GreenDallas http://greendallas.net building a greener city. Thu, 28 May 2020 22:01:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.1 62968459 CECAP’s Historic Approval http://greendallas.net/2020/05/28/cecaps-historic-approval/ Thu, 28 May 2020 22:01:39 +0000 http://greendallas.net/?p=22722 Continue reading

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Dallas City Council Unanimously adopts Climate Action Plan

It is our pleasure to announce that Dallas City Council has approved the City’s first Comprehensive Environmental & Climate Action Plan (CECAP)! This plan lays the groundwork for implementation of ninety-seven actions across eight sectors to ensure a healthy, resilient, and equitable future for all Dallas residents. Watch City Council approve the CECAP here.  

 

The Office of Environmental Quality & Sustainability would like to extend our endless gratitude to the Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, the Environment & Sustainability Committee, stakeholders, and residents who came together over the past year and a half to make this happen. This would not have been possible without you!

 

As we celebrate this week’s momentous occasion, please take the time to also ponder next steps and how we can best keep this momentum going. The next 30 years — and beyond– depend on it! 

Thank you for supporting #DallasClimateAction

Dallas, skyline, Trinity RIver levee, wildflowers

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Global Recycling Day http://greendallas.net/2020/05/18/global-recycling-day/ Mon, 18 May 2020 13:42:25 +0000 http://greendallas.net/?p=22628 Continue reading

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Global Recycling day comes May 18. We are celebrating by letting you know some tips and tricks to recycling in Dallas during this time.

  • Recycle pick up is still occurring. Be sure you know the rules when using your blue recycle bin.

 

 

  • While wearing protective face coverings is important, know that PPE is NOT recyclable, it must be disposed in the trash because it could be contaminated with bacteria and pathogens from COVID-19 or even other diseases.

  • Many recycle drop off sites are not currently open to accept items at this time, so hang tight and hold on to your batteries and old electronics until further notice. 

 

  • Dallas’ Multifamily Recycling Ordinance went into effect January 1, 2020 for multi-family properties with 8 or more units.   
    • If you haven’t been notified of a recycle option for your complex, ask your property owner or manager so that you, too, can recycle where you live!  
    • If you do not know where the recycling containers are located on your property, contact your apartment manager. 

 

 

  • To recycle your clothing, shoes and jewelry:
    • Many thrift stores are reopened within the Dallas area accepting donations. 
    •  Know where your local drop-off container is located. 
    • Participate in a charity pick-up program, many will come directly to your  home or office to pickup reusable items. 
    • Upcycle! Working from home saves the commute time and like magic, families can take old t-shirts and make masks, scarves and even shopping bags. See the links to upcycle “arts, crafts and home goods”. 

 

For more information about global recycling day click here and great job celebrating 50 days of Earth Day!

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Going Green and Remaining Clean http://greendallas.net/2020/05/10/going-green-and-remaining-clean/ Mon, 11 May 2020 01:18:07 +0000 http://greendallas.net/?p=22539 Continue reading

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COVID-19 has taught us how to clean.

Cleaning countertops, disinfecting doorknobs, and washing our hands again and again can become exhausting but reconsider your reusables when buying a comfier lounge set or sipping your morning coffee.

Remaining responsibly germ free doesn’t have to put a stop to your eco active lifestyle. It might even give you more peace of mind mentioning multi-use items can be safer to use when avoiding germs. If you have opted for disposable plastic water bottles to remain sanitary, you might be better off pulling that reusable mug out of your cupboard, the one you can scald in the dish washer. You know where that mug has been and who it has come in contact with, that is not necessarily the case for the 12 pack of disposable plastic bottles you may be eyeing at the store. When using a reusable water bottle, it goes without saying Dallas drinking water is still as clean, safe and reliable to consume as ever. However if you are curious what measures are done to keep Dallas’ drinking water clean, visit this link to learn more. 

