Blog post content was submitted by Katherine Tellock, IFSCC We Compost Recognition Program and Policy Committee member. Katherine is the Business Operations Manager for Block Bins. She has a degree in Economics from the University of Wisconsin and is a leader in environmental volunteering efforts in Chicago.
Block Bins recently launched a bin mural project in collaboration with local Chicago artist Brie Hines (The Brie Show). Their goal is to raise awareness about the environmental benefits of composting through Brie’s colorful and lively designs. These bins are placed around West Town, Ukrainian Village, Wicker Park, and Logan Square in Chicago. Block Bins asks you to tag, comment or post a picture of your own on social media if you see these bins in the wild to help spread the word about how composting helps fight climate change. Head straight to their Facebook and Instagram to see more or read below about the artist that helped bring the project to Chicago.
IFSCC wanted to learn more about this unique partnership with the artist so we recently asked Brie (pictured right) a few questions.
Have you ever done a public art project that addresses the climate crisis, sustainability, and reducing food waste?
This was my first public art project addressing the climate crisis but not my first public art project advocating for the community. In 2020 I created a mural addressing the Black Lives Matter Movement and was featured as a voting booth and used for billboards to encourage folks to participate in the Census.
Reducing Waste and being eco-conscious has always been something that I have been really passionate about, (I used to yell at members of my family as a small child to recycle) and something I practice in my day-to-day life. I am a vegetarian, compost, have thrifted almost 80% of my closet/apartment, and try to support local produce, refill stores, etc. I’ve made lots of small changes over the years to reduce waste and live eco-consciously. Painting isn’t always the best practice for the environment, so in the last few years I’ve focused on how I can be passionate about art & fashion while still being kind to the Earth. I’ve focused on using recycled frames and wood for my paintings, upcycling clothes and dishware with my art, and focusing on slow fashion. The next step is to use my art and voice to educate and inspire conscious practices in others. (I wanted to walk the walk before I could talk the talk.) I was so excited that Block Bins was so open-minded to my idea and combining art and advocacy.
Has the project changed any of your own personal perspectives about the planet of lifestyle habits?
I think climate change can be a very scary topic…. it is a very scary topic. I think a lot of times people would rather be blissfully unaware of the state our environment is in and because most of the damage is done by corporations, people feel hopeless. I wanted to find a way for people to be inspired and feel joyful about changing their habits, just like I have. This project proves that fear-mongering doesn’t have to be the only tactic for change. Smiley faces, bananas and colorful bins can be hopeful and joyful and promote change too.
Block Bins believes compost and recycling options should be accessible and ubiquitous. Their mission is to make compost & recycling options accessible and affordable in cities and suburbs.
Block Bins Values
Bringing neighbors together block by block to make recycling more efficient and to help solve an important environmental issue.
Diverting food waste from our landfills, reducing pests, and keeping your block cleaner while creating healthy soil for your community.
Eliminating the barriers to urban composting by ensuring convenience and affordability for everyone on every block.