Holiday Tips for a Green Texas
It's the holiday season in Texas—a time of generosity, festivity, family, and friends. We adorn our homes, celebrate with a special meal, and show our affection by giving to others.
The Historic San Antonio River Walk Decorated for the Holidays
Also, during this season many people give thanks for their blessings and their thoughts turn to giving back—to making a difference. Here are some easy holiday tips that will protect our air and water and reduce the amount of waste that goes into the landfill. No matter how you celebrate the holidays, consider what you can do to have a festive season while conserving our environment. Many of these tips will also save you money!
We'd love to hear about your eco-friendly holiday celebration. Share your story and pictures on social media using the hashtag #TakeCareOfTexas!
decorations that are durable and can be reused. Try to repair broken decorations
rather than buying new ones.
LED lights and set them on a timer to turn on at dark and off at bedtime. LED lights last 20 to 30 years, and require 90 percent less electricity than
conventional holiday lights.
33 million live trees are sold in North America each year. Many local governments provide FREE tree recycling. So, if you celebrate the holidays by decorating a tree, check with your local municipal solid waste department to see if there is a program near you. You might also work off a few holiday calories by cutting your tree into pieces that will fit into your compost bin.
Shopping and Gifts
Did you know that during the holiday season, people generate 25 percent
more waste? Help
reduce this amount by buying items made with post-consumer recycled content. Also, you can bring your own bags to the store, buy items with
minimal packaging, and consider the lifespan of your purchases.
Wrapping Paper and Gift Bags
Reduce waste and save money by reusing gift bags and wrapping
paper. Also, look for materials that contain post-consumer recycled
content. Get creative and wrap gifts in reusable containers like tins,
jars, or cloth bags, or buy gifts that require little packaging.
electronics can be repaired. However, if you are unable to do so, be sure
to recycle them. Learn more about electronics recycling. You
can also donate working items to a second-hand store.
Whether you are shopping for holiday goodies or going on a road trip, make sure your tires are adequately inflated and maintain your car properly. Also, carpool, combine several errands into one trip, or take public
transportation. Resist the urge to speed as this reduces fuel economy. If you are leaving home for a few days, adjust the thermostat,
unplug appliances, and set lights on a timer.
In the Kitchen
Use cloth napkins and reusable plates and utensils. If you
must use disposables, look for items made from post-consumer recycled
materials. Make sure guests know where you keep your recycle bin.
food is the largest component of trash in the United States—30 million tons
each year—costing the average family of four $1,600 over the course
of one year. Buy only what you'll need,
send holiday leftovers home with your guests, and compost scraps. Find out more in our Mulching and Composting Guide.
The Gift of Conservation
Here in Texas, we’re fortunate to have a vast array of wonders
to experience, from Goose Island State Park to Big Bend National Park. We
can all play a part in preserving our beloved state. This holiday
season, give the gift of clean air, water, and land with a Take Care of Texas license plate. It’s a gift for this generation and for all those who
follow. Your support will help all Texans, as we work together to
do our part at home, at work, and at school.
Your purchase of a license plate will help preserve our
exceptional quality of life in Texas by providing education to more
schools, individuals, and businesses about how we can all Take Care of Texas. On our website, we have included tips that will make it
easy to order. Get yours today!
Restoration on the Gulf Coast
According to the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill caused extensive damage to the Gulf Coast’s natural resources, which was devastating to the economies and communities that rely on it. 1,300 miles of U.S. shoreline were damaged, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This is important because the Texas Gulf Coast provides energy resources, seafood, and tourism
opportunities and the Gulf of Mexico is incredibly diverse, with over
15,000 species of sea life and millions of migratory birds, according to the Council. In fact, many
people consider Texas to be one of the best bird watching locations in the
Despite the devastation that this event caused, there is good news too. Recovery efforts from the oil spill have been underway since 2010 and Texas expects to receive $800 million
to restore Gulf resources with portions dedicated to the coastal economy as well as natural resources. Some
grants have already been distributed and are funding important projects that will support species such as migratory birds, shrimp, blue crab, oysters, and red drum. Other grants have supported recreation opportunities along the Gulf Coast. One
exciting project will build artificial reefs offshore, providing increased habitat and recreational fishing opportunities.
To stay up to date on Texas’ Gulf Coast restoration, visit
the RESTORE The Texas Coast website.