This post is sponsored by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The opinions are my own.
If you’ve been following me for any amount of time, then you know sustainability is important to my family. You also probably know that we live in Texas… and if there’s one thing you can say about Texas it’s that we love our state. Love is more than a word; it’s an action. In order to keep the thing you love, you’ve got to take care of it. That’s the theme of my post today: Texas Love! I’m teaming up with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to share easy ways we can each do our part to make Texas a cleaner and safer place to raise our families and protect our resources and environment for generations to come. In addition to the tips (which include ways to conserve energy, how to conserve water at home, easy eco-friendly swaps, and tips to reduce air pollution), I’m sharing how you can take a pledge to Take Care of Texas and enter to win some cool prizes while you’re at it!
Why is sustainable living important?
Whether it’s conserving resources like water and energy, or keeping our air and environment clean, making small changes to be more sustainable helps to protect our environment and natural resources for future generations and maintain an ecological balance. We not only help combat the global climate crisis, but we also ensure our own families and local ecosystems have clean water and air… which are important to everyday life and survival. The bonus is that by employing the simple ways to conserve energy and tips for how to conserve water at home, we also save money on our utility bills!
Take the pledge to Take Care of Texas!
After you learn these tips, take the pledge to do your part to Take Care of Texas, then follow the steps in this Instagram post for a chance to win an annual Texas State Parks pass, a $100 HEB gift card, and an 8-person cabin tent!*
Pledging is easy! All you need to do is commit to at least one of the easy tips for conserving water and energy and keeping the air clean. Showing your love for Texas couldn’t be easier!
*Enter by midnight CST March 24. Winners will be selected on March 25! A special thank you to our prize sponsors: Academy Sports + Outdoors, H-E-B, and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
Ways to conserve energy at home
Are you looking for simple ways to conserve energy? Here are some easy tips for how we can save energy in our daily life:
- Adjust your thermostat to conserve energy. Try setting the thermostat at 78 degrees or warmer in the summer and at 68 degrees or cooler in the winter to reduce energy consumption.
- Turn off lights when not in use. Did you know that lighting accounts for approximately 12% of a household’s annual electric bill? By turning off lights when not needed, you can reduce your energy consumption and help keep the air clean.
- Change out your light bulbs to LED or CFL bulbs. These bulbs save energy and money, as they don’t need to be replaced as often as traditional light bulbs.
- Fully unplug devices after they are fully charged and when not in use, so they don’t continue to pull power.
Click here for more easy ways to conserve energy at home.
How to conserve water at home
Water conservation is an important way to protect our resources and show love to Texas (helping us avoid droughts we’re already prone to). There are lots of methods for water conservation that start with you at home. Here are some easy ways to conserve water at home:
- Check your faucets and toilets for leaks. Household leaks in Texas alone could waste more than 90 billion gallons of water each year. The good news is that many household leaks are easy and inexpensive to fix. Repairing them could save 10,000 gallons of water each year per household and 10% on water bills.
- Water you yard wisely. This includes watering early (before 10 am) to avoid water loss due evaporation and to maintain plant health, to only water as needed for your grass type, and to keep your sprinkler system maintained.
- Turn off faucets while brushing your teeth and opt for showers instead of baths (as showers use less water).
- If you’ve got the budget and the ability, replace your faucets and shower heads with water-efficient options. If you need to replace your toilet, there are more water-efficient toilets available these days, too!
- In the garden, use a rain barrel to collect rain for watering, and try to plant native plants that are already suited to the rain levels and climate of the region.
Click here to get more tips for water conservation and how to keep our water clean.
Tips to reduce air pollution
When you’re looking to make small sustainable changes in your life, don’t forget about our air! Here are some tips to reduce air pollution:
- If you can, drive less. One of our biggest individual impacts on air quality is our vehicle.
- Properly maintain your vehicle. With a properly tuned engine you can reduce your car’s emissions and improve gas mileage up to 4%, which can save you up to $0.11 per gallon of fuel used.
- Use less-toxic household products. Avoid products with high VOC (volatile organic compounds) content. Look for “low-VOC” and “zero-VOC” products.
Click here for more tips for how to keep our air clean.
Other sustainable practices examples
We can’t talk about easy eco-friendly swaps and small sustainable changes without talking about how we can reduce waste! Here are some tips to help you make a habit of reducing, reusing, and recycling:
- Keep a dedicated recycling can in your kitchen or pantry to make it easier to separate your trash and consciously recycle.
- Don’t forget the bathroom! It’s easy to remember to recycle in the kitchen—but don’t forget to recycle items from the bathroom, too. For example: empty toilet paper rolls, old plastic bottles when you’re done with them, empty tissue boxes, and the cardboard boxes your toothpaste and other products come in.
- Your home office trash can might be filled with paper and other recyclable materials. Empty your office trash weekly to make sure those products are separated. You can also opt-out of receiving junk mail. Click here to learn how.
- Buy less, and when you shop, be sure to purchase recycled products and bring your reusable shopping and produce bags.
Click here for more ways you can reduce waste.
Show your love for Texas, and take the pledge to do your part to Take Care of Texas!