GreenDallas http://greendallas.net building a greener city. Tue, 11 Dec 2018 14:31:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.9 62968459 Dallas Leads USA with Focus on Healthy Housing http://greendallas.net/2018/12/11/dallas-leads-usa-with-focus-on-healthy-housing/ Tue, 11 Dec 2018 14:31:30 +0000 http://greendallas.net/?p=17124 Continue reading

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The journey for improving healthy housing in Dallas has its beginnings centered around asthma.  The National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH) launched the 1,000 Communities campaign to reduce substandard housing while maintaining affordability in 1,000 communities nationwide. Dallas, Texas was chosen as one of two Learning Community locations for the initiative, along with Seattle/King County, Washington. In the learning communities, local health, housing, and allied groups were convened and supported through research and technical assistance to develop and begin implementation of healthy housing strategies in support of safe, healthy, affordable housing, and resident health. Through this process, researchers discovered that there was an increase in hospital admissions among young children who often lived in poorer sections of town and usually in rental housing. With about 60% of people in Dallas living in rental housing, something needed to be done.

Findings from John Hopkins Medicine found that nationwide, “Children who lived in inner-city areas had an overall 40 percent higher risk of asthma-related emergency room visits and 62 percent higher risk of asthma-related hospitalizations. After adjusting for race/ethnicity, the risk was lowered to 14 percent and 30 percent higher for emergency room visits and hospitalizations, respectively.”

Through the NCHH and other programs, an active and defined partnership was created with City attorneys, code officers, health care providers, and citizen activists.  These groups worked to revise and elevate the Minimum Housing Standards that regulate how housing is maintained.  Critical input from the National Center for Healthy Housing compared the Dallas code with a series of “ideal” standards.  Changes were suggested and then were adopted as revisions to the Standards.  After almost three years of work that included thirty community meetings, six City of Dallas Council briefings, and one public hearing, the Dallas City Council passed the revised ordinance to raise the Minimum Housing Standard in Dallas.

Dallas was one of the first Cities in the country to successfully pass healthy housing into law.  This accomplishment has been praised by the Environmental Protection Agency, several national health housing agencies and the American Public Health Association.  Dallas has become the model for other cities to follow. 

As an active member of this important initiative, Bob Curry with the City of Dallas’ Code Compliance Department will be a featured speaker on an EPA webinar highlighting how the NCHH and the City of Dallas have worked together to incorporate healthy housing principles into housing codes, which serves as a model for other communities around the U.S. Each of the featured speakers will share how proactive infrastructure and partnership strategies have led to improved asthma prognosis and other health outcomes for people of all ages in Dallas.

Using Housing Codes to Improve Asthma Health Outcomes

Tuesday, December 18, 2018 from 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

The webinar is free and open to the public.  Register here.

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Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Grant http://greendallas.net/2018/11/16/enhancing-agricultural-opportunities-for-military-veterans-grant/ Sat, 17 Nov 2018 02:09:33 +0000 http://greendallas.net/?p=16658 Continue reading

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Every day is an opportunity to be grateful to veterans of all ages and all branches of the armed services.  On Monday, November 12th, the observance of Veteran’s Day in Dallas was curtailed due to extremely cold weather conditions. We know this was a disappointment to many veterans, family members and volunteers. However, the City of Dallas strives to find ways to thank and honor vets 365 days of the year, whether directly or through the promotion of programs and opportunities specifically for them.

farmer, tractor, grant, USDA

 

An exciting program that has come to our attention through Mayor Rawlings’ office is offered by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.  The program, Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Grants, is a pilot program offered to non-profit organizations for training programs and services.  If selected for the grant, participating non-profits can receive a maximum award of $1,000,000.  

 

  • Purpose:  To provide grants to non-profit organizations for on-site training programs and classroom education services that teach hands-on farming and ranching skills to military veterans 
  • Objectives:
    • Encourage military veterans to pursue successful careers in the food and agricultural sector
    • Strengthen agricultural production and rural economies across the United States
    • Offer workforce readiness and employment prospects for service-disabled veterans 
  • Award:  $1,000,000 (maximum award) 
  • Due Date:  January 10th, 2019

Learn more and apply at: https://www.nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/enhancing-agricultural-opportunities-military-veterans 

 

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Office of Environmental Quality and Sustainability Recognized for Educating, Motivating North Texans to Make Clean Air Choices http://greendallas.net/2018/11/09/office-of-environmental-quality-and-sustainability-recognized-for-educating-motivating-north-texans-to-make-clean-air-choices/ Fri, 09 Nov 2018 15:26:37 +0000 http://greendallas.net/?p=16395 Continue reading

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Air North Texas partners honored for 2018 efforts to improve air quality

Five local cities and organizations committed to improving air quality through innovative outreach have earned awards for their contributions to Air North Texas, the regional clean air campaign. The awards recognize partners’ efforts throughout the 2018 ozone season, which ends Nov. 30.