 

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Wanting to know how to properly sanitize your reusables? A simple scrubbing with soap and water kills existing germs on your cups just as it does when washing your hands! Cups, mugs, and cutlery all do well after a simple washing, just be sure you are keeping up your cleanliness. If you have a sanitizing feature on your dishwasher or washing machine, now is a perfect time to use it. If your appliances don’t offer this option, opt for hot, hot water when washing. The sanitizing feature on most appliances uses water with temperatures up to 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

As for those everyday messes, opting for cloth towels more often is a great way to avoid the waste that paper towels create. When cleaning with reusable kitchen towels, wash them between each use. Too nervous about reusing when cleaning? Think about choosing unbleached biodegradable paper towels instead.

 

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Disinfectants need to remain of the surface for several minutes to kills germs.

If you are sanitizing a surface, which is different than cleaning, know the rules to using your spray or wipes. When using a disinfectant wipe, stick to the recommended surface area found on the back of the container, otherwise you may be extending those germs’ reach. No matter what your wiping with, know your sprays and wipes “drying times”. This is the time needed for the solution to sit on the surface before being wiped away, in order to properly activate the disinfecting properties. For example, you can read more about this on Lysol©’s usage information page .

You don’t need to use name brand sprays in order to clean. There are plenty of green ways to do so such as these DIY sprays and stain removers. When disinfecting, consider using slightly diluted hydrogen peroxide. Spraying hydrogen peroxide, letting it rest up to five minutes, and wiping away has proved to have great germ killing qualities. Remember? You’ve used it to effectively clean cuts and scrapes. Here are some other cleaning uses for it.

 

 

blog photo of Stay Home electronic road signLove the idea of being green throughout your home? Reference Your Green Home for tons of great ways to stay eco conscious while maintain a clean home.

Keep up the good work remaining socially and sanitarily responsible! Maybe consider finally getting those comfy sweatpants you saw on your favorite online thrift shop. You deserve it!

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Litter Free PPE http://greendallas.net/2020/05/01/litter-free-ppe/ Sat, 02 May 2020 03:16:12 +0000 http://greendallas.net/?p=22472 Continue reading

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Used personal protective equipment (PPE) can be a health hazard.

Are you wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) like a face mask and gloves when running essential errands or out for a walk? Great! Are you littering your used PPE after picking up groceries? Not great….Cities across the United States are seeing an uptake in this type of waste. If you are using “one use” personal protective gear such as a disposable face covering or gloves, be sure you are taking the appropriate measures to dispose of it because it is a health hazard. Not only does leaving contaminated coverings behind cost valuable tax dollars to clean up, it can end up in nearby waterways. Litter often gets carried into storm drains or breezes into open waterways. Let’s not add this to our already larger environmental concerns 

Do your part. Properly dispose of your PPE or look into reusable cloth face coverings. If using a reusable face cover be sure to sanitize it after each use. The CDC has this guide for making and cleaning face coverings. 

We love that you practice responsible recycling , but do note, all used single use PPE is to be thrown in the trash. Leave your recycling bins to carry only clean recyclables and dispose of your PPE in the garbage. This eliminates the risk of transmitting any germs to and protects essential sanitation workers.  

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Medical mask discarded on a Dallas walking trail.

While public litter pickups and creek clean ups are most likely cancelled in your area to avoid public gatherings, you can still pick up litter and on your walks. You can even encourage those you know to do the same. Be sure you and your loved ones know how to remain safe while doing good for the environment with tips from our article. 

Flattening the curve will occur if we all do our part in remaining safe. This includes not only wearing protective equipment but also disposing of it properly! 

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50 Days of Earth Day http://greendallas.net/2020/04/22/50-days-of-earth-day/ Wed, 22 Apr 2020 21:54:21 +0000 http://greendallas.net/?p=22376 Continue reading

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Happy 50th Anniversary Earth Day! Dallas Environmental Quality and Sustainability is featuring a social media campaign including a series of eco-awareness blogs, a “Kid’s World Too” coloring page and a call-to-action that includes residents showing their home environmental practices because Earth Day is every day. 

