GreenDallas http://greendallas.net building a greener city. Fri, 25 May 2018 21:15:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.6 62968459 Dallas Named Most Water Wise http://greendallas.net/2018/05/25/dallas-named-most-water-wise/ Fri, 25 May 2018 21:15:50 +0000 http://greendallas.net/?p=14795 Continue reading

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Area Residents Make 13,599 Pledges to Cut Water Use By 62.1 Million Gallons As Part of 7th Annual Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation, Presented by Toyota

The city of Dallas, Texas, was named one of five national winners in the 7th Annual Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation by pledging to reduce their water use by 62.1 million gallons of water over the next year. The annual month-long public awareness campaign to promote drought resiliency and water quality ended on April 30 with mayors from 35 states vying to see whose city could be the nation’s most “water wise.”

Dallas City Hall, flags, City of DallasIn addition to Dallas, the cities with the highest percentage of residents making pledges during the campaign included Gallup, New Mexico; Westminster, California; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Tucson, Arizona. Overall, residents around the nation, from Anchorage to the Florida Keys, made 618,444 pledges to change behaviors ranging from fixing home leaks to reducing harmful runoff into local rivers and streams.

The challenge, presented by the Wyland Foundation and Toyota, with support from the U.S EPA, National League of Cities, The Toro Company, Earth Friendly Products – maker of ECOS, and Conserva Irrigation, addresses the growing importance of educating consumers about the many ways they use water.

Mayor Mike Rawlings adds, “The City of Dallas is a water conservation leader. That’s why it makes sense for us to continue our commitment to the National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation. We stand on the shoulders of giants, whose planning secured water for us today. We must also do so for future generations.”

 

Residents from winning cities will now be entered into a drawing for thousands of dollars in water-saving or eco-friendly prizes, including $5,000 toward their annual home utility bill, “Greening Your Home” cleaning kits from Earth Friendly Products (ECOS), and home irrigation equipment from The Toro Company. A $500 home improvement store shopping spree will also be chosen from among the entire pool of U.S. participants. Additionally, participating residents were asked to nominate a deserving charity in their community to receive a 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.

In addition to reducing water, challenge participants in 50 states pledged to reduce the use of 8 million single-use plastic water bottles and eliminate 177,000 pounds of hazardous waste from entering watersheds. By altering daily lifestyle choices, pledges also resulted in potentially 79.9 million fewer pounds in landfills. Potential savings of 22.2 million gallons of oil, 12.6 billion pounds of carbon dioxide, 191.9 million kilowatt hours of electricity, and $38.4 million in consumer cost savings rounded out the final pledge results.

To find more ways to conserve water, visit savedallaswater.com, like Save Dallas Water on Facebook and follow @savedallaswater on Twitter.

save water save money

 

 

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See Our Name in Lights During Drinking Water Week http://greendallas.net/2018/05/09/see-our-name-in-lights-during-drinking-water-week/ Wed, 09 May 2018 15:19:40 +0000 http://greendallas.net/?p=14757 Continue reading

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Drinking Water Week is May 6 – 12, 2018

To celebrate Drinking Water Week and highlight the importance of water conservation, the Omni Hotel in downtown Dallas will be lit up with the Save Dallas Water logo from sunset until 2:00 AM on Friday, May 11th.

 

 

Communities across North America celebrate Drinking Water Week by recognizing the vital role drinking water plays in daily lives. Focus is placed on ways in which water consumers can take personal responsibility in caring for their tap water and protecting it at its source.

 

As many North American regions continue to face drought conditions, it’s essential to avoid waste through conservation practices to protect precious source water. Water consumers can practice conservation by using water wisely at home through the following steps, which are available on SaveDallasWater.com and DrinkTap.org:

 

• Repair leaky faucets, indoors and out.

• Fill your sink or basin when washing and rinsing dishes. 

• Only run the dishwasher and washing machine when they are full.

• Take short showers instead of baths.

• Turn off the water to brush teeth, shave and soap up in the shower. Fill the sink to shave.

