Making it Easy to Be Green in Bryan, Texas

Education & Training

 Carnegie Library - Bryan, Texas

Happy Fall!

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending Be Green in Bryan's Greening Your Home 101 workshop, upstairs at the Bryan Public Library. Taught by Mary Strauss, the City of Bryan's Sustainability Program Coordinator, the workshop provided ten realistic, helpful suggestions that will help our environment and save you money.

I'm about to throw a lot of links at you. Most go to information located on, which is a site worth visiting. On that site, if you click on the symbols on the left side of the page for a wealth of information on each subject.

 Ten things YOU can do in the home to help our environment and save money.

  1. Cut junk mail. Americans pay $320-$370 million per year to dispose of junk mail. Save 1.5 trees/person/year by visiting or

  2. Stop accepting or using plastic grocery bags. We throw away 100 billion polyurethane bags annually. Despite appearances, these bags are so cheap that they offer nothing to break down, and actually end up in landfills. If you have extras, the Brazos Valley Farmer's Market is happy to take and reuse them.

  3. Reduce, Reuse & Recycle - On average, American consumers purchase 500 million beverage bottles and cans every day. Only one in three get recycled. Bryan's drop-off recycling center is located in the Wal-mart parking lot. You don't even need to get out of your car!

  4. Rid your home of pesticides - Over 80% of human contact with pesticides occurs indoors. 90% of those tested had traces of 5-16 pesticides in their bodies. Check out

  5. Green the Garden - Use compost instead of synthetic fertilizers. The Bryan Compost Facility sells compost for $21/ton and mulch is FREE! Concentrate on native plants and perennials. You can find a selection at the Brazos Valley Farmer's Market.

  6. Turn off lights and unplug appliances when possible. Reduce phantom power or energy vampires - Up to 40% of the power used by home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off. Standby power consists of 10% of our total power consumption.

  7. Replace standard light bulbs with CFL's and LED's - CFL's use 50%-80% less energy and last up to ten times longer. Some LED's have a 60,000 hour useful life.

  8. Look for EnergyStar Appliances - These appliances use 2-10 less power than their conventional conterparts. Check out

  9. Reduce Water Consumption - Look for leaks, and make sure all faucets have aerators for indoor conservation. Consider low-flow toilets. Catch rainwater for outdoor use.

  10. Replace household cleaners - Over 90% of reported poisonings occur at home, with the leading reported cause being household cleaners. Many chemicals found in household cleaners are known carcinogens. Natural alternatives are in most stores. Why? They are more economical, biodegradable and more healthy for you!

    Use Green Household Cleaners!

Now, some of these suggestions are easier said then done, but the point is to work on what you can, when you can, and keep moving in a more sustainable direction.

To help us along the way, Mary had the back of the room set up as an organic household cleaner factory, complete with ingredients, fragrances and delivery systems. We got to see and feel how to make these very inexpensive cleaners, and knew what to look for when shopping.

I give the City of Bryan credit for having Mary on board. She is an expert in her field, and charged with several different tasks, all benefiting both the environment and our pocketbooks.

This workshop was the third in a series of five for 2009. I missed the first two, Rainwater Harvesting 101 and Worm Composting 101. There are two more:

Bryan Environmental Education

  • Home & Energy Efficiency 101 on Nov. 5
  • Green Living 101 on Dec. 1 

You can view the flyer and register here.

Sustainability makes sense. We can do small things that make a difference. I'll visit more about this later.

Blue skies,

Sam White

Bryan's Green Team

Bryan's Green Team

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Sam White

Zweiacker $ Associates

Brand Manager

420 Tarrow Street
College Station, Texas 77840
979-589-4487 voice & text
979-450-0455 office


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Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459
Coldwell Banker - Oconomowoc, WI
Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD!


Cool post; it is easier than ever these days to be green if one tries.

Oct 31, 2009 07:39 AM #1
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