Tips for Going Green in 2014: In the Community

Eco-conscious advocates preach a variety of tips for going green because of the increase in waste reduction. You’ve seen them before: infographics explaining the inefficiency of traditional incandescent light bulbs, commercials displaying how many times our discarded plastics could span the globe, and documentaries discussing the size of collected trash in the Pacific Ocean. For those of us looking for a greener life and planet, we clearly have our work cut out for us.

If you’ve already made your home greener, you may think your work is done, but it’s also important to consider how the repair and maintenance of those green homes affect our community.

Appropriate Disposal of Home Equipment 

Although compact fluorescent light bulbs and LED bulbs have lifespans of 8,000 hours and 50,000 hours, respectively, even the best bulbs burn out sometime. Don’t make the mistake of reducing greenhouse gas emissions when you buy them, only to release mercury into your community’s environment when you toss them out.

When you send your used CFL bulbs, rechargeable batteries, air filters, and other home accessories to a responsible recycling center in your area, you guarantee that any harmful substances are kept out of your community’s ecosystem.

You’re also giving renewable resources like glass and copper another lease on life. Also, correct disposal of storm water pollutants like laundry detergent, pesticide, and fertilizer protects the runoff water that drains directly into your local water bodies.

Wondering how to get rid of a these items from your home? Take a look at the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection’s residential Management Guide. And if you’re having trouble finding a place to safely handle your waste, we’ve listed resources for finding Earth-friendly disposal facilities near you.

  • Earth911: From batteries to carpet padding, water filters to aerosol cans, Earth911’s search engine finds the nearest location for any substance in your home.
  • Lowe’s: Involved in every part of your home improvement, from start-up to clean-up, Lowe’s recycles batteries, wood pallets, CFLs, plastics, and more. Visit their recycling page and enter your city in the locator to find a Lowe’s near you.
  • The Environmental Collection Center: Open to residents in Arlington and Fort Worth areas, this list of accepted itemsincludes batteries, cleaners and chemicals, and light bulbs. Arlington residents can call (817) 459-6778, while Fort Worth residents can call (817) 392-1234.
  • Recycle Revolution: Serving the DFW area, Recycle Revolution encourages environmentally-conscious use and accepts a variety of items, including batteries, plastic and glass bottles, CFLs, LEDs, fluorescent lights, and carpets.

You can also consult this list of local recycling centers for more information:

Shop Locally

Consider buying some of your produce from farmers markets and local vendors to support community businesses and your family’s health. We’ve listed a few businesses to help you get started:

Get Involved

Keep up with the local weather on television or online before you start on any yard work or outdoor projects. A quick look – or even close listen while you’re having breakfast – can save you the frustration of watering your lawn hours before a storm, and reduces the strain on your neighborhood’s general supply. While this is an issue that reaches critical importance during the blistering Texas summer, you can start cultivating your environmental awareness now and manage your water bill at the same time!

Learning from the several eco-conscious organizations in Texas is another great way to practice eco-awareness. Whether you use online websites like Grassroots Environmental Education for more information, or join an organization, it’s important to know how commercial, industrial, and legislative decision in your city, state, and country affect you. If you need help with finding an environmental organization in the Houston or DFW area,  contact one of the following groups:

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