Once upon a time, we read and listened to stories out of books. Now that we’re in the digital age, bookworms are downsizing and opting for digital copies of beloved tales. If there is no more room left on your bookshelves to display your book collection or if you’re thinking of parting ways with some books, here are some local places you can donate to so that stories can be re-told and passed down to others.
However, if you’re like me and get too attached to books to let them go, there are creative ways to reuse or repurpose them. For instance, books make excellent planters for small succulents and book covers to disguise any e-reader. You can also start your own library! Little Free Library is a great way to bring communities together by sharing and exchanging books with your friends and neighbors. All you need is a box and some books and to register your upcoming library. Check out their website for more information on how to start a one in your community!
Please join us in welcoming our new Board Member Cory Skuldt and our two Spring Interns Toni Red and Kaci Lambeth.
Cory’s background is in nonprofit management, arts, and education. She graduated from the Massachusetts College of Art in the Studio for Interrelated Media, where she worked with reused textiles and film. She went on to found Boston Skillshare and Skillshare Austin, creating community education events for all ages, and later received her Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from the Center for Community Based Non-Profits.
For the past 9 years Cory has been working to develop a local thrift store from a small, primarily volunteer run-effort to a growing cooperative social enterprise, generating funds for grassroots nonprofits while diverting waste. She’s been inspired by connecting with the broader reuse community during that time. She recently left her position there in order to pursue an MBA in Sustainability at Bard College, with the ultimate goal of advocating for reuse as a crucial sustainability strategy in business, nonprofit, and government sectors.
Originally from Somerville, Massachusetts, Cory has lived in East Austin for 10 years with her two sons. Creative projects and adventures in natural places are her family priorities, and she blogs about connecting kids with nature and play.
Toni Red : As a self proclaimed environmental activist, Toni loves to encourage others think green. She gets to do just that as an intern for Austin Creative Reuse. Since 2013, Toni has been spreading the word about ACR and reuse by writing blog posts about reducing waste and reuse projects. She is currently in her final year at UT and will graduate with a degree in Environmental Science with a focus in Biology. She wants to continue working for the environment by protecting wildlife and wildlife habitat. (Spring 2014- Spring 2016)
Kaci Lambeth is a third year advertising major, with a focus in Media, at the University of Texas at Austin. She has a passion for reuse and sustainability, and is excited to use her skills to further Austin Creative Reuse’s goals of spreading education, community, and creativity throughout Austin.
Austin Creative Reuse is thrilled to participate for the 4th year in I Live Here, I Give Here’s Amplify Austin Day on March 8th, a 24-hour day of giving to Central Texas nonprofits.
Thanks to your generous support during last year’s #AmplifyATX Day we were able to open Austin’s first creative reuse center.
Help us to continue to serve our community and reach our goal of $2500 by giving on March 8th and 9th during #AmplifyATX @I Live Here, I Give Here.
We are especially excited to participate this year with #AmplifyAssembly.
Amplify Assembly @ Austin Public is a FREE kick-off event for Amplify Austin Day, on March 8th. Over 40 local nonprofit organizations are coming together in one location to spread the word about their individual causes, while promoting Austin’s 4th Annual City-wide giving day!
Produced by Leap to Success and Austin Film Society, and partnering with Austin Public Access, the event will include live, on-air coverage and entertainment, hosted by Amanda Tatom of KXAN’s midday show “Studio 512.”
Amplify Assembly at Austin Public
Tuesday, March 8 at 6 PM – 9 PM
1143 Northwestern Ave, Austin, Texas 78702
Thank you for joining us for Austin Creative Reuse’s Grand Opening Celebration. It was amazing to have the community come together to help us celebrate the opening of the center. Thank you to Greg Casar, Austin City Council Member District 4, for his inspiring remarks about hope and making change in the community. And Thank you to Greg Casar, Bob Gedert, ,Claudia Montero, and Kenya Johnson for joining us in a “Ribbon Cutting Ceremony”. We made the ceremony our own by creating a chain of hearts that was then decorated by the community and will be hung up in the center.
All of this would not be possible without our amazing volunteers. There were volunteers that helped us get started years ago as we built awareness and inspired reuse at events, to the Board Members that guide the way and to the weekly rock stars at the center that give their time and energy to make the center look so organized and fun.
Austin Creative Reuse mission is to foster conservation and reuse through creativity, education and community building. The center not only prevents items form unnecessarily going to the landfill, it also provides affordable materials for the community to create and explore their artistic nature. The center is a place to be inspired, to learn and to gather to create. Through tinkering and creative exploration, reuse inspires the engineers, designers, architects, artists and creatives of today and tomorrow.
We would like to thank Nancy Flores of the Austin Statesman for the amazing article: “One person’s trash is this center’s treasure” and Robyn Ross of the Austin Chronicle for the wonderful article “Making Reuse Mainstream: A combination of public and private organizations are working on alternatives to recycling”
Having these 2 great Austin publications share Austin Creative Reuse’s story helps more Austinites understand the importance of reuse and helps to connect affordable materials to the creatives in Austin.
Hope to see you at the Center soon!
Come Celebrate with us.
On Saturday, February 13, 2016 from 10am to 2pm, join us for the Grand Opening Celebration of Austin’s first Creative Reuse Center located at 6406 N IH 35, #1801, Austin, TX 78752.
