Amplify Austin 2016








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

Donate now

Austin Creative Reuse Grand Opening Celebration






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.





Austin Creative Reuse’s Grand Opening Celebration in the News

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!



Grand Opening Celebration February 13th

unnamed (2)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:

  • Greg Casar, Austin City Council Member District 4
  • Bob Gedert, Director of Austin Resource Recovery
  • Natalie Betts, City of Austin Recycling Economic Development Liaison
  • Claudia Montero, local reuse artist;
  • Kenya Johnson, Chief Operating Officer of the Girl Scouts of Central Texas

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.

























ACR visits the new COA Recycling and Reuse Drop Off Center

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 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)

The new center now accepts many materials and has expanded what is available in its “Reuse Store”

Accepted Items

  • Plastic bags (clean and dry)
  • Plastic film / plastic wrap (clean and dry)
  • Styrofoam (clean and dry)
  • Scrap metal

Large hard plastic items

  • Lawn chairs and furniture
  • Playground equipment
  • Children’s pools
  • Pet carriers
  • Trash cans
  • Cardboard
  • Hard plastic
  • Paper
  • Cans and foil
  • Glass bottles and jars

Not Accepted

  • Mattresses
  • Furniture
  • Toilets
  • Non-recyclable trash

ReUse Store: Availability varies, but items may include:

  • Art supplies
  • Cleaning products
  • Household chemicals
  • Automotive fluids
  • Recyclable batteries

More information can be found on the City of Austin’s website

Austin Creative Reuse: One Step at a Time

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.    UT_Crenwelge

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.  UT_Crenwelge2

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

New to Reuse: My First Time at ACR

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



Seeking Spring Interns


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:

  • Enhance sustainability policy and coordinate efforts to apply for Austin Green Business Leaders Program
  • Coordinate and create digital marketing content and execute campaigns
  • Conduct outreach initiatives to local businesses
  • Create internal and external communications that excite audiences about Austin Creative Reuse
  • Support operations by tracking and analyzing key performance metrics.
  • Create and implement a photography and/or graphics plan
  • Implement a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool


  •     Well-organized and detail-oriented.
  •     Strong written, oral, and visual communication skills.
  •     Able to work both independently and as part of a team.
  •     Familiarity working with Google Drive, Trello or other task management tools.

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

Green New Year’s Resolutions

The New Year has finally arrived after a long 2015 and many people are kicking off the 2016 with their New Year’s Resolutions. Whether it be hitting the gym or reading a book a week, everyone will be trying to improve their lives. But what about the environment? There are many things you can start to do this year in order to protect the environment such as volunteering at a creek clean up or riding a bike. So, if you’re still thinking about your list, consider these environmentally friendly resolutions to start off the new year. 

Now, I have always been inclined to do anything eco-friendly, but there are little things that slip my mind that can have major effects on the environment such as using paper towels. So, for New Year I’m going to put more effort into considering my actions and try to lower my carbon footprint.  

This New Year I will go green by vowing to…

1. Go paper towel-less.

According to the Paperless Project, Americans use over 13 billion pounds of paper towels each year. Keep in mind that paper towels are not recyclable. In order to cut down on paper towels, use dish and hand towels and cloth napkins in your kitchen. If you’re always out and about, put a couple in your bag to dry your hands in public restrooms. You can buy them or even make them out of old bed sheets!


2. Remember to bring my reusable bags to the grocery store.

Back in 2013, the City of Austin implemented the plastic bag ban in an effort to protect the environment. Two years have passed, but I always forget to bring my reusable bags to the grocery store. If you’re like me and forget to bring your bags, leave a couple of bags in your car or place them on your front door handle as a reminder to bring them before you leave your home. You can also opt out of using bags when shopping for things other than groceries.

3. Pack my own lunch instead of buying.

I either forget to pack a lunch or am just lazy and I end up purchasing over-priced lunches on campus. There are a lot of benefits by bringing your own lunch to school or work. You have more choices and most of the time it’s healthier and overall cheaper. Additionally, by using reusable tupperware or glass jars, less waste will end up in the landfill.


4. Clean out my closet and donate my clothes.

I have to admit, I love to shop for new clothes. Over the years, I’ve accumulated so much that my closet is now overflowing with outfits I barely wear. It’s unbelievable that 13.3 tons of textiles were discarded (EPA). Therefore, it’s better to donate as much gently worn clothes as possible to not only make room in my closet but to allow others to wear.

So what are you waiting for? 2016 has just begun and it’s not too late to revise your list of New Year’s Resolutions with eco-friendly goals. These are just suggestions and of course there are other ways to help the environment that you can add to your New Year’s Resolutions. Just remember to think about what attainable for you. For instance, I personally, wanted to add these goals to my resolution list because they are feasible especially for a college student like me and will be easy to continue throughout my life.

What are your green resolutions for the New Year?

What Can I Do with Wrapping Paper?

The holiday season is wrapping up (no pun intended) and your home is probably filled with crinkled and torn wrapping paper. As a kid, I thought  it was silly to open my presents neatly in order to save the gift wrap. Now that I’m older, I completely understand the reasoning behind that sentiment and I catch myself opening gifts slowly as to not rip the wrapping paper into pieces in hopes of reusing the wrapping later. Reusing gift wrap will not only save money, but less waste will end up in the landfill. According to Use Less Stuff, the U.S. accumulates 4 million tons of gift wrap and shopping bags during the holiday season. A bunch of that gift wrap can be either recycled or reused. If you are wondering what you can do to reduce the amount of gift wrap that end up in the landfill, think about different ways you can reuse them.


If you want to save the wrapping paper for another gift, you can iron out wrinkles to make the wrapping paper look brand new. Just set the iron to low and iron away!

However, if the wrapping paper is too torn to be saved you can shred it even more to make festive confetti, decorative packaging material, and comfy bedding for small pets such as rabbits and hamsters.

Is being more creative part of your New Year’s Resolutions? You can start by being creative with used gift wrap. Wrapping paper makes excellent origami paper,  drawer lining, garland, labels, gift bows or even a festive wreath. The list goes on!


Don’t forget that recycling is also an alternative to get rid of wrapping paper. You can place them into your blue recycling cart or drop them off at the City of Austin Recycle & Reuse Drop Off Center. Furthermore, not all wrapping paper is recyclable. If the wrapping paper has glitter or foil throw them into the trash bin or reuse them!

How will you reuse wrapping paper after the holidays?