This Issue: Burn Bans, Back to School Ideas, Input Sought on Recycling Study

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Teach by Example

Back to School

Heading back to school offers new opportunities to teach young Texans about taking care of themselves and the Texas environment. Here are suggestions to get kids interested and motivated to do their part:

1.       Start with the basics. Pack them a waste-free lunch. Put their food in durable, reusable containers using a reusable lunch box and utensils. Walk or ride bikes to school or create a carpool with neighbors. Teach them to take care of their school clothes and supplies so they last longer. 

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2.      Install our FREE water conservation mirror clings in school restrooms reminding students and staff to “Turn off the faucet. Every drop counts.” They’re static cling and won’t leave any sticky residue. Order them here.

3.       Spearhead the installation of a school garden complete with composting. Gardens can be easily incorporated into curriculum to teach not only about plants and nature, but history, poetry and math as well. Visit Texas A&M AgriLife’s School Gardens website for a step-by-step guide, curricula, and more. Watch our video for tips on creating a healthy compost pile.


4.       Help organize or improve their school’s recycling program. Download or order a free copy of our Texas School Recycling Guide. 

5.      Get active! Talk to their teacher about registering for Walk Across Texas—a free eight-week program designed to help Texans establish the habit of regular physical activity. It includes fitness and health-related lesson plans and a school mileage log.

Dry Weather Brings Burn Bans

Map of Counties with Burn Bans

In Texas, when dry conditions exist, a burn ban can be put in place by a county judge or county commissioners court prohibiting or restricting outdoor burning for public safety. The Texas Forest Service (TFS) continually reviews current and predicted weather conditions, wildfire occurrence, and the presence and availability of fuels from vegetation to assess wildfire risk. Using this information, TFS develops daily and seasonal forecasts to help state and local governments prepare for and respond to periods of greater fire danger.

Once burn bans are put in place by local county government, TFS collects this information and provides a daily statewide map showing counties under a ban. There are currently 122 Texas counties with burn bans.  

Another resource, the Texas Fire Danger Map, is a real-time map that displays current and forecasted fire danger levels. Weather information is provided by remote, automated weather stations and then used by the Weather Information Management System. 

Input Sought for Study on the Economic Impacts of Recycling

The TCEQ will conduct a study on the current and potential economic impacts of recycling, including state and local revenue that may be considered lost because recyclable materials are not recycled. TCEQ staff is seeking input on items which need to be considered as instructed by House Bill 2763.

Provide your input at a meeting in Austin, Sept. 10, at 10 a.m. Comments may be limited to five minutes per person. 

You can offer written comments at any time before or after the meeting by contacting the TCEQ at

Additional study and meeting information.

Adopt A Beach

Beach Cleanup Set for Sept. 26

Twice a year, Texans arrive by the thousands to show their dedication to our Texas beaches. On average, volunteers remove 500 tons of trash each year from Texas beaches and estuaries during two large-scale cleanups. You can do your part by registering online for the cleanup being held Saturday, Sept. 26.

Looking for a Texas Coastal Destination? There’s an App for That.

From fishing and boat ramps to camping and barbecue, the Texas General Land Office recently launched an app that allows you to search for the perfect beach spot using filters to find a variety of amenities and activities. It also has location-based mapping and turn-by-turn directions to more than 600 Texas coastal destinations. Try it out today:

Watch how a school garden can enrich a campus environment.

Using funds earned from recycling, staff and students at Fulton 4-5 Learning Center transformed their school landscape into a mecca of flourishing flora and fauna.

Fulton Elementary Video

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Know of another great environmental project?

Don't miss the opportunity to gain recognition. Applications are being accepted for the 2016 Texas Environmental Excellence Awards, the highest environmental honor in the state. The 2016 application cycle closes Sept. 25, 2015. Apply today!

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Subscribe to receive notices for the 2016 How Do You Take Care of Texas? elementary school art contestThe contest will begin Jan. 4, 2016; entries must be postmarked on or before March 2, 2016.  

We spend about 2,080 hours a year at work. Doesn't that make your office the perfect place to Take Care of Texas?

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We've recently updated our tips on how to conserve water and energy, reduce waste, and keep our air and water clean while at work.

Check it out:

Protect Your Groundwater Day


Whether your drinking water comes from a private well or a public water system, you can take simple steps to protect and conserve groundwater. Visit Texas Groundwater Protection Committee and National Ground Water Association for helpful information. 

Dates Set For Environmental Summits

The environmental summits' goal is to bring together the public, political leaders, neighborhood associations, nonprofits, businesses, and students to discuss ways to improve the Texas environment. There is no fee to attend, but you must pre-register. Register today.

  • El Paso, Sept. 25
  • Laredo, Oct. 8
  • Valley (Harlingen), Oct. 23

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