 

Beginning on April 22nd and moving forward, “50 Days of Earth Day”, features environmental tips, programs and learning opportunities on how to celebrate and integrate good environmental practices into our lives. All of these can be viewed at @greendallastx (Facebook) and @greendallas for (Twitter and Instagram). Residents are encouraged to shine a light on their Earth-friendly actions and practices by sharing them on social media and tagging Green Dallas. We want to see your vegetable garden, your compost pile, and your reusable water bottle so we can thank you for your contribution to a greener Dallas!

 

 

 

It’s great to be a Planet Protector and celebrate Earth Day together!

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Air Quality Perspective During COVID-19 http://greendallas.net/2020/04/21/air-quality-perspective-during-covid-19/ Tue, 21 Apr 2020 20:33:31 +0000 http://greendallas.net/?p=22343 Continue reading

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Nurses protest unsafe conditions in Bay Area by Jose Carlos Fajardo

Although the abrupt lifestyle transition driven by global “shelter in place” orders has presented many challenges, it has also given us a glimpse of what could be, long after we recover from this pandemic. Impacts from COVID-19 are causing people to re-evaluate many of our current systems– healthcare, the traditional work schedule and benefits, and sanitation guidelines in public spaces, to name a few—and opportunities to improve these systems, thus improving humans’ overall quality of life. So, what is to be learned about our natural environment as a result of this?

 

 

One of the most promising things to note is the improvement in overall air quality.  In China, a 50% reduction in nitrous oxide and carbon monoxide due to the shutting down of heavy industries and factories was observed by NASA. Los Angeles reported some of its cleanest air quality since at least 1995, according to The Washington Post. Similar improvements have been reported around the world. 

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Empty Woodall Rodgers Fwy on March 24 by Lynda M. Gonzalez, Staff Photographer DMN

 

In Dallas, this offers some hope of reprieve from poor air quality, if we apply the lessons learned during this time. Although current local air monitoring data is still being analyzed for notable changes, it can be inferred that Dallas will reap air quality benefits from reduced air and on-road traffic, slowed or halted industrial processes, and reduced energy generation and consumption.  

 

 

How can we ensure that Dallas stays on this trajectory long after the stay-at-home orders have ended? On May 27th, Dallas’ first Comprehensive Environmental & Climate Action Plan (CECAP) will go before Council for approval. Implementation of the CECAP means initiating actions across eight sectors– including Transportation, Energy, and Air Quality– that will help achieve our goal of carbon neutrality by 2050 and reduce ozone pre-cursors from transportation, burning of fossil fuels, and energy use (sound familiar?) Support #DallasClimateAction so Dallasites can breathe clean air for generations to come, not just in a pandemic.

 

 

 

 

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Staying ‘Current’ on Earth Day with Water Conservation http://greendallas.net/2020/04/20/staying-current-on-earth-day-with-water-conservation/ Mon, 20 Apr 2020 21:35:21 +0000 http://greendallas.net/?p=22310 Continue reading

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While we stay at home, there may be ways you are looking to continue your conservation stewardship. Focusing on your water usage is a great way to go greener, and lower your utility bill in the process! Consider these tips in water conservation in and out of your home.

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The bathroom is a great place for the entire family to conserve water.

Lets start the day with brushing our teeth, turning off the sink while we brush our teeth is an old trick on saving water, but consider this action while you wash your hands as well. While scrubbing suds for 20 seconds, turn off your faucet until you are ready to rinse your hands clean. The same process goes when you’re reaching for the razor to shave. Hopping in the shower and cutting just the morning rinse by 2 minutes can make yet another positive impact that translate into water conservation.

Onto the kitchen. The way we cook can have a big effect on water conservation as well. Consider one pot meals, without washing all of those mixing bowls means less clean-up for you and less water waste. Have a leaky kitchen faucet that needs fixing? Now is a great time to watch that “how to” video on stopping the drip, saving water as you work.

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The EPA reports that nationwide, landscape irrigation is estimated to account for nearly one-third of all residential water use, totaling nearly 9 billion gallons per day.

