Brandi Harleaux, CEO of South Submit Oak Recycling Heart and this 12 months’s Small Enterprise Administration’s Texas Enterprise Proprietor of the Yr, is simply as captivated with neighborhood service as she is about working her game-changing enterprise. Enter “Each Day is Earth Day,” Harleaux’s Ok-12 recycling training program.
The Defender spoke with Harleaux in regards to the genesis of “Each Day is Earth Day” and why educating Black youth in regards to the energy of recycling is so necessary.
DEFENDER: What was the genesis of ‘Day by day is Earth Day?’
HARLEAUX: So, a ardour on this space preceded me; I’d say, my dad, Freddy Robinson, even earlier than I joined the corporate 10 years in the past. I name him a humble servant as a result of he’s what I’d name, I hate to say old skool, however he’s. He’s a earlier technology in a great way. He would sponsor native soccer groups. If there have been church buildings in our areas that wanted help for management applications, he would sponsor these. If there was a neighborhood elementary faculty that wanted provides, he would sponsor that. So, after I got here on board 10 years in the past, I stated, “Dad, I really like what you’re doing. And but I feel we will make it extra targeted and concentrated than it’s, in order that it may well have exponential impression.” So, what that began to appear to be was me saying, “What’s necessary to us?”
DEFENDER: So, what’s necessary to your organization?
HARLEAUX: So, now we have 5 pillars now, of areas which are precedence. Certainly one of them is type of our origins, and it’s K1-12 training on recycling; what recycling is, what recycling isn’t. We type of took a liking to that and that began to appear to be faculty excursions and alluring totally different faculties or applications to our facility to see what recycling seems like, particularly steel recycling. As a result of I feel lots of people assume paper/plastics, as a result of that’s the place curbside happens. However we knew that 70% of recyclables really don’t occur on the curbside. It occurs in services like ours. It’s industrial. However as a result of individuals see a bin, whether or not or not it’s inexperienced or blue, they affiliate recycling with that. So, we wished to be part of the dialog to say, “We should always do this, however know that that solely represents 30% of recycling. So, we would like you to come back to our facility. We would like you to see what’s occurring.”
DEFENDER: Are there another features to the “Each Day is Earth Day” program?
HARLEAUX: So, in the middle of that, I joined a board for a commerce affiliation that we’re a part of referred to as the Institute of Scrap Recycling Business (ISRI). ISRI is a nationwide group primarily based out of Washington, DC and so they signify the voice of the recycling business: metals, electronics, paper, plastic and rubber. That they had at the moment began working with Nationwide Geographic in a company referred to as Jason’s Studying. Between ISRI and people two organizations, they partnered collectively and began to create curriculum designed for grades Ok via 12 that was recycling and STEM-focused all collectively. And by doing that they might characteristic totally different recycling advocates. They made curriculum that lecturers can actually simply raise off the shelf, whether or not that be elementary, center faculty or highschool.
And I’m all about pondering entrepreneurship and scalability, accessing issues that exist already and never recreating the wheel. So, we partnered with Jason’s Studying, we partnered with ISRI and what we began to do, our first section was to sponsor a neighborhood center faculty right here (Lawson Center Faculty). And I shared with our firm, “I imagine we must always have an effect within the communities by which we do enterprise.” And we’ve all the time believed that. So, for us it was like, “Let’s pilot it with Lawson.” We sponsored their science membership, and we preferred the dynamic. The lecturers preferred it as a result of they didn’t should create something. They might simply just about pull it off of the web site. We paid for them to have entry to it. And we stated, “This can be a good begin.” Quick-forward, we’re getting ready for Earth Day once more, and this 12 months was my tenth Earth Day getting ready for being within the business. And we had been pondering, “You recognize, we have a good time this someday, however day-after-day is definitely Earth Day,” that means the alternatives that we make, the behaviors that we make as shoppers, as residents and so forth, impression the earth day-after-day. So, why not have a motion that claims day-after-day is Earth Day?
DEFENDER: Why the Ok-12 focus?
HARLEAUX: You can begin with grownup behaviors. In training, you can begin with kids. Now we have social media and now we have different alternatives to proceed to speak to adults and companies. We’re gonna hold doing that. However for this marketing campaign, we figured we’d accomplice with totally different faculties in District Ok, but in addition across the metropolis of Houston. And we’d determine one faculty a month, and accomplice with them to haven’t solely training on recycling, however have an expertise. Run a recycling marketing campaign and have no matter is collected, use these monies to return to the varsity, and so they can make investments it or allocate it nonetheless they need. That’s the place this began. We actually thought it might be multipurpose. We are able to educate about recycling as a result of there’s a whole lot of misnomers about it and misconceptions. We are able to educate individuals on the behaviors by inviting them to our facility. And we will make it very actionable and tangible for them. They’ll really take part in a recycling marketing campaign, generate cash from it as a result of we’re coping with commodities and never trash, after which the faculties would then have social in addition to monetary and financial upsides.
To study extra, go to https://southpostoakrecycling.com, name 713-433-9944 or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org.