• Repair leaky toilets. Add a leak tablet or 12 drops of food coloring into the tank, and if color appears in the bowl one hour later, the toilet is leaking.

• Install a toilet dam, faucet aerators and low-flow showerheads.

• Apply mulch around shrubs and flower beds to reduce evaporation, promote plant growth and control weeds.

• Collect rainfall for irrigation in a screened container (to prevent mosquito larvae growth).

• Always use a broom to clean walkways, driveways, decks and porches, rather than hosing off these areas

More information about drought and water conservation is available on SaveDallasWater.com.

 

 Drinking water week 2018, Protecting the Source

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Foster Hope. Foster a Kitten. http://greendallas.net/2018/05/04/foster-hope-foster-a-kitten/ Fri, 04 May 2018 20:11:57 +0000 http://greendallas.net/?p=14745 Continue reading

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Dallas Animal Services needs more volunteers to foster kittens.

dallas animal services, kittens, foster

It’s kitten season and with warmer weather here to stay, the kittens are coming and they need your help. Kittens under two months old and two pounds are too young to be adopted by a citizen.

The dedicated staff here at DAS have been volunteering to help take care of kittens overnight. They’ve been doing a tremendous job and more and more kittens arrive daily. However, we can’t do this alone!!! We need the support from YOU and the community to help foster kittens.

As you may have guessed, fostering kitten comes with lots of benefits.

#1 – They’re cute and cuddly
Don’t underestimate the benefits of having severe cuteness in your life. Have you ever looked at a kitten without smiling? They’re not only ridiculously cute, but they’re also cuddly. Kittens who have been separated from their mamas or littermates will seek affection and warmth from someone they trust… you!

Dallas animal services, foster, kitten

#2 – They’re fun
Kittens are full of wild and rambunctious energy, filled with non-stop fun and laughter.

 

#3 – It’s a short term commitment
Fostering is a great way to experience a lot of the best things kittens have to offer, without the long-term responsibility of adoption. In most cases, you’ll only foster the kittens until they’re old enough to get adopted. This can also be a good way to get a feel for what it’s like to live with and care for a kitten if you’re on the fence about adopting one.

 

#4 – Instantly popular with your friends
Nothing will make your home a friendship hotspot quicker than the promise of a few playful, adorable kittens. Having friends over to play is beneficial to the kittens too, since socialization is a big part of helping them grow into friendly and confident cats.

 

#5 – You’ll save lives
Since kittens can’t live in shelters, they can’t be rescued unless the organization believes it can find a foster home. Opening up your home to kittens directly helps save lives.

dallas animal services, kitten, foster, cute

#6 – You’ll get first dibs
People who foster animals often end up adopting one that was supposed to be temporary. There’s no shame in that; it happens all the time! The good news is that if you fall in love with one of the kittens and absolutely cannot stand to say goodbye, foster parents usually have first dibs once they’re old enough to be adopted!

 

You aren’t sure what taking care of kittens entails?

We will give you an orientation and training before you take kittens home!

 

How long does fostering last?

That depends on how much time you want to foster for. The longest will be around two months and the shortest maybe a couple of weeks.

For more information, please email DASFoster@dallascityhall.com.

 

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Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas Receives EPA Food Recovery Challenge Award http://greendallas.net/2018/04/23/food-recovery-challenge-award/ Tue, 24 Apr 2018 01:19:31 +0000 http://greendallas.net/?p=14725 Continue reading

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Good Neighbor Program diverts unconsumed food from the landfill to local homeless shelters 

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) presented the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas with an award for its Good Neighbor Program (GNP). The GNP was created as a way to donate left over food to local nonprofits and homeless shelters.

“The City of Dallas is committed to supporting and encouraging sustainable practices and waste reduction efforts,” said John Johnson, Assistant Director of Convention and Event Services. “I’m pleased to say that, to date we’ve donated over 7.6 tons of prepared and packaged food to those in most need.”

The Convention Center is among 16 organizations from across the country, who were recognized for outstanding participation in the EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge.

