will span 30 miles, passing through Barton Creek Wilderness Park, Sunset Valley, and into Hays County. The trail will lead those upon it not only to scenic natural areas but also to shopping centers, public parks, a library, and more!
At the Creek Crew happy hour, we saw the digital plans for meadowed areas with classroom spaces, so that people can take the classroom outdoors. The trail is home to an old, towering pecan tree, around this tree they plan to build an overlook, allowing visitors a beautiful shaded area to sit or snap pictures.
All that we learned about these upcoming changes for the trail were so exciting! It is easy to see why Violet Crown Trail is called The Crown Jewel of Central Texas.
Proposed design for an entrance
Design for outdoor classroom space
|Posted on February 14, 2018 at 8:45 PM||comments (0)|
Our latest stop on our delicious tour of environmentally friendly Austin eateries is Paperboy! If you haven’t been, you probably have heard about it. Yelp reviews, features on “Austin’s best” list after list, and Critics Pick awards consistently gush about Paperboy. As we all know, however, long lines and over zealous tourist do not a stellar restaurant make. You may have run into an overrated restaurant or two. Fear not! In this case we are here to tell you, you can believe the hype!
A Little Background:
Austin’s repertoire of restaurants is unique not only for it variety but also their histories. Many restauranteurs are small business owners not large commercial chains, and with each owner there is unique story behind their journey. Paperboy’s cult following is the result of the dream of an innovative chef, Zechariah Perez and life long foodie, owner Ryan Harms. The two teamed up to put extra in the otherwise ordinary meal of breakfast. They went a step above and beyond with the atmosphere as well. Instead of your average few tables on gravel, Paperboy created a welcoming outdoor eating area with the feel of an open air restaurant more so than a food truck. With a team, a venue, and Farm fresh ingredients curated seasonally as the backbone for their menu Paperboy came into existence in the fall of 2015. And they saw that it was good.
They break up the monotony of our breakfast staples by ramping up the flavor with unexpected touches. Pimento cheese, flank Steak, chimichurri mayonnaise, and brioche buns for example are some ingredients that make their breakfast sandwiches stand out among the rest. The sweet potato hash was delectable as the sweet and savory crispy potatoes were smothered with braised pork belly and topped with a poached egg. The yogurt parfait? Well it ain’t cha mama’s yogurt parfait! Thick, cool, creamy yogurt has tangy flavor that is then topped with sweet fruit and rosemary whey syrup. Combinations you may have never thought of yourself but will be unable to live without after.
|Posted on January 31, 2018 at 9:10 PM||comments (0)|
Las Vegas was a buzz last week as the annual Consumer Electronics Show was in town! Hundreds of
thousands of people poured over thousands of exhibits to see the latest wave of new technology in the
seemingly unending flood of updated gadgets and new releases. To put it simply: We heart technology
weather it be out of necessity or necessity be out of addiction. We have to have it!
This year was no different in that regard but one major difference this year was size! The floor space was increased
significantly to make room for self-driving cars! As a matter of fact Artificial Intelligence was on display
at many exhibits as digital assistants continue to become more advanced in their functionality.
The IQs of cars and homes are on the rise as “smart” everything is in demand. Washing machines,
refrigerators, nearly all home appliances are all now being made to allow internet access. The long term
vision is greater however. Smart cities are on the horizon. Augmented and virtual reality and new cell
phone network technology were also some the many exciting new features we may start to see in our
The technology is coming faster than we can adapt or afford with no signs of slowing down. But how can
we keep up?! How does the influx of electronics effect us?
29.4 million computers are were disposed of in 2009 but only 18 million were recycled properly. For
every computer that is thrown away you can imagine the other equipment with it. Printers, Faxes,
External hard drives. 50% of e-waste is from the disposal of televisions and computer monitors,
however, only 17% of televisions are recycled safely. Little Miss Recycle collects all these things and
more then disposes of it safely! That means millions less tons of lead, mercury, and cadmium
polluting our groundwater and soil. Moreover, according the EPA, recycling just one
million laptop computers can save the amount of energy used by nearly 4,000 U.S.
homes annually! See how big an impact recycling our electronics can have?!
