Take Care of Texas News: Win H-E-B and Samsung prizes

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art contest updated

Take Care of Texas Kids Art Contest Now Open

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and Samsung Austin Semiconductor invite K-5th grade students in Texas to submit their artwork showing how they help keep the air and water clean, conserve water and energy, and reduce waste. Fifteen students will win a Samsung tablet, and one grand prize winner will receive a laptop! Plus, the winning pieces will be showcased on the Take Care of Texas and TCEQ websites, newsletters, and social media. One lucky teacher will win a Samsung tablet as well. Visit the Take Care of Texas website for more information and to download an entry form. The contest closes March 6, 2015.


How long does it take for waste to decompose in the environment?

waste image

New Year's Resolution: Volunteer

People often e-mail us asking for ways to Take Care of Texas in their communities. The TCOT website has a do your part page with some suggestions, including participating in the Galveston Bay Estuary Program, but here are some more ideas.

Keep Texas Beautiful has 370 affiliates throughout the state that organize local cleanup projects, service days, tree plantings, and recycling events. They often need volunteers for both one-time events and long-term programs. Some of their ongoing programs are Adopt-a-Beach and Adopt-a-Highway, where a community group or business commits to cleaning and maintaining a designated section. The TCEQ commissioners' offices adopted part of Walnut Creek near the TCEQ headquarters in Austin this past year. Staffers have already completed two clean-ups and will continue for two years. Keep Texas Beautiful also has youth and educational programs listed on its website.

Check your city’s website. Many cities offer volunteer opportunities with local parks or community events. The City of Austin, for example, needs volunteers for tree recycling events over the next two weeks and has a storm drain marking program that is good for groups of volunteers. You could also look for local community gardens, nature center, or conservancy groups that use volunteers.

Texas Parks and Wildlife has a volunteer database where you can search volunteer opportunities by region. Some typical volunteer positions include trail maintenance, park host, tour guide, and special event assistance.

Texas Master Naturalist, a TCEQ Environmental Excellence Award Winner last year, has a program that develops well-informed volunteers who provide education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources within their communities.

To become a certified Master Naturalist a trainee must complete 40 hours of classroom and field training in addition to volunteer hours. Visit their website for more information and to find your local chapter.

facebook contest
fbk new years

Win a $20 H-E-B gift card!

Go to the Take Care of Texas Facebook page and comment on the contest photo. Two winners will be selected to win a $20 H-E-B gift card. Contest starts NOW and ends this Friday, Jan. 9 @ 5:00 p.m.

Register now for the TCEQ Environmental Trade Fair and Conference on May 5-6, 2015 in Austin.

Earn CEUs at over 100 classroom sessions, network with the other 3,000 attendees, and learn about products and services from over 300 exhibitors. This is the premier environmental educational event in Texas, and early registration is only $99 for both days. Visit the event’s website for agenda updates and hotel information.

Mark your calendar for these other TCEQ events:

Emissions Inventory Workshop: Austin, Jan. 14-15, 2015

Dam Safety Workshop: Decatur, June 10, 2015

Dam Safety Workshop: Kilgore, July 8, 2015

Water Quality / Stormwater Seminar: Austin, Sept. 23-24, 2015

Advanced Air Permitting Seminar: Austin, Palmer Events Center, Oct. 28-29, 2015


Texas Air Quality Continues to Improve

Texas ozone levels in 2014 were the best ever in much of state. From 2000 to 2013, ozone levels in Texas decreased by 24 percent, while the average for all states, plus District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, showed a decrease of only 12 percent. For more information, visit Air Quality Successes on the TCEQ website.

one sticker

Beginning March 1, 2015, the State of Texas will stop issuing inspection stickers and transition to a “Two Steps, One Sticker” program.

Why You’ll Love “Two Steps, One Sticker”:

•One sticker, one date: Are you one of the millions of Texans whose inspection sticker and registration sticker expire in different months? With “Two Steps, One Sticker” you will have just one sticker with one expiration date.

•Less clutter, better view: Who wants multiple stickers in their view while behind the wheel? With “Two Steps, One Sticker” you will have just the familiar blue-bordered registration sticker in the corner of your windshield.

•Fraud prevention: With inspection stickers no longer needed, this change will eliminate the risk of inspection sticker fraud and theft.

For more information, please visit the Two Steps, One Sticker website