The cornerstone of Texas culture has always been personal independence. This sentiment may have started on ranches when the state was settled, but it has carried into modern times. While that part of Texan culture hasn’t changed over the years, some aspects have.
For example, Texas now has three cities with over one million people and another three with over half a million. This rise in population has generated several cultural changes, and many have adopted eco-friendly lifestyles to use resources better.
Liberal may not be the first word that comes to mind when you think of Dallas, but the city is, in fact, inching farther left as time goes on and is now the second-most liberal city in Texas (behind notoriously progressive Austin).
Modern liberal politics often correlate with more support for environmental conservation, and similar doctrine trends can be observed in Dallas (not to say that right-leaning residents are not also concerned about the environment). People are increasingly modifying habits when they have the opportunity to limit their impact on the environment.
The prevalence of routine grassroots transformations in Dallas is all the more surprising, considering that fewer than half of all Americans are willing to identify themselves as environmentalists, let alone those in Texas. This makes environmentalist behavior from one of the country’s reddest states even more unexpected.
How To Go Green in Dallas
Dallas residents aren’t alone in modifying behavior. The city government is implementing change as well. In 2001, the city established the first internationally recognized environmental management system in the U.S. The purpose was to design a plan to minimize the city’s overall environmental impact.
Since then, the city has made considerable strides in this endeavor. Roughly 40 percent of their energy comes from renewable sources. The DFW airport is one of the most eco-friendly in the country despite being one of the biggest. The airport terminal has low-flow fixtures that save millions of gallons of water every month. It also has rooftop solar panels, significantly reducing grid-sourced electricity use.
The city plans to continue to make improvements to its waste management systems and transit in the future. A bikeway is being developed to add one thousand miles of paths and provide safe, alternate means of transportation. The city government also plans to reduce landfill waste to zero by the year 2040.
On top of this, the city stays committed to continuing sustainable projects in the future by implementing eco-friendly building developments through participation in the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Sustainable Skyline Initiative.”
Does Going Green Cost More?
Although some significant eco-friendly changes entail upfront costs, that is not necessarily the case for everything. “Going green” can be as simple as reducing waste and being more responsible with resources.
Steps like keeping lights off that are not in use, not leaving water running for too long, and ceasing to use disposable silverware and containers go a long way toward helping the environment. Buying energy-efficient appliances may cost more upfront, but like all these practices, it will help save money (and the environment) over time.
You can also use the Dallas rapid transit system, which implements clean fuel technology, leading to a 68 percent reduction in bus emissions over the last 10 years. DART trains produce roughly the same emissions as golf carts. Using public transit is excellent for the environment because it reduces the number of vehicles on the road, and it can help you save on auto-related costs like gas and tolls.
Making an effort to buy local products from local merchants will cut down your carbon footprint and the vendor’s ecological impact. Buying food directly from farmers will cut transportation costs for the farmer and reduce the need to search for supply deals. As a bonus, your fruits and vegetables will be fresher.
Overall, renewable energy costs about the same as, if not less than, other traditional methods of generating power, so using renewable energy for your home likely won’t increase your monthly bill. Learn more about green electricity for Dallas, TX homes here.
Using renewable energy and implementing other eco-friendly practices won’t cost extra—in fact, it’s the more cost-effective option in the long run. Sustainable power benefits you, along with the environment. If your whole neighborhood takes on these changes together, you can put your personal choice toward the collective good for the betterment of your community.