We Can Do Better For Our Planet

Sunday, April 22 is Earth Day. Dallas is hosting “The World’s Largest Environmental Experience,” according to EarthX.org. Although I’m proud of the fact we are hosting this event, I do have a question: How is our fair city of Dallas doing on the environmental front?

According to the Popular Science website, which published “America’s Top 50 Green Cites” in February of this year, we don’t even rank in the top 50.

Three Texas cities make the cut: Austin (no surprise) ranks 10, Fort Worth our sister city, comes in at 15, and Amarillo at 34. Come on folks, we can do better than that!

We launched a plastic bag ban in 2015, but within a few short months it was repealed. We have a city of Dallas residential recycling program as does Highland Park and University Park. University Park offers weekly pickup of yard waste while Highland Park encourages homeowners to mulch grass clippings and leafs back into their yards.

Where are we with commercial recycling?

According to an article published by the Oak Cliff Advocate in March of 2017, the recycling rate in Dallas has not improved since the city passed its “zero-waste plan” in 2013.

In January, a Dallas City Council committee recommended a mandatory apartment recycling ordinance which could be put into law in a matter of months, with the possibility of commercial buildings being added to the waste recycling program this year. Do we have the gumption to make this happen?

The Texas Campaign for the Environment says the DFW area recycles about 22 percent of the materials we use. This is significantly less than the national average of about 34 percent.

EarthX, formerly known as Earth Day Dallas, was founded in 2011 and has expanded in the last couple of years to include a film festival including 60-plus feature and short films, in addition to five days of group conferences. This year’s event is from April 13-22, starting with the film festival on April 13, at Angelika Film Center in Mockingbird Station, other locations include the Dallas Arts District, Texas Theater, and Dallas Contemporary. The event culminates with a three-day Eco Expo at Fair Park. For more details, go to earthx.org.

On the bright side, we can only improve from here, hopefully. See you at EarthX.