Surprising Recycling Information, Paid Internships for College Students, Share Your Love for Texas, and Grant Funds Available

This Valentine’s Day 

Show Your Love for Texas

Valentine’s Day is a time to show your family and friends that you care. However, you can also show your love for Texas by protecting our environment! Here are a few ideas to help you do your part this holiday.

Valentine' Day Card

Not All Cards Are Recyclable

Each year, paper makes up nearly 30 percent of all waste that is thrown away, which is more than any other material. Unfortunately, not all paper products can be recycled. Many types of greeting cards contain materials that are not recyclable. Check with your local solid waste services department to find out if greeting cards can be recycled in your area. For example, greeting cards can be recycled in Austin, but not in Fort Worth. The City of El Paso suggests sending your used greeting cards to St. Jude's Ranch for Children. In some locations, it's difficult to find guidance about this item. In general, most cities recommend throwing waste away if you are unsure whether it can be recycled. You may consider sending e-cards, which are a fun alternative to paper cards and won't end up in the landfill. 

Locally Grown Food Supports our Economy and Environment

Treating your valentine to a special meal? Try eating at a restaurant that serves locally grown food. Usually the menu will state which farms supply the ingredients. If you’re planning to cook a nice meal at home, consider purchasing fresh ingredients at your local farmers market. Not only does this support your local economy, but it is also better for the environment. Buying locally grown food reduces emissions from refrigeration and transportation, while also cutting back on packing materials.

Texas with Sun Flowers

Find Local Flowers and Florists

Purchase a bouquet of locally grown flowers. Local flowers can be found at a farmers market or a Go Texan certified distributor in your area. A great alternative to the traditional bouquet of flowers is a potted plant or succulent. Your loved one can enjoy the sentiment all year long.

Help Us Get More People to Pledge!

Texas Valentine

Show your love for our great state by pledging to Take Care of Texas and encouraging your friends to do the same. You and your friends have a chance to win a $100 H-E-B gift card!

There are two ways to enter:

  1. Visit our website and pledge to do your part to Take Care of Texas.
  2. If you’ve already taken the pledge, you can still enter. Encourage your friends to take it and tell them to put your name in the “Referred By” space. You’ll both receive an entry!

You can receive one entry for each friend you refer, so spread the love!

Hurry, the contest closes Feb. 14 at 11:59 p.m. CST! View the complete contest rules on our website.

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Start your career with an internship!

TCEQ Offers Paid Internships 

for College Students

Are you passionate about the environment? Ready to launch your career? 

Apply to the Mickey Leland Environmental Internship Program (MLEIP) at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality! Through this PAID, FULL-TIME, SUMMER INTERNSHIP program, undergraduate and graduate level college students can work in one of 16 cities in Texas and complete an internship at TCEQ, at other state agencies, or in the private sector. Apply by March 11, 2016, in order to be considered for a summer 2016 internship assignment.

Intern on the Job Site

"I worked in compliance monitoring this summer and have learned a great deal about the variety of places TCEQ regulates and how the whole enforcement process works. I’m glad I was able to have the opportunity to get out in the field on a water and waste investigation and see where it all starts. Being a part of the MLEIP has given me valuable work experience as I go forward on my career path." 2015 Intern, Alyssa Huddle

Learn more about the eligibility requirements, application process, and timeline on the TCEQ Web page.

Not in college but know someone who is? Forward this opportunity to them!

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RESTORE Grant Applications Open Now

More than $56 million is now available for projects on the Texas Gulf Coast! 

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s Commissioner Toby Baker announced that requests for grant applications will be accepted beginning Friday, Jan. 15, for environmental, ecological, or economic projects.

Eligible Types of Projects in the Gulf Coast Region

  • Restore and protect natural habitats
  • Mitigate damage to fish and wildlife
  • Improve state parks in coastal areas
  • Protect against coastal floods
  • Promote tourism and/or consumption of Gulf Coast seafood
  • Develop the workforce and create jobs in the coastal region

Application Information

Applications will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. CST on April 15, 2016. Once an initial list of projects is developed, it will be posted in the Texas Register and on the RESTORE site for public comment. 

You can find detailed application information on the RESTORE website. 

In addition, the RFGA will be posted on the Electronic State Business Daily website. 


The Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast Act of 2012 (RESTORE Act) established the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council and the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund and dedicates 80 percent of Clean Water Act penalties resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to the Trust Fund, for restoration projects in the Gulf Coast region. Baker is Governor Abbott’s appointee to the council representing the State of Texas.

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National Groundwater Awareness Week 

is March 6-12

For two decades, National Groundwater Awareness Week has spotlighted an important resource — groundwater. 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.

Sponsored by the National Ground Water Association, the 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.

Order our free publications to help spread the word about water conservation.

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art contest winner

Art Contest Closes Soon

The deadline to submit your entries for the 2nd Annual Kids Art Contest is March 2. We encourage teachers and parents to use this contest as a way to teach kids in grades K-5 about the environment. Also, it's a great opportunity to win cool prizes, like a Samsung tablet or laptop. Find out more on our website.

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