Jan. 7, 2014

By Rita Cook 

What is your eco-friendly resolution for 2014? We contacted a few of the green folks we know in North Texas who told us about their goals or, in some cases, what they’re already doing to ease the stress on Mother Earth.


Kevin Lefebvre, Dayna Cowley, Freddie Ortiz and Kim Mackey  
Environmental Quality, city of Dallas

The city of Dallas' Office of Environmental Quality came up with 20 ideas they wanted to share for the New Year. We loved them all. Below is a sampling: 

Just say NO – to plastic bags, straws & lids, receipts, junk mail, and any other non-essential waste-generating items you use on a daily basis

Courtesy of noplasticproject.ca

Avoid the drive-through and go inside if you must have fast food

Take the stairs instead of the elevator for less than five flights

Go meatless at least one day a week

Go vegan at least one day a week

See more of their New Year’s Green Resolutions.

Courtesy of designdazzle.com.


Sharon Wilson
DFW-area Earthworks organizer and blogger

“I've already made a lot of changes. I'm completely off gas in my home, which is in an all-gas neighborhood. I have a series on my blog, ‘Goodbye natural gas, you dirty boy. It's over between us.’ 

Courtesy of Earthtimes.org.



Beth Shumate
McKinney Convention and Visitor’s Bureau 

“My boys took showers that are way too long, so I will be instituting a plan for shorter showers to save water. My big resolution is to use my cloth shopping bags more. In addition, I’ll be turning my boyfriend’s old blue jeans into a quilt and other household items – pillows, aprons, etc.” 

Shower timer, courtesy of the city of Dallas.


Maria Lott 
Owner of Recycle Revolution, Dallas

“I plan to ride the DART rail to work; beginning with a minimum of three days per month and increasing to 10 or more days per month. 

"I also want to make sure I consider buying eco-friendly presents for my friends/family/relatives' special occasions first before buying them non-eco-friendly materials. I will also try to make sure that I buy them from local vendors.”



Karen Hall
Ecologist at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas, Fort Worth 

“I plan to map the plants in my yard, with appropriate names, so that I can develop a plan to make my yard eco-friendly. I resolve to plant more natives, remove invasive species, develop a reduced water use strategy and research eco-friendly options for pest control and fertilization.” 

She recommends a Cornell Lab of Ornithology website and says she resolves to work with her homeowner's association to develop native plantings that will require less water. 


Zac Trahan
Director of the Texas Campaign for the Environment Dallas office 

Trahan says he intends to pass a single-use bag ordinance in Dallas and Fort Worth and suggests folks go to this site for more information. He also plans to make a compost bin for his apartment too.

The Plastic Bag Monster, courtesy of TCE. 


Marie Tedei
Owner of Eden’s Organic Garden Center, Balch Springs

“I will begin a vermicomposting program at the farm, which is a bit challenging without any HVAC in the summer.”

She said she will also increase their flock of laying hens to provide the community more farm-fresh, clean low-impact eggs. 

Courtesy of Eden's Organic.


Alicia Quintans
Dallas architect and designer 

Quintans says she ended 2013 by baking holiday gifts. “That's one green thing we do make gifts instead of shopping. We're not much for resolutions, yet try to keep sustainable all year round, such as riding a bike instead of driving when possible, shopping local, cooking with local produce and using our own refillable water bottles.”

Joel Quintans, courtesy of the Quintans.

Rita Cook is an award-winning journalist who writes or has written for the Dallas Morning News, Focus Daily News, Waxahachie Daily Light, Dreamscapes Travel Magazine, Porthole, Core Media, Fort Worth Star Telegram and many other publications in Los Angeles, Dallas and Chicago. With five books published, her latest release is “A Brief History of Fort Worth” published by History Press. Contact her at rcook13@earthlink.net.

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