Lady Green's Chamorro Explains How Recycling Education Inspires Younger Generations

Benjamin Franklin once said that "an investment in knowledge pays the best interest."  For Marcela Chamorro, marketing director, Lady Green Recycling, educating younger generations about recycling and sustainability is crucial to combating climate change.

Stefanie Valentic, Editorial Director

August 4, 2022

4 Min Read

Benjamin Franklin once said that "an investment in knowledge pays the best interest."  For Marcela Chamorro, marketing director, Lady Green Recycling, educating younger generations about recycling and sustainability is crucial to combating climate change.

Chamorro has been interested in sustainability and environmental conservation since her early teens. The Waste360 40 Under 40 recipient even spearheaded a recycling contest during high school to raise funds for her school cafeteria's renovation.

Following her collegiate days which resulted in a Bachelor's in graphic design and visual communications, Chamorro worked for various advertising agencies, eventually landing a role at Lady Green Recycling in Miami when she relocated to South Florida. Since then, she has assisted in trash pickups, warehouse work, delivering bins, baling material and other tasks without complaining, colleagues noted.

In a Q&A with Waste360, Chamorro discussed how her engagement with students and presentations about recycling and sustainability education is making a greener future.

Waste360: Tell me about your work with students. What is so gratifying about working with a younger generation? 

Chamorro: When I started leading the Education Programs I soon noticed the enthusiasm and interest that the younger generations have of solutions for our pollution and climate issues. I think this could be influenced by the sense of emergency that we are currently facing, but what shocks me even more is the thought that these generations will probably face the consequences of today’s non-sustainable actions. It feels irresponsible not to care about their future.  

It’s so gratifying to be part of those who educate about sustainability to those who will implement changes in our systems with sustainability in mind. 

Waste360: Do you have any mentors that have helped you throughout your career? 

Chamorro: Yes, my first and only mentor so far in my career has been Michelle Salas, the founder, and owner of Lady Green Recycling. When we met, we quickly connected because of the similarities in our passions and mission. She has taught me everything I know about recycling, and the sustainable education industry. Has always directed me towards growing paths and is there to advise and guide me on my decision-makings. Her levels of integrity and endurance are qualities that I admire the most. 

Waste360: What is the Lady Green App? How long did it take to develop? 

Chamorro: The Lady Green app serves two main purposes; It teaches about recycling right through games for kids and adults, and it’s also a platform for our clients and users to keep track of their recycling metrics, request pickups, and, soon, find drop-off locations nearby. 

As I joined the project in its executing stage, I don’t know for how long Michelle Salas (Lady Greens’ founder) thought and planned the app, but after our first brain-storm meeting with the developers, it took a little over a year of hard work, and a lots of back and forwards with Michelle to launch it.  

Waste360: How does it enhance the recycling process? 

Chamorro: The Lady Green app has proven to lower contamination rate to as low as 2 percent, though of course, I can’t give the entire credit to it. The Lady Greens’ Sorting Game is just one of the tools we use in our customized education programs. 

Waste360: What about the children’s book? What part did you play in the development and what message does it send? 

Chamorro: The Lady Green Club book was written by Michelle over a few years. The story is inspired by true events that happened in her life but exaggerated of course to get kids invested in it. It sends the message that you can save the planet with your ideas like in the story Michelle, with the help of her friends, creates a Recycling Club to control the pollution that is destroying the jungle, the beaches, and cities.  

I was brought into the project as the graphic editor. I helped to put together the structure of the book with the graphics sent by the illustrator, added the storyline, dialogs, and restructured and enhanced the backgrounds. It was a lot of fun and hard work put into this, but I enjoyed it. My nephew and I love the book so much! 

Waste360: What does sustainability mean to you? 

Chamorro: I take sustainability very literally. For me it means the combination of two concepts; The ability to maintain our lifestyle without compromising future generations and to preserve natural resources by not extracting them at a rate that the planet cannot regenerate.

In my professional perspective I wish to always be involved in projects with sustainability goals. Working only towards creating more sustainable systems. In my personal life I try to maintain sustainable habits like refusing plastics, reusing as much possible, repairing, recycling, and composting. My dream is to live completely off grid one day. 


About the Author(s)

Stefanie Valentic

Editorial Director, Waste360

Stefanie Valentic is the editorial director of Waste360. She can be reached at [email protected].


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