Stepping outside, let’s have a look at our yard. We know watering our lawns less is better for the environment, but exactly how much should we cut back? Using this website from our friends at Dallas Water utilities, you can know exactly how much you should be watering your yard and for how long. The website allows you to easily personalize the information to your neighborhood and sprinkler type: https://waterisawesome.com/weekly-watering-advice

Additionally, during this time you may be picking up some eco-activities like gardening. Inspect your outdoor space or lawn, and keep in mind water wise landscaping. Think about investing in a rain barrel like this one created by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlQCilGvyl0

 

blog photoAs you take a morning walk, consider cleaning up a local creek and help prevent trash from flowing into our water ways. During this time of COVID-19, be sure to wear protective gear, the mask and gloves. However, this is good advice at any time you clean up an area for trash and debris of all types can collect. Check out our previous blog post over how to clean up litter while remaining proactive over your personal safety.

We encourage everyone to be involved with water conservation through other organizations. Be on the lookout for the 2020 Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation starting August 1st as part of Water Quality Month.. You can earn prizes for your water conservation pledge and see how much water we are all saving. If each of us take action to conserve water, it all adds up!

 

Conserving water in your daily schedule does not have to be life altering but it sometimes means breaking old habits and replacing them with water saving new ones. Even small acts towards water conservation can make a difference. It is important now more than ever to continue to conserve. Your acts of conservation also celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day this April 22!  

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Invite Pollinators to the Party http://greendallas.net/2020/04/17/invite-pollinators-to-the-party/ Fri, 17 Apr 2020 17:27:16 +0000 http://greendallas.net/?p=22287 Continue reading

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Pollinators like bees and butterflies carry pollen from flower to flower.

While our spring plans may have seen some changes during this time, the season is still marked by an abundance of wildflowers. This beautiful display is due to our local area pollinatorsFrom beetles to bees, pollinators fly or crawl a million miles to do the work to keep our ecosystem vibrant and healthy.

Whether you’re a Master Gardener or someone who enjoys seeing butterflies flutter outside their window, here are seven easy ways anyone can support our local Texas pollinators. 

  •  Provide a water source 

Place a shallow dish of water in sunny areas or create a muddy spot that allows pollinators to stay hydrated during their long works hoursThese are called “butterfly puddlers. This is a great way to re-use cleaned jar lids or plant pot saucers. 

  •  Create a butterfly pit stop  

Creating a butterfly feeder is a great activity to do with your kids!  

This is also an opportunity to reuse the “to go boxes” from all of the local restaurants you have been supporting! Using one side of the container, hole punch each of the four sides. Run string through the holes, connect the string so it may hang.  

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This is a great project to reuse items you already have.

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Hang your feeder under a tree but where you can see it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tie the feeder up on a branch or a place where it can rest in the sun, similarly to your butterfly puddler. Fill the feeder with either a ¼ cup of simple syrup or some chunks of fruit scraps. (butterflies love bananas, apple cores and other extra ripe fruit) Putting Fruit in suet baskets works great as well! 

  • Make way for Monarchs.  

This month, our state butterfly, the monarch, migrates north from Mexico. After they stop in your garden, you may soon find hungry caterpillars on your milkweed. These caterpillars will soon transform and make the journey North. Planting milkweed is a great way to encourage monarch visitors in your garden because it is the only plant where they lay their eggs.  

  •  Go Local.  

Add Texas hardy perennials and flowers to your landscape. Planting wildflowers and other native plant species that regrow every year provide food for pollinators and welcome them more than a manicured lawnSupporting pollinators year after year means you get to joyfully celebrate National Pollinator Week, June 22-28! 

  • Consider your lawncare. 

Stop your use of insecticides and reduce other pesticides as most will harm our prettier pollinators like butterflies and moths.

  • Create compost. 

Use compost over fertilizers. Create pollinator friendly compost out of kitchen and yard waste. Click here to get inspired to compost. 

  • Share the beauty! 

Celebrate Earth Day, April 22, by sharing photos of your pollinator garden. We’d love to see your pollinator pals. Tag us at: @GreenDallasTX on Facebook and @GreenDallas on Twitter, and Instagram. 

