Go WILD - April News You Can Use

April 2014

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Originally founded in April 1970, Earth Day is now celebrated in more than 140 countries. Community events are held on or around April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental protection.

Here are a few ways you can help Take Care of Texas this Earth Day and every day:

  • Take the Pledge to Take Care of Texas. We’ll send you a free State Park Guide and you can download a Certificate of Texas Pride. Ask your friends and family to take the pledge too! 
  • Organize an Earth Day event on or around April 22 to promote awareness and appreciation for our environment. Order free Take Care of Texas environmental education materials to distribute at your event.
  • Add animated or static widgets to your website promoting ways to Take Care of Texas.  The five versions include weekly environmental tips and a Texas flag that will keep your page fresh and link your visitors to the ‘pledge’ to Take Care of Texas.
  • Recycle your old computers and TVs. Find out more at TexasRecyclesComputers.org and Texas RecyclesTVs.org.
  • Encourage employees where you work to sign up for a local cleanup day, a tree-planting effort or a waterway cleanup.
  • Get more involved in your community. Check out programs where Texans can volunteer or just learn more about local efforts to Take Care of Texas. 

 Go WILD  
 in Your Own Backyard! 


Whether you own acreage, an apartment, or a basic backyard, you can attract beautiful birds, insects, and animals by creating a habitat that will allow Texas wildlife to thrive. Creating a backyard wildlife habitat helps Take Care of Texas by adding more native plants to landscapes which provides greater food sources and shelter to Texas birds, bees, and other animals.

To create an effective wildlife habitat, provide their three basic needs: food, shelter, and water. And since wildlife thrives in the presence of plants they have adapted to, native plants are particularly important and vital to healthy ecosystems, and help conserve water and protect soil, reduce mowing costs, and save money on fertilizer and pesticides.

Follow these four simple steps and you’ll be well on your way to creating an oasis for wildlife in your backyard:


  • Provide food for all stages of life. Birdfeeders are important at certain times of the year, however, by planting natives, you’ll provide protection, breeding habitat, and food throughout most of the seasons. 


  • Access to clean water is one of the most important elements in caring for wildlife in your backyard habitat, especially in winter. Providing water is not limited to birdbaths, but can include wildlife ponds, fountains, and more. Save water and money by collecting rainwater for native plants and wildlife. Learn how to construct a rain barrel and more complex rainwater harvesting systems with our guides.


  • Plant a variety of native bushes, trees, and flowers that will provide safe places for wildlife to get out of the heat and cold and hide from predators. For Texas native plant lists and more about Texas native habitat, visit Earth-Kind at Texas AgriLife Extension Service

    Safe Places to Raise Young  

  • This might be a garden pond for toads, dragonflies, and salamanders, tree snags with cavities for birds and crevices for butterflies, wood piles, brush piles, and rock piles for lizards. The more of these elements you add to your wildlife habitat, the more wildlife will choose to raise their next generation in your backyard. Get details at Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Wildscapes Backyard Habitat Program.      

Whether you’re an urban homeowner or a rural landowner, you can help Take Care of Texas by designing your outdoor space to imitate a real Texas wildlife habitat.


Rainwater Harvesting with Rain Barrels, A Take Care of Texas Guide (GI-383)

Learn how to construct a rain barrel and harvest rainwater for your backyard wildlife habitat.

Electronics Recycling in the NEWS! 


TV and computer manufacturers recently submitted reports to TCEQ about their recycling efforts in 2013.

  • 22.2 million pounds of computers and nearly 2 million pounds of other electronics were collected by computer manufacturers last year.
  • Nearly 16 million pounds of TVs were collected under the Texas Recycles TVs program.
  • In 2013 more than 200 sites were available to Texans to drop off their old TVs and in 2014 more than 400 sites, collection events, or programs will be available!

For more information on electronics recycling in Texas visit TexasRecyclesComputers.org or TexasRecyclesTVs.org.

Be sure to place your order for the Plug Into Computer Recycling or Plug Into Electronics Recycling bill stuffers to get the word out in your community!

2014 Texas Environmental Excellence Award Winners

The Texas Environmental Excellence Awards honor individuals, organizations, and businesses each year for their exceptional efforts to protect our natural resources. Since 1993, the program has highlighted projects with the most outstanding pollution prevention and waste reduction while ensuring clean air, clean water, and the safe management of waste.

This year’s awards recognize nine projects that provide superior resource conservation, waste reduction, and pollution prevention.

2014 Winners:

  • Technical/Technology Raytheon Company, McKinney Site

  • Innovative Operations/Management   GlassCraft Door Company, Houston

  • Pollution Prevention PVI Industries, LLC, Fort Worth and Pioneer Natural Resources, Amarillo
  • Water Conservation Standard Aero San Antonio, Inc.
  • Civic/Community Texas Master Naturalist Program

  • Education Oceans Program at Flour Bluff Intermediate School, Corpus Christi
  • Youth Archer Samuel Hadley, Austin and Connor Crowe, Austin

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality commissioners will formally present the awards to the winners at the annual banquet and ceremony on May 7, 2014.  The awards are part of the TCEQ Environmental Trade Fair and Conference. Tickets for the Trade Fair and awards banquet are available online

Publications Highlight


Save Water. Save Energy. Save Money at Home (GI-370)

Ten handy tips for conserving and recycling resources while saving money around the house and during the daily commute.

Save Water. Save Energy. Save Money at Work (GI-388)

Brochure with 10 environmental tips for keeping our air and water clean, conserving water and energy, and reducing waste at the office.

Publication Holders

Publication holders (M-042) easily display the Save Money and the Environment at Home or Work brochures. 


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