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 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 (76)|
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!
|Posted on June 15, 2017 at 11:35 PM||comments (3)|
DO YOU KNOW?
I don’t mean your local Frugal Hoosier or H.E.B, but it’s true that many of us don’t know the origin of our food beyond the grocery store. That means we are also in the dark on the freshness our food, the conditions that our food is grown oraised in, and if the USDA organic label on it was earned or bought. An easy solution to shed a light on this situation is eating locally!
On average produce travels 1900 miles to be sold in stores. That is quite the road trip, how do our fruits and veggies endure? Our most natural foods are actually bioengineered. The DNA of our produce is altered to add characteristics that will allow it to last longer. That doesn't sound very appetizing. Transportation accounts for 10% of the greenhouse gas emissions in our food’s carbon footprint. Eating local decreases travel time resulting in less fossil fuels used in transport and less pollutants emitted.
Many small farms are able to use organic practices, eliminating harmful pesticides, hormones, and chemicals. Markets and restaurants that buy from local farms have fresher ingredients giving the food a notably improved taste. Variety is the spice of life and local farms allow for seasonal eating, instead of shipping in food when they are out of season in your area the introduce new foods into their menu! Other benefits are that smaller farms allow harvesting to be done using less energy. Buying from local farmers supports the local economy and helps preserve farm land, instead of seeing the latest carbon copy strip mall pop up.
GREEN HOUSE CRAFT FOOD
I visited a local restaurant Green House Craft Food, their entire menu is from local farms! Chefs Rob Snow and Todd Engel have created a menu that will leave your mouth watering after reading through the appetizers. Sweet buns, braised pork butt, house made pickles, house smoked turkey are just a few of the tantalizing menu items you will come across. When it comes to buying locally you normally get more bang for your buck, better quality product for comparable prices. The savings trickle down to us, many options are under $10, the most expensive $16.50.
Green House not only supports local farms but they sell merchandise from other local companies, wine from Austin Winery and jelly from Wild Vine Canning among them.
After painstaking deliberating over the menu, I decided on a Cajun flavored soup with andouille sausage to start, the grass eater black bean burger, and the citrus sangria that was a part of their weekday happy hour. Everything was exceptional, I tried eating local and it worked out great from me, maybe you should try it too! Find more pictures of our visit @Littlemissrecycle on Instagram & Facebook.
A list of all the local farms that source Green House Craft Food Eatery
|Posted on May 30, 2017 at 8:25 AM||comments (1)|
The word “organic” is popping up more and more in business. Organic drycleaners, organic nail salons, organic pest control, it’s everywhere! We at little Miss Recycle couldn’t be happier about it!
We keep an eye out for Austin Companies that contribute to lowering our city’s carbon footprint. This month, we visited Organic Bronze a new tanning salon in The Domain Shopping Center’s beauty row. We’re going to tell you about it and how Organic Bronze, and businesses like it, are forces for change.
Let Us Introduce You to Organic Bronze
Visiting the opening of Organic Bronze could only be described as grand! We were warmly invited by bright smiles and soothing music, to a wonderfully adorned outdoor space. Gabi and Rei the co-owners introduced themselves and began telling us about the vision they have for their burgeoning businesses.
Grand Opening of Organic Bronze Tanning Salon May 17, 2017
Their salon features organic products that are healthier for the client and gentle on the environment. Organic Bronze has chosen Aviva and New Gorgeous tanning solutions. Aviva eliminates harmful ingredients like alcohol, artificial fragrance, and mineral oils that are commonly found in airbrush tanning solution. New Gorgeous is Vegan and Cruelty free. They also offer The Lido Swimwear designed by local designer Brooke Ulrich.
These products are a part of their goal of health and wellness. Currently the pair own Massage Sway, Organic Bronze has just opened, next Austin Juicery will open downtown completing their health and wellness trifecta.
Gabi and Rei co-owners of Massage Sway and the new Organic Bronze
What’s the difference?
Out with old, solar lamps are used less and less and for good reason. They damage the body but also soak up energy. Chemical tanning solutions accumulate in our ecosystem, as they run down drains they permeate our lakes, rivers, and public water systems. That water evaporates into the air, into our atmosphere, and then re-saturates the Earth. All life on Earth is dependent on the water cycle and thus exposed to hazardous chemicals, causing sickness to us and to our planet. When businesses make a change, such as opting for organic products, that one change can have multiple benefits to the environment.
Small businesses are more easily able to adapt to cleaner products and practices as they can be timelier to produce and costly to implement initially, as opposed to their chemical counterparts.
There is no doubt it may take some sacrifices for companies to do this so we applaud those who do. May we able be determined to seek out and support those operating organically.
|Posted on May 15, 2017 at 5:25 PM||comments (3)|
The scene of this world is now changing! On a global scale, temperatures are rising. The polar icecaps are melting, resulting in rising sea levels that are compromising major cities! These changes are occurring so rapidly and intensely that it is forcing individuals and corporations alike to find solutions! However, who likes to be forced into anything? Hmm? Bueller? Bueller? That’s right none of us. So, before we go into how you can become green let’s talk about the benefits you will gain from it!
Green Begets Green
Some believe going green will be time consuming and financially draining. WRONG! It is a lucrative investment.
• Tax Rebates
• Pricing incentives from Public bodies & Environmental organizations
• Government Incentives
• Increased consumer interest due to new green reputation
• Cost savings from reduced usage of energy & minimal waste
If your get creative you can re-purpose your waste and profit from it. For example, Walmart partnered with Worldwise, Inc., a consumer products company. Walmart sends Worldwise their recyclable waste such as bottles, hangers, and cardboard that are turned into a variety of pet products for sale at Walmart. Some of the products that are produced from recycled products include:
• Dog beds made from recycled bottles
• Kitty litter pans, scoops, and scratchers made from hangers
• Kitty litter liners made from converted bags
• Cat scratchers made from processed corrugated cardboard
Here in the weirdest city of them all, Austin rewards it’s businesses for taking on a green initiative. You can become an Austin Green Business Leader! How? Small Steps are Large Leaps for mankind The AGBL only has open enrollment for potential member in Jan/Feb of each year. In the mean time you can visit their website austintex.gov and download the AGBL scoreboard and start implementing green practices.
o Prevent pollutants from reaching storm drains
Keep loading/receiving docks, parking areas free of debris, oil, chemicals, litter
o Energy efficient light bulbs & occupancy sensors in common areas
o Implement employee carpool program
o Discourage use of single-use plastic wear
o Calculate carbon footprint