Beat the Summer Heat — Sustainably
As Texans, we may be used to the extreme heat, but these record-breaking temperatures have a negative effect on our environment, economy and society. This time of year is when it is most important to make sustainable decisions, not just for ourselves, but for those who find it difficult to survive in these extreme temperatures. Below are ways you can practice sustainability this summer that will have a positive impact on our community.
- Wash your clothes in cold water, then take advantage of the heat and save energy by drying your wash outside on the line.
- Plant trees! Shade from trees protects us from the sun’s radiation and will make it feel like it is 10 to 15 degrees cooler.
- Invest in a durable, reusable water bottle. It is important to stay hydrated during this time of year. Instead of purchasing disposable water bottles that end up in a landfill or the ocean, refill a reusable water bottle from your tap at home or a public water fountain.
Extreme, prolonged heat can put the electrical grid at risk of failing because demand can exceed supply. The average electricity bill increases by 70% during months of extreme heat. There are simple steps that can be taken to decrease your electricity use, save money and protect the grid.
- Keep windows shaded during the day to keep the heat out. Keep your blinds and curtains closed.
- In the summer, keep your thermostat set to 78 degrees when you are home. Use ceiling fans to increase your comfort. You can set your thermostat even higher while you’re at work; turning it back 7°F to 10°F from its normal setting for eight hours a day can save you 10% or more on heating and cooling.
- If you haven’t done so already, switch to LED lighting, which uses about 80-90% less energy and lasts 10 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs — and they’ve also decreased in price by 85% in recent years.
- Unplug unnecessary devices when not in use to eliminate “standby” electricity that appliances, chargers and standard power strips use, even when not in use.
Source: Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative
- Consider purchasing reusable water bottles, handheld fans, hats and sunscreen and donating them to your local shelter.
- Recommend or donate to the bill payment assistance organizations in your county. Most energy providers have summer programs that help customers manage higher-than-normal electric and gas bills.
- Know what services your county has for those who do not have shelter from the heat. Dr. David Woody, CEO of The Bridge Homeless Recovery Center, recently shared his knowledge on how we can best assist those who need it. Watch the recording here: Bridging the Gap Between Homelessness and Sustainable Housing in Dallas
Register for Our June Sustainable U Webinars
General Motors: Sustainability Work Is Varied and Plentiful
July 12, 2022
Noon to 1 p.m.
General Motors is in the midst of a transformation that includes the accelerated transition to electric vehicles (EV) and autonomous vehicles (AV). GM is taking bold actions to make its business carbon neutral and is broadening its social impact by aiming to help create a zero-emissions future that is both inclusive and equitable. Register to hear Kailee Sosnowski, GM’s GPSC sustainability analyst, discuss GM’s sustainability goals and the wide variety of sustainability work available at this multinational corporation.
Klyde Warren Park: A Green Space in a Big City
July 19, 2022
Noon to 1 p.m.
Kit Sawers, president, Klyde Warren Park
Building a 5-acre deck park over a recessed eight-lane freeway took an imaginative and hard-working team of Dallas leaders with a clear vision. Klyde Warren Park created green space “out of thin air,” connecting Dallas’ vibrant Uptown neighborhood with its award-winning Arts District and downtown business center. Since opening in 2012, it has become the city’s beloved town square, welcoming more than a million visitors each year and earning national acclaim. Register to hear Kit Sawers, the president of Klyde Warren Park, speak on the park’s creation and how it has increased the quality of life of Dallas residents.
E-Waste Recycling Events
July 21 — Dallas College Pleasant Grove Center (rescheduled from January) — Parking Lot
Needed: Your Personal Climate Change Stories
Many people have experienced climate change, but they don’t realize it. Climate change is causing increased flooding, wildfires, droughts, and other climate and environmental disasters that are happening with much greater frequency. We are looking for students, employees and community members who:
- have a climate change story to tell
- are willing to share how climate change has affected them and/or their families
- can spend a little time in our professional television studio and tell their stories on camera
We’ll use these professionally produced videos to help build awareness that climate change is real, it’s happening now and it’s caused by human activities. Send us your story. (We just need a few paragraphs.) Here are some questions to answer in your brief email:
- How have you or your family personally experienced the effects of climate change?
- What challenges did you face?
- What do you remember about the climate growing up when compared to the climate today?
- Did you have to move because of climate change?
- What concerns do you have as the climate changes?
The videos will be shot in Dallas College’s television studio at the LeCroy Center (on the Richland Campus) Sept 20-21. Email your story to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “My Climate Change Story.” Be sure to include your telephone number so we can reach you if your story is selected!
Explore Past Events and Webinars
- Explore past webinars
- Sustainability Town Hall recordings
- Sustainability Summit recordings
- TRACS Summit recordings
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