U.S. Cities and Companies Are Moving to Ban the Use of Plastic Straws

The #beatplasticpollution movement is getting hotter this summer. Starbucks recently announced its decision to discontinue the use of plastic straws by 2020, which has the potential of saving billions of straws from entering into our oceans and landfills. Dozens of U.S. cities and companies have banned, limited or are considering a ban on single-use plastic straws.

Why do so many companies seem eager to get onboard against single-use plastic? It’s become a global problem that’s overwhelming our local and international recycling facilities. Click this link to find out more.

Three Ways You Can Create an Eco-Friendly Garden Right Now

When it comes to creating an eco-friendly garden, there are a variety of ways you can turn a conventional garden into one that’s more natural. Here are three ways you can create your own sustainable garden right now.

Add water-wise plants to your garden. Reducing the amount of water you use is important when you’re trying to create an eco-friendly garden. Do you know there are plants you can add to your garden that are drought tolerant and need very little water to thrive? These plants include sunflowers, marigolds and cleomes just to name a few. A good tip is to select water-wise plants that are adapted to the amount of rainfall in your area. And a great place to search for plants suitable for North Texas, get some gardening advice and gain inspiration is TxSmartcape.com.

Make your own compost. Creating your own compost is one of the easiest things you can do. The basic ingredients for a compost are organic matter, oxygen and water. Give it some time. And voila! You’ll end up with some of the finest nutrient rich, soil amendment you can get your hands on.  Items you can use to build your homemade compost pile include lawn clippings, wood ash, cardboard egg boxes, leaves, shredded newspapers and fruit and vegetable scraps. Avoid dairy or animal products because their smell attracts unwanted guests, like rats or mice. Set up your compost bin today and help reduce the amount of waste that ends up in our landfills.

Eliminate your use of chemical insecticides. Applying chemical insecticides to your garden indiscriminately harms the good insects along with the ones you’re trying to target. Homemade pesticide solutions, like an oil spray made from vegetable oil and mild soap, or a garlic insecticide spray can offer an effective alternative to combating pests, while minimizing the ecological impacts of harsh chemicals. So, try one of these homemade mixtures featured in the article and see if they take care of your pest problem.

Eco-Conscious Outdoor Activities You and Your Kids Can Do This Summer

During the summer it can be difficult to find activities that keep your kids off the couch and get them outdoors. While there are a lot of options, like taking them to an amusement park, going on a vacation or visiting a movie theatre, those activities can get a tad costly. Here are three eco-conscious activities that will keep your youngsters busy and help them be more environmentally responsible.

Clean up trash at a local park or playground
For most kids, the park and playground are two of their favorite places to go. Try mixing it up! Take them to a new park in your neighborhood or city and bring a few recycling/trash bags with you. Give your kids some disposable gloves and make it an impromptu clean-up day. Leaving the park or playground cleaner than you found it is something worth celebrating. Check out this link to over 100 parks within Dallas-Fort Worth you might find worth visiting at dfwchild.com.

Make recycled art together
There are thousands of art projects you and your kids can make using recyclables like soda bottles, tissue boxes, coffee sleeves and plastic juice jugs. See a list of creative art project ideas using recycled materials at mymommystyle.com.

Go on a nature hike with your family
How about taking your kids out for a hike at a local nature preserve or sanctuary near you? It’s a great way for you and your kids to connect with nature! There are a ton of activities your family can do while hiking such as go star gazing, bird watching, locating animal tracks or play an outdoor scavenger hunt game. Check out this list of great Dallas-Fort Worth nature trails that you and your kids can visit right now.

We hope these ideas encourage you and your kids to have fun outdoors, clean up trash and recycle. If you haven’t done so already, join us in reducing the amount of litter that end up in our waterways by taking the Ten on Tuesday pledge.