Call us at Little Miss Recycle to safely remove your unwanted electronics and dispose
of them in a way that helps our environment.
|Posted on December 26, 2017 at 2:50 PM||comments (4)|
We are starting a new series here Michelle’s Blog! Miss Recycle’s Munchies. As we are a company born and bread in Austin Texas. We love our growing city and the growing community of people and businesses that help to make it more environmentally friendly and healthy. Many restaurants are changing their menu. They are adopting fresh, organic foods picked and peak ripeness, expertly prepared and served right to your table. We come across so many we will continue to feature them on the blog!
Jack Allen’s Kitchen has been here since 2009. They center their menu on a Southern-inspired flavors infused with the spice of Southwestern cuisine. Their menu boasts delectable entrees like Grilled Ruby Trout topped with a sun-dried tomato walnut pesto, apple-pecan relish, over veggie studded rice and wilted spinach.
When we dined we were sat a long large table. We found our not only their food is local! The very table we dined at was made by a local Austinite. We began our meal with crispy chips made from fresh tortillas that we lightly salted . Perfect to pair with their Smashed Guacamole, a smooth avocado spread with layered with avocado cubes for texture, sprinkled with pumpkin seeds, and cotija cheese. Also their Carl Miller’s Layered Chunky Queso, a cheese dip with green Chile pork, and a dollop of guacamole.
For our Entree we choose the veggie option for The South Texas Tacos. A generous plate with grilled farm fresh vegetable. Portabella mushrooms, corn tortillas, black beans, veggie studded rice, pico de gallo and guacamole. It was delicious, a beautiful blend of flavors.
Dessert was highlight. Our choice was the blondie, normally not a favorite dessert of ours. Wow was our opinion changed! The blondie on its own is a soft, sweet pastry with a little crisp on the top layer. A texture that was a meld of cake and brownie. They didn’t stop there it is topped with a scoop of ice cream and caramel sauce. When you take a bite of the blondie with a scoop of ice cream a whole new phenomenal taste livens up your mouth. It was certainly the star of our show.
Jack Allen’s has four locations in the Austin area. Visit their website jackallenskitchen.com to find the closest to you and visit!
|Posted on October 17, 2017 at 9:25 AM||comments (1)|
Austin is filled with farmer’s markets! If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit one we suggest you make time for one this week. Farmer’s Markets do a lot for our city and the environment but we will get to that later. First, we will explore all the selfish reasons you should visit!
• Ambience that beats the chain store grocery experience hands down
• There are unique finds
• Kid Friendly
• No middle man = cheaper prices
With those reasons alone you should be itching to get to a farmer’s market, but wait there’s more! There are ecological advantages as well!
• LOCAL FOOD
o reduce chemical waste
o less water and soil contamination
o shorter travel distand = less co2 emissons
o fresh food
o know where food is coming from
• SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESS
o saves farm land
|Posted on September 16, 2017 at 10:05 AM||comments (36)|
We at Little Miss Recycle we have a special interest in the environment, we were more than thrilled when we heard about the Brown Bag Lunch and Lecture series at the Once Texas Center in Austin. In his lectures, he explores the intertwined relationship of city and nature in America.
In Austin, we see the city changing, literally morphing, right before our eyes! Where there were once wide-open spaces we now see more shopping centers, modern residences, and buildings. In these newly developed areas we see nature change from natural to carefully constructed green spaces. This change has been happening for centuries. Mr. Anderson expounded on this.
He went on to talk about levels of nature the world has gone through. First, nature was the realm of the savage. When man lived among nature and it more so dominated us. Second, humans began to control nature. An agricultural society developed. Nature went from wilderness to pastures and farms with villages and towns throughout. Third, happened during the Renaissance Age where an even more dignified version came into play with the designing of formal gardens. Our Urban greenspaces we see today, do so, because our ideas of nature have been shaped by this first, second, and third generations of nature.
Throughout time, more and more man has wanted to separate ourselves from nature. It was another distinguishing fact of the human and beast. Thus, as time went on nature became a smaller and smaller part of our neighbor hoods. However, keeping man completely separated from nature in these urban areas seemed to have physical and mental detriment. The bustle of the city, the coldness of concrete was incubator for stress.
