Archive for the ‘Recycling’ Category

Father’s day is this Sunday, June 16th. But don’t worry, if you haven’t gotten your father a gift yet, you still have a couple of days. And if you’re still looking for a gift idea, we have a few suggestions for green Father’s Day gifts that we would be thrilled to receive!

#1- Solar Backpack solar

If your Father enjoys biking, hiking, fishing or any other outdoor activities, than this backpack is the perfect gift for him. While he’s out doing these activities, this backpack isn’t only holding his stuff, but using solar energy to charge his electronics! How great is the idea of never having to worry about your phone’s battery charge while out and about? Now all you have to worry about is having signal!

waterbottles#2 – Reusable Water Bottle

The Container Recycling Institute estimates Americans buy 29.8 billion plastic water bottles every year. 80% of these bottles will wind up in a landfill. That’s why we personally think everyone should have their own reusable water bottle. It not only saves the environment, it saves you tons of money. Think about it like this, if your dad buys one bottle of water a day for $1, he would spend $365 a year!

#3 – Green Golf Tees & Ballsgolf

Does your dad love to golf? If you usually get your dad golf-related gifts for Father’s Day, consider getting him some environmentally-friendly tees and golf balls this year. Eco Golf is one cool company that specializes in making golf products from recycled material.

hemp#4 – A Hemp Wallet

Wallets are always a popular gift for Dad. But for a unique gift this year, consider buying your father an environmentally-friendly hemp wallet instead of the usual leather one. Hemp wallets are available in a variety of colors and designs and best of all, they’re super affordable!

#5 – Green Alcoholswineorganic

If your dad is the type to relax with a glass of wine or a fine scotch, consider buying him some “green” alcohol for this Father’s Day. What’s green alcohol? Green alcohol comes in environmentally-friendly packaging and the producers have taken considerable measure into reducing their carbon footprint. Best of all, it comes in all different forms – wine, whiskey, scotch, whatever!

For more Austin environmental information, find Dirty Work on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr or Pinterest.


If there’s one thing Austinite’s love, it’s junk.

Go to any of the cities’ numerous arts and crafts festivals throughout the year and you’re bound to meet dozens of artists who have created art out of old junk.

The most famous of these artists is without a doubt Vince Hannemann who created the “Cathedral of Junk.” The cathedral contained over 60 tons of artwork created from old junk and Vince had been adding to it steadily for almost the past 25 years.

Then a couple of years ago, the city of Austin declared the exhibit unsafe. After a long legal battle, Vince began dismantling it. But mounting pressure from the city’s art lovers, made the city reconsider at the last minute. Today, the exhibit is still standing.

And the Cathedral of Junk isn’t the only place that exemplifies Austin’s love affair with junk.

The Spider House, located near the UT campus, is a popular hangout for the university’s students. The coffee house/bar is decorated in shabby-chic junk décor. Visitors frequently describe it as being so “Austin.”

From the mismatched chairs to the junk lying around to the Christmas lights that hang all season, the Spider House is a perfect example of how to make a “junky” place welcoming.

In addition to these two places, Austin has dozens of thrift stores located around the city. Arguably the most famous of these is Buffalo Exchange, which started in Austin but has since spread to half a dozen other cities.

Buffalo Exchange markets to the “green” concerns that many Austin residents have. The store encourages people to sell their old clothes to them instead of throwing them away, thus saving them from the landfills.

The store is remarkable popular among UT students.

These are just a few of our favorite places in Austin that really exemplify the Austin love affair with junk. What are yours?

Tell us in the comments or on our Facebook or Twitter.

Reduce, reuse, recycle…we chanted it over and over again in elementary school, but yet the majority of Americans still don’t recycle regularly.

Why is that? Could there be a better way to teach children to recycle?

The most effective way to teach children to recycle isn’t by simply telling them why recycling is important like we’ve been doing; it’s by leading by example. When children see their parents, grandparents, family friends and teachers recycling, they are more likely to recycle when they become adults.

But we often don’t lead by example. Few homes in the United States recycle their trash and many schools encourage children to “reduce, reuse, recycle”, but few recycle their own trash.

Fortunately, there are a few steps parents can take to encourage their children to live green.

  1. Start recycling at home. Make it a rule that all recyclable trash in your home gets recycled.
  2. Make it pay for children. If you live in a place that offers cash for recycling aluminum cans, let your children have the money they make off the cans they recycle. This is a great incentive that makes recycling fun!
  3. Start reducing and reusing. Reducing and reusing is still great advice for recycling. Use reusable plastic water bottles and Tupperware containers for your child’s lunch. Buy your child refillable pens and pencils and folders/paper made from recycled paper for school. Donate old clothing, furniture and household items to charities.
  4. Put it in terms children can understand. Children don’t understand depletion of the ozone layer or global warming or the oil crisis. To make them see how important recycling is you must put it in terms they can understand. The video in this blog provided by Miles Rose with Green Living Science is a great example.
  5. Help at school. Encourage your child’s school principal or teacher to set up recycling bins at school. Great places to set up recycling bins in schools include the cafeteria, computer lab, art room and classroom. Suggest turning recycling into a competition. The classroom that recycles the most trash at the end of the year could win a special party.

By following these steps, you can show your children that recycling and reducing your environmental footprint is important to you, making it more likely that your children will view living green as important and pass the tradition down to their children.

For more information on Austin recycling, visit