5 ways to “green-up” your classroom for the new school year

In 2040, kindergartners who start school today will be 30 years old! They will be teachers, engineers, doctors, and city council members. They will be Generation Zero – Austin’s first generation to grow up with and implement comprehensive zero-waste strategies, diverting over 90% of waste from local landfills, reducing consumption of non-renewable resources, and living in a greener city than any of us can currently imagine. Those lofty goals start with simple actions which everyone can start to implement this school year.

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100 Creek Adopters and Going Strong!

On Tuesday, July 12th, the Friends of Givens Park officially adopted Tannehill Branch Creek and the surrounding Grow Zone, becoming our 100th Adopt-a-Creek group! With dogs in tow, the Friends walked along the creek, discussed possible projects, and made a long-term commitment to dedicate their time and energy to implement park and creek improvement plans.

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A Love of the Outdoors and Service

Kids love the outdoors and nowhere can you see that better than in Clean Creek Campus. The program integrates STEM learning and is aligned with academic standards, but most importantly it engages students in a fun, interactive way to learn about factors affecting our local watersheds and take action to restore our watersheds.

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AISD Sets Best Practices for District-wide Recycling

Austin Resource Recovery announced the winning districts of the Austin Recycles Games challenge during this year’s Earth Day celebration. The competition was intended to raise awareness about proper recycling and pitted districts against each other in a friendly competition to see who could recycle more. District 8 was awarded the prize for “Most Overall Recycling”, while…

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Board of Directors Profile: Julie Fisher, Samsung Austin Semiconductor

Back in 2012, I began leading Clean Sweep for my company, Samsung Austin Semiconductor. It was my first experience organizing a volunteer opportunity for Keep Austin Beautiful and I was overwhelmed by the turnout! We had 125 Samsung employees, friends, and family clean up Zilker Park and the surrounding areas. I was inspired by the interest and continued to explore other volunteer opportunities, which lead me to become a Clean Lady Bird Lake site leader. Since then I have joined the Board of Directors and am currently serving in the secretary role.

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Do the right thing and recycle!

By Ilya Shmulenson, director of programs

Ask a public school student what should be done to protect the environment and you will likely hear, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!” Ask them to draw a poster for Earth Day and the three “Rs” will make their way onto the page along with the triangular recycling symbol, an image of the globe, and a lush green field with multi-colored flowers growing under a bright blue sky.

While reducing and reusing are more self-explanatory, recycling is confusing. Delve deeper into the differences between what is “recyclable” and what you can actually place into the single-stream bin and you will find both students and adults puzzled. To help increase residential recycling rates and help residents understand what is and is not recyclable in the city, Austin Resource Recovery is running the Austin Recycles Games challenge.

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Preserving a Preserve

By Monica Lopez Magee, Director of Development and Communications

In urban areas like Austin where green space is becoming more and more limited sits a 47 acre preserve of undeveloped land. It is not just any land, it is a unique wetland ecosystem along the Colorado River basin within the heart of Austin. Due to its location downstream of Lady Bird Lake, the preserve serves as the kidneys of Austin where all trash running off of local creeks and Lady Bird Lake accumulate. When I first came upon the area in 2011, it had become a dumping grounds and was overgrown with invasive species and poison ivy.

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