“On behalf the City of Dallas, the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, and our food and beverage partner, Centerplate – we would like to thank the EPA for recognizing our Good Neighbor Program,” said Johnson.

Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, Dallas, award, Good Neighbor Program, EPA 

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Café Momentum. Not Your Normal Restaurant. http://greendallas.net/2018/03/27/cafe-momentum/ Tue, 27 Mar 2018 16:55:27 +0000 http://greendallas.net/?p=14621 Continue reading

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Café Momentum is not just a trendy place to eat.  It is a non-profit restaurant that supports local farms and gives paid internships to men and women coming out of juvenile justice detention. 

This is a one-of-a-kind place.  Interns work at least 3 days a week in a highly structured environment and learn 13 competencies.  They are trained by professional chefs and experience all aspects of a restaurant from prep, line service, dish pit, cooking and busing tables.  During their 1-year internship, they learn life skills and get things we may take for granted like a social security card, a state ID, and medical checkups.

The program provides them stability, counseling, case management and basic and urgent needs care.  The mentors at Café Momentum report seeing growth in self-efficiency, work-readiness and emotional intelligence in the young adults.  469 interns have gone through the program with a recidivism rate of 15%.  The average recidivism rate for Dallas County is 48%.

Much of Café Momentum’s produce, herbs, chickens and goat milk which is turned into cheese comes from Bonton Farms.  Currently, the menu features a Bonton Beet Salad.  Bonton Farms is only 15 miles away.  The story of Bonton Farms is as powerful as Café Momentum’s story:  www.bontonfarms.org 

Other local farms including Paul Quinn’s We Over Me Farm, Raindrop Farms, Happy Trails Farm, Houski Farms also supply fresh, farm to table ingredients.  “Utilizing locally grown produce sends a direct message to your guests about the high level of integrity you uphold for the food you prepare them.  It ultimately expresses how much you care.”  Chad Houser, Founder, CEO, Executive Chef, Café Momentum

How can you help?  It’s simple.  Eat there.  When you eat at Café Momentum, the young people put everything they’ve learned into practice and can refine their skills.  You also support farm to table and the local Dallas economy. 

Here’s a beautiful story about one young man’s journey from crime to Café Momentum:

Café Momentum serves sophisticated American cuisine in the heart of downtown Dallas.  It is open Thursday – Saturday from 5:30 PM – 11:00 PM at 1510 Pacific Avenue which is at corner of Pacific Avenue and Akard Street across from Thanksgiving Square.

Find out more at  http://cafemomentum.org/

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2018 North Texas Climate Change Symposium http://greendallas.net/2018/03/23/14610/ Fri, 23 Mar 2018 16:48:41 +0000 http://greendallas.net/?p=14610 Continue reading

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On March 9th, 2018, the City of Dallas’ Office of Environmental Quality, in conjunction with the Dallas Bar Association, hosted its inaugural North Texas Climate Change Symposium. The symposium drew over 200 attendees from the North Texas region, including local municipal officials, environmental advocacy groups, business leaders, and other concerned citizens.

Councilwoman Sandy Greyson kicked off the symposium by highlighting the efforts the City has made in response to climate change and the City’s great successes. Some of these highlights include:

The keynote speaker, State Climatologist Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon, then followed up with a presentation on the consequences of climate change in North Texas. Extreme heat, drought, changes in agricultural patterns, and severe weather increases are among some of the consequences we could experience. This eye-opening presentation was then followed by three outstanding panels that discussed local action and solutions to these problems, in respect to resiliency, environmental justice, and the local economy.

total rainfall graph of the united states

It is the City’s hope that events like this one will continue to raise public awareness of climate risks to North Texas and help drive climate action. The Office of Environmental Quality would like to send a sincere thanks to everyone who participated in or attended this year’s symposium and for helping ensure that North Texas is doing its part in mitigating and adapting to climate change. Be on the lookout for details about next year’s symposium!

