There’s no denying it – Austin, Texas is a paradise for entertainers and eco-enthusiasts alike. In fact, Austin recently ranked the #1greenest city in America, according to Listshack.com. With ambitious plans to ramp up the city’s sustainability goals to zero waste by 2040, Austin is well on its way!!!
As we explore the top five ways to be green in Austin, the city’s comprehensive recycling, and composting programs cannot be ignored. Water conservation strategies and tools are seriously taking root in every community. The widespread adoption of renewable energy alternatives in Austin, especially solar energy, is also progressing at incredible levels. Much like the influx of people to the Central Texas region, the number of eco-friendly home improvements is also skyrocketing in number. Traffic continues to be an issue, more and more people are starting to take advantage of Austin’s popular and convenient “B-Cycle” rent-a-bicycle program as an alternate form of transportation.
5 Top Ways to be ‘Green’ in Austin, Texas
Let’s paint the town ‘green’, shall we?
“Important contributors to Austin’s regional economy,” a newly released study commissioned by the City of Austin reports recycling and reuse generated $720 million in economic activity in 2014 and supported over 2,600 jobs; the potential for growth is over 50 percent – to over $1 billion and 4,200 jobs.
Austin Resource Recovery is working hard to reduce the heavy load of organic waste going to landfills. Offering free composting classes to the public throughout the year, participants learn how to compost food scraps and lawn clippings to create a nutrient-rich fertilizer for the garden or lawn. They also receive a free kitchen composter!
3. Water Conservation
Every Austin Water residential customer is entitled to free drought survival tools. From free soil moisture meters available in ladybug and frog designs, to free slow-release watering bags called Treegators, these tools greatly reduce the need for supplemental lawn and garden irrigation.
4. Solar Energy Use
With a goal of 55 percent renewable energy, Austin’s latest acquisition of 300 megawatts of solar will make Austin Energy the largest user of solar power in Texas. The number of homeowners getting solar energy systems is multiplying geometrically, too, with the lowest cost for residential solar projects in the country.
5. Bicycle Use
One of the more successful bike-sharing programs in America, Austin B-cycle is a 501(c)(3) non-profit established in December 2013. With 50 B-cycle stations around central Austin, bikes are available 24/7, 365 days a year. They can be returned to any station, and stations can easily be located on the free B-cycle iPhone or Android app.
Help Usher in a Green New Year
More and more Americans are making positive changes to a more green lifestyle. A recent poll by the Pew Research Center revealed that 71 percent of U.S. citizens believe that America “should do whatever it takes to protect the environment.” This represents a solid majority of Americans in solid agreement with Austin’s eco-conscious citizens.
Wherever we live, we can all benefit by following the example Austin is setting by doing our part to help usher in a Green New Year. Happy Holidays!