The City of Dallas again received the Arlo Ambassador Award for advancing the Air North Texas message through the campaign mascot. Arlo the Airmadillo is a native North Texan who loves playing outdoors and visiting local sights while being affected by asthma. Dallas branded its air quality alert emails and social media messages with Arlo and featured him in a Clean Air Action Day promotional video made with the help of children at the Mindbender STEAM Summer Camp.  To see the video and social media posts, visit @Dallas_Air on Twitter.

orange ozone alert

For the third year in a row, the City of Grand Prairie is the Air North Texas Partner of the Year. Grand Prairie implemented a yearlong comprehensive outreach and communications plan centered on Clean Air Action Day, a regionwide event held on the first Friday of every summer to call attention to the actions individuals can take to improve air quality. Grand Prairie built community and employee engagement through social media posts, air quality alerts, city newsletters and participation in local events to help raise awareness about air quality throughout the year. These efforts culminated with Grand Prairie’s Clean Air Action Day activities, including an art contest for city staff and the city’s annual corporate Clean Air Challenge. Industry leaders Lockheed Martin, PepsiCo and Siemens participated in the challenge, along with local employers such as Fruit of the Earth and Texas General Hospital.

The City of Cedar Hill took home the award for outstanding initiative by featuring Air North Texas in a number of creative campaigns, community events and educational forums. Highlights include EarthX, the region’s largest Earth Day celebration, as well as events in Cedar Hill, such as the city’s Earth Day and Environmental Collection Day programs, the “I Love Clean Air” campaign and Cedar Hill ISD’s Back to School Rally.

Hood County Clean Air Coalition (HCCAC) continues to set the standard for clean air advertising in North Texas. For a remarkable fourth year in a row, HCCAC won the award for outstanding advertising with a multiplatform approach. Three public service announcements to promote clean air commitments ran daily on Granbury TV in March, and a PSA encouraging individuals to commit to clean air actions at home aired regularly on local radio stations KTFW 92.1 Hank FM and 95.3 K-HITS. Additionally, the coalition published ads in two local magazines, Granbury Showcase and Weatherford Now. Residents in 12 counties learned about clean air actions through HCCAC’s efforts.

The City of Plano received the award for outstanding outreach for using both traditional and digital strategies to engage residents and businesses. Programs and presentations for local businesses and city employees and volunteers emphasized the steps North Texans can take to improve air quality. SEED, Plano’s Sustainability and Environmental Education Division, partnered with other Air North Texas members to install air quality monitors at two local high schools, providing students the opportunity to learn about the science behind air quality. Plano also featured Air North Texas content on its sustainability and environmental homepage, Live Green in Plano, on social media and numerous city publications.

Air North Texas is one of many strategies designed to improve air quality in the nine North Texas counties striving to meet Environmental Protection Agency standards for ozone pollution. Air quality affects health outcomes and helps preserve the region’s quality of life and economic vitality.

Air North Texas includes 35 partners committed to educating the public about air quality and motivating them to do something for clean air. Partners encourage residents to take initiative in improving air quality by riding transit, maintaining their vehicles, biking or walking more, carpooling, pursuing energy efficient home improvements and incorporating other clean air choices into daily routines. The North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) coordinates Air North Texas. The award committee, composed of previous Air North Texas award recipients and NCTCOG staff, chose the Partner of the Year and outstanding work to recognize based on criteria in the Air North Texas Partner Agreement and information in partners’ annual progress reports.

About Air North Texas:

The City of Dallas is one of several organizations involved with Air North Texas, a regional air quality partnership and general public outreach effort. Air North Texas leverages existing resources and program strengths to offer the public a comprehensive resource for air quality information. Collaborative efforts focus on reducing harmful emissions, protecting public health and welfare, motivating residents to make choices that improve air quality and preserving the economic vitality of the region. Visit www.airnorthtexas.org to learn more.

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Try Parking It: Updates to DART and Lime Pricing Make it Easier http://greendallas.net/2018/08/17/try-parking-it-updates-to-dart-and-lime-pricing-make-it-easier/ Fri, 17 Aug 2018 13:25:39 +0000 http://greendallas.net/?p=14954 Continue reading

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Can you ever recall a time when you saw a 95% discount on anything? If you meet certain requirements, not only will you receive a 95% discount off of Lime pedal bike rides, but you’ll also receive 50% off of Lime-S electric scooter rides. That’s correct, it’s no typo. Scooters are a thing now and you can get significant discounts on Lime rides. Backing their belief in “providing mobility for all”, Lime provides affordable transportation options for those who qualify but they also support a text-to-unlock feature that removes the barrier of having to own a smartphone or credit card.

 lime bike map, south dallasOk, you’ve had a leisurely ride or perhaps you’ve planned your first-mile/last-mile and your beginning to think about other transit options, have you considered the DART GoPass®? Beginning August 18th, DART is introducing fare capping to make riding less expensive. All the smaller trips (e.g. grocery store, daycare, lunch, etc.) throughout the day can really add up but if you use the GoPass app or the GoPass Tap card, your total daily costs will never exceed $6. Monthly fare capping at $96 will soon follow on September 1st. Other changes include new AM and PM passes which means unlimited trips on all DART buses and rail modes. That equates to savings for people needing to travel more than two hours but who don’t need an entire Day Pass.

