The USCC’s Annual Conference is the premiere professional meeting for composting, organics recycling, and related topics. This year’s conference was from January 24th-27th in Austin, Texas, and the demonstration day was held at the Texas Disposal Systems’ organics processing facility.
My coworkers and I were given the opportunity to check out the on-site demo day. The event featured large heavy machinery on display for the conference attendees to watch in action.
Texas Disposal Systems offers holiday-related organics processing under two major programs: (1) Christmas Tree Recycling and (2) Wreaths Across America support.
Every year TDS opens up their facilities for free Tree Recycling and holiday organic waste disposal. This includes live Christmas Trees and wreaths, as well as any left over pumpkins. Residents can visit their regional facility or the main landfill in Creedmoor to drop off their trees and organics. From there, we process the trees through chippers into high-quality, rich products like mulch or compost. These products are sold via the Garden-Ville retail centers back into the local community.
In mid-December, I finally got the chance to visit the Whole Life Learning Center (WLLC) in South Austin. The WLLC is a mix-use facility with the primary purpose of outdoor education for children. While the focus is for hands-on outdoor learning for kids, there are frequent opportunities for teen and adult environmental education. There’s also an on-site plant nursery, Cultivate Holistic Supply, which offers a slew of organic supplies.
In honor of the Winter Solstice, various vendors came together for a Winter Solstice Celebration Market. The products they offered ranged from hand-made jewelry to organic tinctures and anything you could imagine made from beeswax or honey byproducts.
As part of my work with Texas Disposal Systems, we support the waste diversion services of the Austin FCQ2 Stadium. This work has included serving as “Trash Goalies” during football (soccer) games!
Being a volunteer Trash Goalie, we helped monitor the eco-waste stations near the concession areas and stadium seating. The eco-waste stations were divided into three separate, labeled bins so attendees could see where their waste should go. Our jobs were to help “block shots” to prevent contamination as well as educate guests on proper disposal practices at the stadium.
After my years in conservation and sustainability, my dream of sharing these passions with others has developed into a more tangible concept. An immersive, edutainment space colony glamping experience! This is a culmination of my passions, my educational experiences, what I’ve seen on my travels, and what I’ve noticed trending in the market.
I wish I could say this concept it unique, however, given our advances in technology and number of people on the planet – others have had similar ideas. Great minds think alike, right?
One such example is “a Turkish town is preparing to set up a touristic “Mars Colony” that will allow earthlings to walk the surface of the Red Planet here on earth…which will also house a scientific theme park and 30 boutique hotels [and] “astronaut food menus” at the Mars Colony [which are] expected to breathe fresh life into gastronomy tourism as well.” – Daily Sabah
Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.
Adding onto the concept of an immersive experience is the edutainment (education + entertainment) factor. The edutainment is very important to me so guests can learn aspects of conservation and sustainability while having an enjoyable and entertaining on-site experience!
I’ve had a very interesting roller-coaster of a career track, and wouldn’t want it any other way. I began my marketing career at a boutique automotive firm and then worked my way up to larger communications agencies. While I learned and my skills grew, I felt like there was still something missing. Passion. So I took a step back from a traditional path to find it. Through environmental education and adventures in sustainability, I found a career track I’m passionate about using my seasoned marketing skills.
The list below starts with my most recent job and goes back in sequence below:
Texas Disposal Systems
Continuing my Texas conservation marketing career, I joined the Texas Disposal Systems as their first ever Digital Marketing Specialist.
In this position I help with paid online ad efforts, email marketing, updating the website, content strategy, and other digital responsibilities.