Make a Texas-Sized Difference
with Three Easy New Year's Resolutions
Reduce Junk Mail
Resolve to save time, conserve energy, and preserve trees by opting out of junk mail! Households and businesses receive over 80 billion pieces of junk mail each year; most of this ends up in our landfills.
You can easily opt out of offers of credit and insurance on the Consumer Credit Reporting Industry website. Visit the Direct Marketing Association's Mail Preference Service to stop receiving commercial mail from many national companies. Important: Both secured sites will ask for personal information, such as your address.
Adjust Your Lights
Lighting accounts for about 12 percent of the annual energy bill for a household. Luckily, there are several easy ways cut back, saving money and keeping our air clean in the process!
- Turn off the lights. Because this is so simple, it's a great way for kids to learn to conserve energy.
- Use timers and photocells that turn lights off when they're not in use.
- As incandescent bulbs burn out, replace them with energy-saving CFLs and LEDs. These cost over 75 percent less to operate than incandescent bulbs.
Replace Older Toilets
This resolution is a little more difficult and a bit more costly. However, it makes a big difference in water conservation. Toilets use the most water in the home. By replacing one older toilet with the most water-efficient type, you can save up to 13,000 gallons of water and over $100, each year. If just one in four families in Texas replaced one older toilet with a 1.28-gallon-per-flush toilet, it would save more than 28 billion gallons of water every year.
Our 2016 Kids Art Contest is now open for entries! Fifteen lucky kids across Texas will win a Samsung tablet and one Grand Prize winner will receive a Samsung laptop. The teacher of the student who designs the overall best artwork will also be awarded a Samsung tablet. Also, we will showcase the winning designs on social media, on our website, in newsletters, in media announcements, and at the 2016 Environmental Trade Fair and Conference.
Visit our website to see last year's winners, the Air Activity Poster, the Animated House, or the kids' pages.
The contest lasts from Jan. 4, 2016 to March 2, 2016. Find more information and view the complete contest rules on our website.
To find the answer, visit our website. Then, submit your response by commenting on the contest post on our Facebook page. For complete contest rules, click here.
HINT: You can find the answer inside of our animated house.
Contest ends Jan. 11, 2016, at 5 p.m.
Surprising Air Leaks
in Your Home
Sealing air leaks in your home can cut down on your
heating and cooling costs, in addition to making your indoor temperature more
comfortable. Leave the cooler temperatures outside by weatherizing your home
Windows and Doors
During the winter months, it's common to feel a draft of
cool air around your windows and doors. It is important to inspect these areas,
as this can be a large source of air leaks in your home.
Hidden Air Leaks
While leaks around doors or windows are quite common, you
may be surprised to learn that these aren’t the biggest air leaks in your home.
Hidden leaks in your attic or basement can significantly raise your energy bill
and leave your house feeling uncomfortable.
An easy way to identify hidden air leaks is by
conducting a visual inspection of the interior and exterior of your home.
Get more detailed information on finding and sealing air leaks on our HotWire.
Girl Scouts are
Taking Care of Texas
Do you know a Girl Scout in Central Texas?
January, Girl Scouts can earn a Take Care of Texas
Patch. We partnered with the Girl
Scouts of Central Texas (GSCTX) to create this program, which encourages
Scouts to do their part to conserve water and energy, keep our air and water
clean, and reduce waste. Click
here to learn about the patch requirements.
Earn a Patch at the Kickoff Event
We will host a kickoff event in Austin on Jan. 26, 2016, for GSCTX to earn the new patch and learn about the different ways
the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality takes care of Texas. Scouts will have the chance to tour our Emergency
Response Mobile Command Post, interview female environmental professionals,
learn about water quality monitoring, and more! Further information on the
event can be found on the Girl Scouts website.
While this patch is only offered to GSCTX at this time, we
are planning to expand statewide! E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
if your council is interested. We also have a patch for Boy Scouts.
Grant Opportunities Available
Community Outdoor Outreach Program (CO-OP) grant, from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, provides $5,000 to $50,000 to tax-exempt organizations and local governments. The grants support programs that introduce under-served populations to outdoor recreation, conservation, and environmental education.
are due by Feb. 1, 2016.