The solution was a return to nature, of sorts. There was no desire for wilderness, it was deemed irrational for modern society. Nature, though, did have a redeeming quality for the city. So “refined” nature became the plan for urban spaces. Nature landscapes. The harness of the city would be broken up by crating soothing, restorative atmospheres through city parks.
The most famous city park, Central park, was created with this in mind. In 1851 Andrew Jackson Downing drew a sketch of large urban green space he called New York Park. He died only a year later. Fredrick Olmsted a landscape architect and Calvert Vaux an architect carried out Downing’s vision. They refined the plan in the 1800s and renamed the space New York Central Park. The idea behind it was Green Dripping Glistening Gorgeous. Olmsted’s pastoral style is notable, an inspiration from the estate parks of England. Their idea went on to win a competition for the city’s green space and we see the final product today!
Pastoral style seen in Austin's Zilker Park
So, as you busily buzz around Austin take a second and relax in one of our beautiful green spaces! There is green dripping glistening gorgeousness all around us.
Botanical Gardens Austin Texas
|Posted on August 10, 2017 at 5:35 PM||comments (23)|
Nowadays, everyone is trying to go green -- and for good reason! Being an eco-friendly business not only helps minimize the negative impact your business has on Mother Earth, but it’s also a great way to differentiate your business from competitors. These days, consumers care about where they’re buying products or services from. They care if their priorities and morals line up with other companies.
Whatever the reason, making your business more eco-friendly is always a good thing. In this blog, we’ve outlined a few simple tips to get started. We’ve partnered with our friends over at EnviroCon Termite & Pest Control -- an eco-friendly pest control company in Texas that utilizes fewer chemicals to get the same great results with green alternatives. Read below to find out their 10 biggest tips to help make your business more green!
1. Turn off equipment when it's not being used
One of the largest energy expenditures is leaving devices plugged in an outlet 24/7. Simply unplugging equipment while it’s not being used can reduce energy consumption by 25%, and turning off desktop computers at the end of the day alone can save up to 50% more. Besides saving energy, this will also save money on your electrical bill -- that’s what we call a win-win!
2. Buy Paper that has high recycled content
Whenever possible, skip paper entirely by using email or group messaging-- but if you have to print something out, make sure you are using eco-friendly paper. Well-intentioned business owners or operations managers may look for a recycling symbol on the box when shopping for paper, but this is an unregulated form of greenwashing. Only PCW paper, or post consumer waste paper, is made entirely from the paper collected from recycling bins. Making PCW recycled paper uses 45% less energy and creates half the waste of the traditional papermaking process. In addition to purchasing recycled paper, make sure you recycle whatever you use at the end of each day!
3. Research suppliers who will take back their packaging for reuse
Even though using the recycling system is a great option for paper waste, finding suppliers that will take back their packaging and use it time and time again is the most beneficial form of “reduce, recycle, reuse”. Whether they accept returned egg cartons, sealed air, glass, or styrofoam, anything preventing the need to create more trash will help your business have a smaller environmental footprint.
4. Swap the incandescent bulbs out for compact-fluorescent (CFL) and LED lights
Although CFL and LED lights both have a higher shelf price than standard incandescent bulbs, they actually last up to 10 times longer than cheaper alternatives. You can almost always find a CFL or LED bulb to replace standard bulbs in most fixtures, and making this change can save you up to $200 per bulb over time-- that’s a lot of money!
5. Get an energy audit and make simple changes around your office
Did you know that sealing leaks and cracks in your home can cut up to 20% off the costs of your heating and cooling bills? According to the Department of Energy, this is a large problem for home and business owners alike. Luckily, many states will perform free energy audits, and will pay for some or all of the repairs! (Google “free energy audit” and the name of your state for options).
6. Look into solar power solutions
If you have a freestanding facility, consider installing a few solar panels. Although the investment can seem intimidating at first, the cost reduction and tax incentives offered by many states will balance out the initial cost. In some cases, you may even be able to sell your extra energy back to local power companies and make an additional profit!