Also, check out our video that has even more tips to attract pollinators to your landscape. 

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Compost In Place During COVID-19 http://greendallas.net/2020/04/16/compost-in-place-during-covid-19/ Thu, 16 Apr 2020 15:37:04 +0000 http://greendallas.net/?p=22272 Continue reading

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Kitchen scraps and yard waste can be composted into free fertilizer.

One benefit of sheltering in place is that you can sharpen your culinary skills. But, are you now producing more food waste? Instead of putting food scraps in your trash, start a COVID-19 compost pile! Compost is organic material that can be added to soil to help plants grow and improve the soil. Composting is a very important practice, both for our environment and for our soil. You can make compost at home and it has many benefits.

  1. Compost in your soil acts like a sponge, for water and for nutrients.
  2. Compost supplies your plants many essential nutrients. In contrast, fertilizer replaces very specific missing nutrients in your soil.
  3. Compost will help you reduce your own costs by saving on your water bill or need for expensive fertilizers or supplements.
  4. Compost helps loosen compact, claylike, North Texas soil. Adding compost to your soil creates more space for plant roots and helps to drain excess water and urban runoff.
  5. Compost improves soil health by building up the Soil Food Web. Read more about this important underground micro-environment on the USDA’s website.
  6. Composting food and yard waste keep these items out of our landfill. Did you know that at least 30% of what goes into the City of Dallas landfill is compostable kitchen and yard waste?

For an extensive guide on how to take something dirty and make it into something great, visit the EPA’s composting site and wish them a happy 50th birthday on Earth Day, April 22, 2020. 

Also, Texas AgriLife Extension Service has a comprehensive guide to composting. If you want to compost but live in an apartment or want to learn about composting with worms, check out this site.

Celebrate Earth Day every day. Share photos of your new or existing compost pile(s) with us on social media: @GreenDallasTX on Facebook and @GreenDallas on Twitter and Instagram.

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We want to see your compost pile on social media. Tag us @GreenDallas.

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Make Litter Your Business and Earth Day Every Day http://greendallas.net/2020/04/15/make-litter-your-business-and-earth-day-every-day/ Wed, 15 Apr 2020 22:35:03 +0000 http://greendallas.net/?p=22260 Continue reading

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COVID-19 has put a damper on springtime celebrations.  However, that doesn’t mean we still can’t do something good even while we shelter in place. We are encouraged to spend time outside, take walks and enjoy our outdoor spaces while we physically distance. When you’re outside, why not pick up some litter? We all know litter is unsightly, dangerous to wildlife and can encourage pests. Litter is costly to clean up, impacts our quality of life and economic development, and eventually can end up in our waterways and oceans. 

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Grabbers allow you reach litter easily and keep clean.

The next time you go on a walk, make litter your business, and gear up to collect paper, cans, bottles, wrappers, and all the other litter along the way. Remember to wear gloves, a mask and bring a trash bag. Use a grabber if you have one handy. The COVID-19 virus can live on surfaces from a few hours to a few days so please protect yourself.

This is a great activity to do before your scheduled trash pickup day.  You can add your bags of litter to your bin and get rid of everything quickly and properly.

Tips for a COVID-19 Cleanup:

  • While collecting litter, remember to remain at least 6 feet away from others – Social Distancing
  • Wear gloves and do not touch your face with your gloved hands
  • Bring an extra pair of gloves with you
  • Remove your gloves safely like in this video
  • Wear a mask and remove it safely like in this video
  • Toss disposable gloves and masks in the trash so they don’t become litter
  • If you use grabbers, wash and sanitize them before you store them in your home
  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water after you remove your gloves, after putting away equipment or putting bags of litter in your trash bin
  • Photograph your bags of litter and share them on social media tagging Green Dallas
    • @GreenDallas on Twitter
    • @GreenDallasTX on Facebook
    • Green Dallas on Instagram

Enjoy your time outside. Listen to the birds, enjoy the flowers, and feel good that you are making everyday Earth Day.

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Share you #COVID19Cleanup photos and tag Green Dallas

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