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Renewable Energy & Sustainability Planning Seminar with the City of Dallas and the Danish Trade Council http://greendallas.net/2018/03/16/renewable-energy-sustainability-planning-seminar-with-the-city-of-dallas-and-the-danish-trade-council/ Fri, 16 Mar 2018 19:03:58 +0000 http://greendallas.net/?p=14596 Continue reading

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The City of Dallas and the Danish Trade Council held a planning seminar to promote knowledge sharing between Denmark and the United States.  This was a great way for each group to explain their technology, expertise, and find ways to help and learn from each other.

Assistant City Manager Majed Al-Ghafry opened the seminar with fun facts about Denmark.

  • 50% of Copenhageners commute to work on bicycles no matter the weather.
  • The Danish Harbor is clean enough to swim in.
  • The United Nations World Happiness Report ranked Danes as the happiest people on Earth for 2 years in a row.

Brian Mikkelsen, the Danish Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs spoke to Denmark’s circular economy and shared his own fun facts.

  • He rides his bike to work every day no matter the weather.
  • He watched the TV show Dallas growing up.
  • It’s safe to swim in the Danish Harbor because there are no sharks.

What’s a circular economy? It’s the opposite of our linear, take, make and trash economy.  In a circular economy, resources are in use for as long as possible, used to the fullest, then recovered and recycled. Or, they are used in something else or turned into energy.  This video explains it.

 

The City of Dallas highlighted some of its Green Facts:

  • Dallas is the largest city is in the US that gets 100% of its energy for city operations from renewable sources.
  • Our landfill has 35 years of capacity left.
  • In 2017, enough landfill gas was captured to power 70,000 homes.
  • All the recyclables from our curbside recycling program is sold to mills in Texas, Louisiana and Alabama and is a source of revenue for the City.
  • The Southside Wastewater Treatment Plant creates biogas and uses it to produce 40% of the power they need to clean the wastewater it receives.

Not to be outdone, Denmark shared their Green Facts:

  • Some Danish wastewater treatment plants remove phosphorus from the wastewater and sell it as fertilizer to local farmers.
  • Many Danes toss their food waste in a separate bin and that along with food waste from food manufactures and grocery stores is used to produce energy.
  • There are energy plants in Denmark that add bacteria to wastes from different sources like slaughter houses, and dairy and pig farms to make methane that is then converted into electricity.
  • Their newest wastewater treatment plant is mostly underground and the top of it is a public park.

The Office of Environmental Quality looks forward to continued relationship building and idea sharing with the Danish Trade Council because a new Danish Consulate General is opening in Houston on May 2, 2018. 

Danish Trade Council, renewable energy and sustainability planning seminar, office of environmental quality, city of dallas, biogas

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Green Up Your Business http://greendallas.net/2018/03/09/green-up-your-business/ Fri, 09 Mar 2018 14:30:07 +0000 http://greendallas.net/?p=14578 Continue reading

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The Office of Environmental Quality can help green up your small business.  Recently, we visited BCL, of Texas and showed them the path to living and working green by taking one small step at a time. 

This visit kicked off a series of green office presentations that the City offers for local businesses that want to reduce their environmental footprint and inspire their staff to take more sustainable actions throughout the work day, as well as at home.

As part of their continual to commitment to practicing sustainability, BCL’s Dallas office recently earned the City of Dallas bronze level Green Business Certification for actions such as staff education and training, providing reusable dishware and mugs, and promoting green policies, such as a telecommuting and a green purchasing policy.

Cruz Correa, BCL’s Community Loan Center Program Manager and Green Team Lead, said, “It was really great to have the City of Dallas come out and present to us. They had a wealth of information and brought us several different booklets of information that we can take home — everything from natural cleaning products to pesticide alternatives for the garden.” The BCL staff appreciated the passion of the presenters, and how the City staff could speak to their own experience implementing these practices at their own homes and offices. 

BCL CEO Rosa Ríos Valdez, who has championed sustainability and energy efficient practices for her entire career says, “Organizations should lead by example, and we’re happy to help lead the way!”

