Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Recycle Live Christmas Trees

In my last post, I talked about donating your live trees to Inland Fisheries to be used as fish habitat in Lake Arrowhead. As I mentioned, the City of Wichita Falls also takes live trees to use as mulch around the city.

The announcement from the city came out today. The city does not pick up trees at curbside, so you can deliver your trees (after removing decorations and tree stands) to Lucy Park or Kiwanis Park in the area near the tree farms--you can tell the place by the piles of mulch. You can deliver the trees until January 31. After that you can drop trees at the Transfer Station.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Help Create Fish Habitat

If you get a live Christmas tree, you can donate that tree after the holidays to help improve fish habitat in Lake Arrowhead.

Normally, Texas Parks and Wildlife gets the leftover trees from various tree lots in town to sink into the lake for fish habitat. The Rolling Plains Texas Master Naturalists help with this project. However, this year everyone has sold out of the live trees. Therefore, the fish need your help.

You may drop off live trees in the parking lot at Inland Fisheries at 409 Chester Avenue. Remove all lights, ornaments and tinsel. TPWD cannot use flocked trees--the chemical isn't good for the fish.

If you don't have a way to transport the tree, I can pick up in Wichita Falls (although that begs the question of how you got it home to start with--but things do change.) Just email

The city also accepts trees for mulching, but I haven't seen the details for that yet. I will post when I do.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Capital

I subscribe to the Green Economy Post. In a recent email there was an excellent article on the attempted use of corporate social responsibility programs by companies which are bankrupt in social capital.

All I can say is "Amen."

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Green Business Coming to Wichita Falls

I attended the Chamber Annual Meeting today and Tim Chase announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with a Spanish biodiesel company to come to Wichita Falls. No other information was given; I imagine more information will be in the Times Record News in the next day or two.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

EcoFair 2010 Planning Has Begun

A few intrepid volunteers met last night to begin planning for EcoFair 2010. The EcoFair will be on October 9, 2010 at River Bend Nature Center. Right now, the focus will be on finding sponsors, vendors and programs for the event.

If you have suggestions for local product/service vendors or presentations, you can post your comment to this blog and I will be happy to pass on to the committee or you can call River Bend Nature Center at 940-767-0843, or attend the next EcoFair Committee meeting, January 12, 7PM at the Thai Orchid Restaurant, 1912 Elmwood Avenue North, Wichita Falls.

Get involved in bringing sustainable living to Wichita Falls!

Green Equity Toolkit

An interesting toolkit from The Applied Research Center. Scroll down on this page to find the toolkit. You can read it online or download it. I think this would be an excellent program for Sierra Club or River Bend.....hmmmm.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Urban Farming

Although Wichita Falls, TX isn't exactly the town a person would visualize upon hearing the word "urban," an article I found, "Farming the Concrete Jungle, Feeding a Green Economy" is applicable nonetheless.

Some months back a few of us were talking about a use for some properties on the east side of town in the flood plain. One idea for a productive use was to offer the ground as community garden space. This could be of benefit to many people, especially those at lower incomes and inadequate transportation (there aren't any grocery stores in that area of town.) I brought it up at a Park Board meeting, but it didn't seem to get any traction there and to be honest, at the time I didn't need another project. Still don't, but the article reminded me of the possibility. This would be a great project for the Master Gardeners to get involved with (I can suggest it--I am not part of this group.)

2009 also saw the first attempt that I am aware of for Community Supported Agriculture. I heard there were some hiccups this first year, but the point is, there is movement.

Locally grown food is one way to encourage a more sustainable lifestyle.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Join the Planning for EcoFair 2010

To the left is the flyer for EcoFair 2009.
The planning for EcoFair 2010 kicks off on Tuesday, December 15 with a meeting at the Thai Orchid at 7:00 PM.

The EcoFair is hosted by River Bend Nature Center and is a local sustainable living fair with activities for the entire family.

If you are interested in being involved, but cannot make the initial planning meeting, no problem. Contact River Bend at 767-0843 or send an email to me at, and I will make sure your contact information gets to the right person.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Butter or Margerine?

Growing up, we got margerine. It was cheap. I started eating butter in England--mostly because they don't serve much margerine. I keep both margerine and butter in the frig and use margerine for cooking and butter for eating. I am thinking I need to toss the margerine, period.

Yesterday at a meeting (I think it was the Park Board), someone mentioned they no longer eat margerine because it was basically a form of plastic. I of course, had to check out this claim. Well, it may not be plastic, but it's definitely not good for you. Here is an explanation of how margerine is made; it may make you ill just to read it.

I have my excuse to eat what I like better--butter.

Reduce Food Waste

I throw away a lot of food (especially produce) and am trying to get better about it. I go to the store and think, "I'll make that this week!" and then don't do it.

Supposedly Americans was 14% of the food they purchase each year and throw out $600 in fruit alone. I don't think about how those mushy bananas add up, but they do.

I came across a good internet article on ideas to reduce/eliminate food waste. One they don't mention is "don't buy so much." I stop in the store a few times a week for various items and I am trying to take the European approach, at least on produce--only buy 1 or 2 days' at a time. I pass the store that often and so it's no great hardship to stop. The question will be whether the amount of produce I save offsets impulse purchases of other grocery items. We'll see.

Al Gore on Saturday Night Live

OK, this isn't local green news, but I had to share it anyway. I am not a big SNL fan, but a friend forwarded this clip from a recent program to me, and I liked it.

This was posted to a vegan website and so the title picks up about a 5 second statement toward the end of the clip, but the entire clip is posted and worth watching.