Looking for reduced DART fares—and who isn’t? Senior citizens are eligible for half price fares and annual passes, children ages 5-14, high school students with a valid DART Service Areas high school ID and non-paratransit certified persons with disabilities are also eligible for reduced fares. For more information, please visit DART’s fare information.

More opportunities are opening up every day so leave your car keys at home, step out of your lane and enjoy the adventure!

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What’s the story of multifamily recycling? http://greendallas.net/2018/08/15/whats-the-story-of-multifamily-recycling/ Wed, 15 Aug 2018 19:00:42 +0000 http://greendallas.net/?p=14933 Continue reading

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Although you may have heard Dallas talk about apartment recycling in the past few years, the path to apartment recycling in Dallas actually started in 2013. Shortly after the Local Solid Waste Management Plan (Zero Waste Plan) was passed, commercial stakeholders, City staff and other organizations got together that summer to discuss how to improve recycling during the voluntary phase of the Zero Waste Plan. Unlike other major Texas cities, Dallas apartments were given a voluntary period of seven years to improve recycling when the Zero Waste Plan passed in 2013.

Vintage recycling – back in the 1990s, Dallas residents dropped off recyclables at these igloos

By the Fall of that year, Sanitation staff had compiled a list of potential questions (e.g. Do you provide recycling for all residents? Do you have recycling tonnages?) for apartments, hotels and office buildings and put out a bid to procure the services of a data consultant. After several conversations with the Apartment Association of Greater Dallas (AAGD), BOMA Dallas and the Hotel Association of North Texas (HANTx), the City learned that each property collected data very differently and it could be a bit of a puzzle but what Sanitation was hoping to find was an average recycling rate for each of the commercial sectors. After sending surveys to all of the group’s members—and sending numerous survey reminders—we had our answer. Only 37% of Dallas apartments provided recycling to their residents in 2013. Fast-forward to 2017 and the recycling rate dropped to 32%. It’s not difficult to see why the City Council decided to mandate apartment recycling now rather than wait to 2019. Over time, the results were clear.

 

Throughout the years, Sanitation did listen to ideas from the group and implemented various programs. After hosting quarterly meetings for five years, that is one thing you learn: how to listen. A Green Business Certification to recognize businesses that recycle, a small-scale affordable recycling collection program for small businesses and online flyers, pamphlets and posters were just some of the ideas brought to the table by the Texas Campaign for the Environment, AAGD, BOMA and HANTx then implemented by Sanitation. Those programs will be crucial in the next phase of apartment recycling.

 

On January 1st, 2020, any apartment with 8 units or more must provide recycling to its residents. However, if you’re living in a 200 unit multifamily complex and the management company only has a few small bins around the property, that won’t suffice. A property manager will be required to provide 11 gallons of recycling capacity per unit, once a week. So, if you’re producing two 5-gallon buckets of recyclables every week, the property should be able to accept that material without the roll cart, dumpster or compactor overflowing. It’s important to remember though, apartment managers can file for a waiver which exempts them from recycling if there’s a lack of space or even contamination. If a property consistently struggles with contaminated recycling bins, it could lead to the property being exempted from providing recycling. That’s why it’s important for everyone to do their part and Recycle Right. For more information on what you can recycle, please go here or DallasRecycles.com.

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Tree Preservation at Dallas City Hall http://greendallas.net/2018/08/01/tree-preservation-at-dallascityhall/ Wed, 01 Aug 2018 19:20:50 +0000 http://greendallas.net/?p=14926 Continue reading

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On a cold Saturday morning in early 2018, a tree at Dallas City Hall got to do what few other trees do in their lifetime … move. As part of an underground storage tank replacement at City Hall, a 55-year-old Texas Live Oak tree was relocated to a new spot near Canton Street to allow crews the room to do their underground work while preserving the tree.

move a tree, downtown dallas, city of dallas

Construction crews and Equipment & Building Services (EBS) staff worked for several weeks to carefully extract the soil away and wrap the root system in burlap for the move. The relocation took about eight hours, start to finish. This tough Live Oak made it through the Texas summer and is now thriving. Whether it be the EBS department, Park and Recreation or Sanitation, the City understands the economic and intrinsic value that trees bring to Dallas. Next time you’re at City Hall, check it out and here’s to another 55 years!

tree, move, relocat, downtown dallas

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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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