7. Use biodegradable cleaners
Every business requires cleaning, regardless of what industry you’re in. Whether you’re cleaning machinery or hardwood floors at the end of your work day, make the transition to eco-friendly formulas. For ideas of what brands to look for, click here.
8. Reconsider Tap Water
Buying bottled water can really add up-- it’s one of the largest unnecessary expenses a company can have. Save money and plastic by investing in something like a Brita filter, and keep it in the fridge for your employees to use!
9. Refurbish Old Furniture
If you’re in need of new furniture, think again! More often than not, old furniture can be refurbished to look just like new, without the environmental impact (or cost!). There are plenty of companies out there that do it, but if you have a smaller office and want to try it out yourself, here are some helpful tips.
10. Switch to an eco-friendly pest control company
Using chemical treatments can have unexpected impacts on your business and the people who interact with your services. In contained areas like storefronts, people can easily have adverse reactions to chemical smells or fumes that are left over from certain spray treatments. In outdoor spaces, the last thing you want is customers coming in direct contact with formulas that were placed in the grass or around the perimeter of your building. Switching to a smarter pest control service will not only aid in the eco-friendliness of your business but is just a smart customer experience decision over all!
Here at Little Miss Recycle, our goal is to help you find sustainable, environmentally-conscious recycling solutions for your office. If you’re looking for easy ways to make your business for more eco-friendly, let us help!
Written By: Rachel Betterbid
|Posted on July 13, 2017 at 10:45 PM||comments (19)|
Let’s take the liberty of speaking for everyone and say, we all think we know how to recycle. Right? I mean most people feel they have a pretty good grasp on the concept, you take your water bottles and put them in a separate container and a recycling waste truck come and takes them God know where. Eventually we buy more products that say, “made using recycled plastic” and we smile contentedly knowing we did our part in that! Did we really do our part? Is there more to recycling? Let’s find out!
The most important thing to know: Recycling is not a universal process, there will be differences in what is required depending on where you live. We are Austenite’s so we will discuss the recycling process here in Austin, Texas. The weirdest city here in these United States. That being the case we have our first step.
1. Check out YOUR cities, recycling schedule and requirements:
• Remove metal components from plastic items
• Empty and rinse items before recycling them.
• Make sure all items fit inside the blue recycling cart with the lid closed.
• Only hard plastics are accepted; plastic foam, plastic bags, and plastic wrap are not allowed
• Dry paper before placing it in your cart
• Crush recyclables like cans, plastic jugs and bottles
• Flatten boxboard and corrugated cardboard
2. It’s more than plastics people! Separate:
o CALL LITTLE MISS RECYCLE! WE’LL PICK THEM UP FOR YOU!
o Glossy and matte paper
o Junk mail
o Shredded paper (placed in a paper bag)
o Corrugated cardboard and boxboard boxes
o Food boxes (cereal boxes, microwave meals, boxes of rice, etc.)
o Paper towel rolls
o Aluminum foil (clean, balled 2 inches or larger)
o Aluminum foil baking pans, pie plates, tins, trays (clean)
o Food/Soda/Steel Tin cans and caps/lids
o Soda cans and caps/lids
o Jars and caps (labels can be left on containers)
o Bottles and bottle caps (labels can be left on containers)
• Hard plastics
o Water and soda bottles
o Milk jugs
o Liquid containers
o Jars and tubs (yogurt, butter tubs, etc.)
o Detergent and all-purpose cleaner bottles
o Soap and shampoo bottles
o Lawn furniture
o Laundry baskets
o Pet carriers
o Milk crates
o Totes and lids
o Flower pots and trays
o Dish drainers
o Trash cans
3. Ready Recyclables for Collection.
• Place recycling at the curb by 6:30 a.m
• Set your carts at least 5 feet apart and away from cars, mailboxes, trees and overhead wires.
• If you have clothing and housewares to recycle, put your green Simple Recycling bag next to the blue cart.
There you have it! So many of the things we want to get rid of don’t need to go in our trash bin. Most things are recyclable! The things that aren’t recyclable are usually compostable! What is compost? How do you do that? You will have to wait until next time! Until then remember Reuse, Reduce, and little miss Recycle!