Ten easy tips for renters │ New video for sharing │ Cool prizes │ Chance to share your opinion │ Why you should start composting now

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Ten Tips for Your Home, Apartment, or Dorm

Ten Tips for Renters

Whether you are in an apartment or house, or live in a dorm room, you can do your part to Take Care of Texas! As a renter, you may not be able to make changes such as replacing appliances or repairing plumbing fixtures. However, there are simple steps you can take that will make a big impact. Not only will these tips help protect our environment, but many of them can also save you money! If you are unable to change these things on your own, share these ideas with your landlord or maintenance department. 

You can find more helpful information about each tip on our website and download this fun infographic to share.

Ten Tips for Renters Infographic
  1. Use ENERGY STAR light bulbs and remember to turn off the lights!
  2. Save energy by unplugging appliances and electronics when they are not in use.
  3. Keep the heat out by closing your window shades or drapes.
  4. Save water and energy by washing full loads of laundry and using cold water when possible.
  5. Start a compost bin – inside or outside – to prevent food waste from going to landfills.
  6. Buy cleaning products that are made from less-toxic ingredients.
  7. Purchase items that are made from recycled materials.
  8. Set your thermostat at 78 degrees or higher during warm months.
  9. Save paper by opting out of junk mail.
  10. Notify your landlord immediately if you find a leak.  

  More on Green Renting!  

What Challenges is Texas Facing?

Animated Video About the Texas Environment

Did you know we are projected to need over 1 trillion more gallons of water by 2070? Watch our new video to learn about this and other demands on our critical resources in Texas. The brief video also provides simple yet effective steps that all Texans can take to be a part of the solution!

Spread the Word

Help your fellow Texans learn how to do their part by sharing the video on social media. This is also a great resource for educators to show in the classroom, utilities to send to customers, businesses to distribute to employees, and nonprofits to share with supporters!

Answer a Trivia Question for a Chance to Win

If all Texas households reduced their garbage by 1/3, how many pounds of garbage could we eliminate annually? Watch the video to find out! For a chance to win a $50 H-E-B gift card, comment on our Facebook post with the answer AND tag a fellow Texan. View the complete contest rules.

  Watch the Video!  

Reader Survey

Reader Survey

Readers, would you take a few minutes to answer some questions about this newsletter? Take the brief survey for a chance to win a $25 H-E-B gift card. Your feedback is anonymous and will help us make newsletters more useful for you! You must provide your e-mail address to enter. View the complete rules.

license plate final

Get Your New Plates

Do you Take Care of Texas? Show your support for our great state by putting a Take Care of Texas license plate on your car! Every plate sold helps to provide free educational materials to kids, teachers, nonprofits, businesses, and communities.

Why You Should Start Composting Now

compost bin

Have you been thinking about starting a compost pile? Summer is a great time to get going in order to have a finished compost product that you can use to fertilize your yard this fall. It takes about three to four months for organic ingredients to break down and form compost. In most areas of Texas, applying compost in the fall helps to prepare plants for the winter.

Live in an apartment or condo? Get information on indoor composting from our article Ten Tips for Renters!

What is Compost?

Compost develops when organic substances go through a natural decomposition process. Composting is incredibly beneficial for the environment. The process turns food and yard waste, which accounts for almost 30 percent of our trash, into a material rich in humus and nutrients. Using compost can reduce the need for supplemental fertilizers and save you money.

Wondering How to Get Started?

How to Start Composting in Your Own Backyard Video

Have questions about composting? Unsure about what can or can’t be composted? Worried that your bin will smell or attract pests? Our educational materials will answer your questions and show you how to avoid problems. Check out our video How to Start Composting in Your Own Backyard and our publication Mulching and Composting, “A Take Care of Texas Guide”. Learn more about fertilizing this fall from Texas AgriLife Extension Service.

  More on Composting!  

Nature Camps for Kids

Kid Playing Outside

With the extra time kids have over the summer, it's the perfect season for them to get outdoors and learn about the many wonders of our great state. Kids get social, mental, and physical benefits from playing outside so you might consider enrolling them in a nature camp. Here are a few ideas for camps happening all around Texas. You can also check with your city and local government agencies, as they often host summer camps and educational programs.

Texas Parks and Wildlife is hosting a number of wildlife and conservation camps throughout the state. These camps allow kids to get up close and personal with nature by participating in hands-on, outdoor activities. TPWD is also hosting day camps at their Sea Center in Lake Jackson, where kids can explore Texas wetlands and learn about the water cycle.

The Lower Colorado River Authority hosts numerous types of programs at McKinney Roughs Nature Park. Kids on the Colorado teaches boater safety and includes a guided river trip. In Summer Camps, kids explore natural science themes. For groups, they also offer Challenge Courses and Natural Science Programs

Sea Camp, hosted by Texas A&M University Galveston, is a week-long adventure exploring the wonders of the marine and estuarine environments for campers ages 10 to 18. Campers will spend the week learning about the ocean through hands-on marine experiences.

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center will be offering camps throughout the summer that give kids ages 6 to 10 the chance to become conservationists, botanists, horticulturists, and ecologists. By attending Camp Wildflower, campers will earn the title of Junior Environmental Steward and leave with a greater appreciation of and knowledge about the environment.

Homegrown Heroes

Trevor Hance, Austin

Video of Homegrown Hero, Trevor Hance

Trevor is a teacher who is inspiring elementary students to protect the environment. He uses hands-on environmental projects to teach kids how to solve real-world situations. Trevor received a 2016 Texas Environmental Excellence Award because of his inspiring work with future generations. Watch Trevor’s story.

Brockriede Brothers and Lalk Brothers Farms, Wichita County

Video for Homegrown Hero, Brockriede Brothers and Lalk Brothers Farms

For over 15 years, these two Texas families have been using sustainable farming techniques that protect our soil and water. They were some of the first in their region to experiment with these techniques and are now passing along their knowledge to other farmers. The two families received a 2016 Texas Environmental Excellence Award for their innovation. Learn more about their leadership.

Dell Inc., Round Rock

Video for Homegrown Hero, Dell Inc.

Dell has been a leader in reducing the need for raw materials in electronics production. Through ideas like turning wheat straw, which would normally be burned, into packaging, Dell has reduced air pollution, minimized waste, and conserved water. Dell is one of the winners of the 2016 Texas Environmental Excellence Awards. Discover more about Dell.

Applications are now available for the 2017 Texas Environmental Excellence Awards! The awards recognize outstanding environmental projects in nine diverse categories from all over Texas. The last day to submit is September 30, 2016. Apply online.