Take Care of Texas News You Can Use - February 2013


Texas Leads the Way


The Environmental Trade Fair and Conference  is Texas' premier environmental educational forum featuring topics such as the drought crisis, oil and gas, air quality, waste management, and many more. One new track this year is Management Tools for Small Water Utilities. Hurry to purchase your tickets; registration on or before March 29 is only $99! At the 2013 ETFC you can: 

Get the latest information about:

  • air, water, and waste issues 
  • compliance assistance
  • rules and regulations
  • asset management
  • permitting

Earn continuing education units

Visit the exhibit hall for the latest environmental information

Attend the Texas Environmental Excellence Awards banquet

Water Issues on Tap for the Legislative Session


Managing and protecting the state's water—in the face of an ongoing drought, increasing population, and a robust business climate—led the matters facing lawmakers when the 83rd legislative session convened, Jan. 8.

There are no easy answers and the challenge is daunting. The ongoing and unprecedented weather will present legislators with hard decisions about natural resources and the basic needs of the state's citizens. As one of the agencies charged with implementing legislation, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is poised for an even greater involvement in these issues. Read more.

Weatherize Your Home

Cold winter weather is here. Weatherizing by using caulk and weather-stripping for seams, cracks, and openings to the outside of your home, can save you 10% on your energy bill. Properly insulating your home, in addition to weatherizing, can reduce heating and cooling costs up to 20%.

Find more money and energy saving tips at TakeCareOfTexas.org.

Learn about proper home insulation and sealing air leaks at Energy.gov.


Where to Insulate. Adding insulation in the areas shown here is one of the best ways to improve your home's energy efficiency. Insulate either the attic floor or under the roof. Check with a contractor about crawl space or basement insulation.

Texas Water Smart


Texas Water Smart is a diverse public-private coalition of businesses, trade associations, cities, water suppliers, and elected officials who are committed to promoting water conservation. Members of the steering committee include TCEQ Chairman Brian W. Shaw, Ph.D. and Texas Department of Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples.

The purpose of Texas Water Smart is to educate families and businesses about easy and efficient ways to conserve water by taking simple, common sense steps.

Visit the Take Care of Texas Water Conservation page for more ideas to save water and learn about drought conditions. You might even save some money on your water bill while you’re at it.

Get Involved, Recycle

Learn about recycling initiatives for individuals, businesses, and local governments.

In This Issue:

  • Texas Leads the Way
  • Water Issues on Tap for the Legislative Session
  • Weatherize Your Home
  • Texas Water Smart
  • Don't Forget...
  • Get Invovled, Recycle

Highlighted TCEQ Publiction


River and Sky's Lone Star Activity Book (TCEQ publication GI-380) Activity and coloring book for students in grades K-2. Dog mascots, River and Sky, help kids learn ways to care for the Texas environment. Also available in Spanish.


Connect with Take Care of Texas to find out about environmental events, tips, and interesting tidbits from fellow Texans.


At Home

Use Compact Fluorescent Lights
Compact fluorescent light bulbs use up to 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs and can last up to 10 times longer, with a lifespan of up to 10,000 hours per bulb. Replacing the bulbs in your five most used fixtures with compact fluorescents can save you more than $65 a year in electricity.

Around the Office

Change Your Settings
Set your printers, copiers, and faxes to "duplex," allowing printing on both sides, which can cut paper cost nearly in half. Also, activating standby settings on equipment can reduce energy usage even more by utilizing less power when it is not in use. Copiers, laser printers, faxes, and other office equipment can reduce up to 66% of their power consumption if they are on only during office hours.

Don't Forget...


National Groundwater Awareness Week: March 10–16

Groundwater is found underground in the cracks and spaces in soil, sand, and rock. In Texas, groundwater supplies 60 percent of all freshwater used by the state and 80 percent of the water used for agriculture.

This week allows us to help bring greater attention to the importance of groundwater and how we can all do our part to protect this resource.

Texas-specific information for this event is available on the Texas Groundwater Protection Committee’s Web page.