Environmentalists  Dallas /  Fort Worth

By Julie Thibodeaux      

We asked the Dallas-Fort Worth green community to tell us one way they’d made the world a little greener in 2012. The answers we received were impressive -- everything from switching to more eco-friendly products in the kitchen to encouraging young people to care about the environment. Here’s how some green-minded North Texans helped the planet this year: 

FRACKING 101     “I worked with a publishing company writer who needed to get the ‘issues’ on hydraulic fracturing. I also worked with an environmental attorney and geologist from Pennsylvania to explain how the EPA left off ‘topflow’ natural gas green house gases emissions from their New Source Performance Standards Rules.”  Kim Feil Anti-gas drilling activist and blogger, Arlington barnettshalehell.wordpress.com  

NO MORE PLASTIC     “I replaced all the plastic food containers (or most of it) at home with glass containers or stainless steel. It saves the amount of plastic that we use and also avoids the exposure to harmful BPA and other toxins when you warm food in the plastic container.”  Meghna Tare Director, Office of Sustainability, UT Arlington 

COMPOST HAPPENS     “As an avid backyard composter for more than 15 years, I facilitate the Fort Worth Master Composter Course every spring and fall. Each of the 32 class attendees is asked to spend at least 20 hours teaching others about backyard composting and sustainable yard care. If half of the people attending complete their volunteer hours, then this program helps with 640 hours of sustainable education to residents of the Metroplex.”  Debbie Branch City of Fort Worth Commercial Recycling and Keep Fort Worth Beautiful Coordinator

SEEDS OF CHANGE     “We hosted a fall kids camp at the Promise of Peace Garden. The City Green campers camp for three Sundays and explore how to plant a garden, where most of our food comes form and how we can encourage folks to grow and know more about gardening. I believe it is the seeds we plant in our children's hearts that will improve the environment.”  Elizabeth Dry Founder, Promise of Peace Garden, Dallas 

GREEN HORIZONS     “This year I became chair of the SMU Sustainability Committee, which gave me the opportunity to attend the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education conference and to partner with Groundwork Dallas and the Trinity River Audubon Center – two nonprofits that do good things for North Texas (and N. Texans), especially young people.”   Dr. Bonnie Jacobs, associate professor Department of Earth Sciences, SMU  

GREENER PASTURES      “I helped usher in, and this year expand, Kids on the Prairie, a science-based program that makes it possible for thousands of young students in Fort Worth ISD to experience their local prairie. Master naturalists lead the hikes and teach kids why it's important to protect our remaining prairie heritage. Nothing I have done to improve the environment is more meaningful to me than seeing hundreds of kids connect with the natural world.”  Don Young  Founder/Director of FOTHNA and Prairie Fest 

JUICED UP       “We leased two Chevy Volt plug-in, extended range electric vehicles. Then I started blogging about it.”  Richard D. 'Buzz' Smith Blogger, Colleyville  buzzsmith.us  


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Julie Thibodeaux covers environmental issues, green topics and sustainable living for Green Source DFW. Previously, she worked as an editor and writer at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. See jthibodeaux.com.