The celebration will start at 10am with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. Among the guests attending the ribbon cutting ceremony will be:
The celebration will continue until 2pm with free paper crafting, reuse games and refreshments.
The Creative Reuse Center provides a focal point for our mission. The community will find affordable materials for creative exploration and be inspired by reuse examples, events, activities, and classes.
I visited the new City of Austin Recycling and Reuse Drop Off Center in December. I was excited to see the new options that are available and most importantly to see the new styrofoam compressor.
Styrofoam has been a difficult material to deal with since it takes up so much space and weighs so little; it was economically not efficient to fill a truck and ship styrofoam anywhere.
A large cardboard box of styrofoam (first photo) will make one of the pieces that you can see in the box. (Second photo)
Large hard plastic items
Guest Blogger: Marissa Crenwelge, Student Volunteer from UT
At the beginning of this semester, I was aware of the nation’s obsession with going green, but I had no idea there were “reuse centers” dedicated to the cause. In Austin however, there is an organization dedicated to “upcycling,” or reusing someone’s old stuff and making it your own, and last year they were able to keep over 2,000 pounds of material out of landfills. As a student volunteer working on a video project for my Public Relations Techniques class at the University of Texas at Austin, I’ve spent the past semester working with Austin Creative Reuse, a nonprofit whose mission is to foster conservation and reuse by encouraging creativity, providing a convenient place to donate or purchase old materials and hosting events that promote sustainability in the Austin community.
Two months ago, I walked into Austin Creative Reuse not knowing what to expect. The center was closed, but there were volunteers dropping off and sorting items, trying to get things ready for the “soft” opening later that month. I could immediately tell they were excited to see such young blood walk in the door, and were curious as to why five college students turned up on a Friday morning. Since that morning in early September, both the Austin Creative Reuse storefront and my knowledge of what a reuse center is, have grown.
Austin Creative Reuse is in a period of expansion, and I’ve witnessed it first hand. The first time we stopped by the nonprofit to meet with two of its board members, Rebecca and Carol, they were still moving shelves into the back for storage (and they were very excited when we offered to help them out). The most recent visit we made saw the store brimming with new and exciting details – and they had just hung their sign on the front of their building. As a result of all of these small steps, the final product of the video my team is making will have the advantage of showing the growth of the ACR center leading up to the grand opening in early 2016.
Austin Creative Reuse is striving to attract younger volunteers, and it’s a great organization to get involved with if you’re passionate about sustainability. It’s also a great resource for college students who are in need of creative tools and materials, or are just looking for an affordable way to make Pinterest worthy crafts.
Watch the Video created by UT Student Volunteers
Guest Blogger: Jim Hampton, Student Volunteer from UT
The first time I stepped foot in the Austin Creative Reuse Center, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Up to that day, I’d only seen the nonprofit’s YouTube channel, which featured ACR events taking place at temporary, borrowed spaces: a classroom, a backyard or a table at a convention. Each video showed volunteers working with a different group, from schoolchildren to conference attendees. Given the breadth of the work that ACR was shown to do as part of a mission to foster conservation through creative and collaborative means, I was interested in what the organization’s home space might look like. I wasn’t disappointed.
Even in its unfinished stages, ACR had created something dazzlingly unique. Everything, from the behind-the-counter signage to storage containers to the lime green bench by the front door, had been built from repurposed materials. My group and I took nearly an hour to browse the unfinished storefront area, looking at the colorful catalog of materials that ACR offered.
Basic materials like fabric and spray paint shared the shelves with doorknobs, vintage photographs, old maps and even used canvases meant to be painted over. The closer we looked at the center, the more ingenuity we found. At the time, it seemed like a miracle that ACR was even able to fit all of these materials in one room.
I’m not a visually artistic person, but it’s difficult to not be inspired by looking at things that ACR volunteers had created as examples. There were boxes made from old record albums, old textbooks with secret compartments, collaged wall decorations, and even a beautiful, medieval-style dress, presumably made with donated fabric and thread, was prominently displayed by the register. Stepping foot inside ACR’s center made me want to explore, to build and to work with the nonprofit, and I suspect that’s one of the main reasons my group and I are trusted to publicize the new space by creating a promotional video.
My understanding of Austin Creative Reuse’s mission fully took shape after visiting the community center. This is an important first step for them. ACR isn’t opening a base of operations for themselves, they’re opening a source of inspiration for the city, and it won’t stop there. I’m proud to be involved, even in a small role, at such a pivotal point in time.
Watch the Video created by UT Student Volunteers
Do you have a passion for art, reuse or the environment? Do you want to learn more about start-ups and how to create a business?
About the Internship
Austin Creative Reuse (ACR) is seeking interns to work 10-20 hours per week.
We are looking for individuals who are ready to use their creativity, enthusiasm and skills to help move Austin Creative Reuse forward.
This is an unpaid internship but can count towards school credit and is a great resume builder and opportunity to gain valuable experience.
You’ll have the chance to see what it takes for a non-profit organization to go from an idea on paper to a sustainable community organization!
We offer super-flexible hours seven days a week. You will be able to work at the ACR Creative Reuse Center as well as remotely. We’ll have regular in-person meetings to check in.
Responsibilities may include:
Required: You must be located in the Austin area.
About Austin Creative Reuse
Austin Creative Reuse is a nonprofit organization that collects, sells, and distributes donated reusable materials. We’re giving materials a second life!
How to apply
Email your cover letter and resume to iRebecca@austincreativereuse.org