About BCL of Texas:

BCL of Texas is the most diverse statewide Community Development Financial Institution in Texas, offering consumer, mortgage, business, and community facility loans. In 27 years, BCL has added over $600 million to the local tax base and has helped over 2,000 businesses with expansion support. BCL has helped to create 6,000 new jobs, assisted over 5,000 families to become homebuyers, helped over 4,000 consumers to build their net worth and not fall prey to payday lenders.

Since 1990, Business and Community Lenders (BCL) of Texas has made a commitment to energy efficiency and sustainability one of their core company values. The board of directors has committed to green business practices, such as energy and water conservation, waste diversion, and recycling. BCL has a Green Team that holds monthly strategic meetings, and a Green Operations Plan to guide them along the way.

OEQ would love to help small business with green office tips and educational resources.  We offer free presentations to Dallas area businesses to show you and your employees how sustainable actions can help the planet and your pocketbook.  Contact us through our event and speaker request page at http://greendallas.net/event-request/  

BCL, green team, green award, business community lenders

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From Green Cheerleader to Environmental Leader http://greendallas.net/2018/02/18/10_years/ Mon, 19 Feb 2018 01:23:45 +0000 http://greendallas.net/?p=14545 Continue reading

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On January 9th 2008, the City of Dallas’s Office of Environmental Quality officially launched GreenDallas.net, the City’s online portal dedicated exclusively to green initiatives and sustainability. At the time, Dallas was one of the first major cities to launch such a website.

 

Visitors to GreenDallas.net will find tips on improving Dallas’s air quality; reducing one’s carbon footprint; saving energy; increasing Dallas’s food security; protecting monarch butterflies, honey bees, and other pollinators; reducing one’s waste steam; and conserving our vital water resources.  GreenDallas.net is a one-stop information center for people who live or work in Dallas who want to become environmental leaders at their place of business or in their own community.

 

The City of Dallas is an environmental leader committed to conserving our natural resources for all people living and working in the city.  GreenDallas.net not only highlights all the environmental initiatives that the City has done, but also current sustainability projects in progress.  The City’s environmental programs, accomplishments, and awards regarding air quality; climate change; energy efficiency; food access & urban agriculture; land conservation; waste & litter; and water conservation are prominently featured on GreenDallas.net.

 

Over the decade, we have shared 10 years of City environmental milestones.  10 years of GreenDallas.net environmental stewardship blog posts. 10 years of building a greener Dallas.  To mark this 10-year milestone, the Office of Environmental Quality hosted the Green Dallas 10th Birthday Bash on January 31st, 2018 in the City Hall Lobby from 11:00am to 1:00pm.  The Office of Environmental Quality and partner departments were present to highlight achievements and recent activities that are building a greener Dallas.  There were games, a photo booth, cake, and popcorn for attendees to enjoy.  To add to the fun, the winners of the GreenDallas.net Website Exploration Contest were selected.

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City of Dallas Community Garden Grant Recipient Highlight! http://greendallas.net/2018/01/30/city-of-dallas-community-garden-grant-recipient-highlight/ Tue, 30 Jan 2018 17:04:41 +0000 http://greendallas.net/?p=14498 Continue reading

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Paul Quinn College’s We Over Me Farm is a new recipient of the City of Dallas Community Garden Grant.  In 2015, the City of Dallas Office of Environmental Quality established the Community Garden Grant to help strengthen communities, increase access to nutritious food, diminish food deserts, and improve individual and community health and well-being.  

Paul Quinn College will use the Community Garden Grant to expand their We Over Me Farm by a half acre.  The soil will be regraded for planting.  New drip irrigation systems will be purchased and installed.  According to the We Over Me Farm Director, James Hunter, these improvements should help to harvest an additional 3000 pounds of food annually.

The We Over Me Farm is a great addition to the local community.  It’s located in a federally recognized food desert and it provides fresh healthy food options for the community.  It also serves as an opportunity for students to learn about agriculture and business operations. It currently has about 7,000 annual visitors.

For additional information, visit http://www.weovermefarm.com/

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