In case you haven’t heard, Dallas’ new “it” color is green. Environmental awareness and sustainability are top of mind, from smaller efforts like utilizing reusable shopping bags at the grocery store to more thoughtful, energy-efficient planning in the way we design and build our homes and offices.
The staggering cost of excess and careless use of natural resources serves as a stern reminder of our social responsibility to sustain the environment for ourselves and for future generations. Clearly “going green” means much more than separating your household’s weekly trash collection into recycling bins. We can also make choices in our daily routines that contribute to the sustainability of the environment–everything from the designer labels we wear to our selection of an energy provider.
The following businesses and organizations are all pitching in on A Greener Dallas effort and make it easy for you to join the cause as well.
Buying resale is a way to be kind to the earth and to your pocketbook. Dallas’ environmentally savvy shoppers give this retailer an appreciative nod for its noteworthy green efforts.
This drycleaners’ GreenEarth system uses no hazardous chemicals or solvents that emit greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. This means the process used to clean your fabrics doesn’t dirty the air, contaminate the soil, or pollute the water.
The University of Texas at Arlington
UT Arlington is continually being recognized for its sustainability efforts. Its latest commitment to sustainability is a new Special Events Center, expected to be complete in the spring of 2012. The 190,000-square-foot facility will seat 6,500, cost approximately $73 million, and be designed to achieve LEED Silver Certification.
Green Mountain Energy Company
Choosing clean energy is one of the easiest things you can do to help reduce your household’s share of CO2, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. Green Mountain Energy Company, Texas’ only electricity provider dedicated to cleaner energy, has offered customers an easy option to be part of the solution and support pollution-free electricity.
Style-conscious, money-smart women nationwide are proud to be a part of the economically savvy, ecologically friendly fashion experience that is Clotheshorse Anonymous.
Clotheshorse Anonymous was launched in 1974 by two housewives who wanted to be financially independent. When entrepreneurs Jan Kennedy and Nancy Ungerman introduced the concept of reselling your designer clothes to the “rich and famous” of Dallas society, anonymity was considered a must. Today, the ranks of proud Clotheshorse consignees have grown to more than 22,000, and Clotheshorse Anonymous has become a multi-million dollar business. The savvy fashionista not only welcomes the opportunity to recycle her designer wardrobe; she often shares where she purchases such fabulous finds. That’s at Clotheshorse Anonymous, voted best in Dallas resale.
While there is much to be admired about the sought-after designer labels at Clotheshorse Anonymous (Chanel, St. John, Armani, Gucci, Versace, and Dolce and Gabbana just to name a few), environmentally friendly shoppers also give the retailer a nod for its noteworthy green efforts.
“We carry several designers who focus on using green materials in their designs, such as Eileen Fisher, Stella McCartney, and John Patrick,” Kennedy says. “We’re also green in other ways. If you think about it, our entire concept is green in that many of our items get two or more lives as people recycle their wardrobes over and over again.”
Clotheshorse Anonymous has also gone green in the way it does business. The store doesn’t give out plastic hangers, and all shopping bags are made out of recycled materials. Sales associates encourage their customers to avoid the shopping bags altogether and take their latest finds home in their own recycled cloth shopping bags. The store’s discarded cardboard boxes, wire hangers, and dry cleaning bags are also recycled.
When in-the-know Dallas socialites and trendy teens are in the market for a party dress or an inaugural ball gown they know to head straight to Clotheshorse for a unique designer label at an unbelievably low price. “Leather jackets, furs, St. John knits, antiques, jewelry, designer bags, and fine jewelry also stand the test of time,” Kennedy says. “Quality pieces from reputable designers are made to last. Like our beautiful buyers, they don’t show their age.”
Buying resale is a way to be kind to the earth and to your pocketbook. “Thankfully, there is no longer a stigma associated with resale,” Kennedy says. “In many cases, the pieces are so unique they’ll actually go up in value.”
Better for Clothes. Better for the Planet.
If your designer clothing and linens are some of your most cherished possessions, entrusting their care to just any dry cleaner isn’t an option. This is especially true if you also care about the negative impact some dry cleaning methods can have on our environment. Dallas’ Swiss Cleaners addresses these concerns with its GreenEarth® cleaning system. It’s not only better for your clothes and delicate linens, it’s also better for the planet.
The GreenEarth process cleans with pure liquid silicone, much like liquefied sand. It’s the same safe, natural sand the earth has been creating for more than six billion years. The liquid silicone is chemically inert, which means it doesn’t interact with fabric. It just carries the detergent to the clothes and then carries away the dirt and oil. GreenEarth cleaning is non-toxic and gentle on fabrics. Everything cleaned with the GreenEarth process has no chemical odor and feels soft and smooth to the touch. Fabric life is extended as well. Because Swiss Cleaners doesn’t use standard petroleum-based solvents to clean, everything that leaves the store is fresh-smelling and free of the tell-tale “dry cleaning smell.” The difference is also visible. Fabrics cleaned with GreenEarth remain soft, don’t shrink or yellow, and colors don’t fade or bleed. In addition, whites remain fresh and bright and special garments can be cleaned without damage to delicate beading and trim. GreenEarth uses no hazardous chemicals or solvents that emit greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. This means the process used to clean your fabrics doesn’t dirty the air, contaminate the soil, or pollute the water.
Swiss Cleaners owner Zale Tower says protecting the planet is the primary reason he installed GreenEarth. More than 80 percent of dry cleaners still use perchloroethylene, or perc, the industry standard solvent that has been classified by the EPA as a toxic air contaminant and a probable human carcinogen. In January 2007, California passed the nation’s first statewide ban on perc, initiating a 15-year phase-out of chemicals and equipment. Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey all are considering similar bans. Swiss Cleaners has taken “going green” a step further by using 100% biodegradeable plastic bags and hangers made of recycled materials. In 2008, Mayor Tom Leppert named Swiss Cleaners “The Green Drycleaner.”
“Once we found there was an environmentally-safe alternative, we didn’t hesitate to make the investment,” Tower says. “Our customers will appreciate the difference it makes, not only for the environment but also in the investment they’ve made in their fine clothes and linens.”
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT ARLINGTON
Committed to Sustainability
The University of Texas at Arlington’s latest commitment to sustainability is a new Special Events Center, expected to be completed in the spring of 2012. The 190,000-square-feet facility will seat 6,500, cost approximately $73 million, and be designed to achieve LEED Silver Certification, continuing UT Arlington’s commitment to sustainable development.
UT Arlington has taken two important steps to further its commitment to protect the environment. The President’s Sustainability Committee, with members drawn from the faculty, staff, student body, and community, will address opportunities to promote sustainability in several areas including facilities management, curricula, research, and public awareness. Also, UT Arlington has joined the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, linking it with 225 four-year academic institutions committed to moving higher education to the forefront of society’s efforts to protect the environment. UT Arlington becomes the fourth member in Texas, alongside UT Austin, Rice University, and Trinity University.
UT Arlington is continually being recognized for its sustainability endeavors. The National Wildlife Federation’s Campus Ecology program released a report entitled “Campus Environment 2008: A National Report Card on Sustainability in Higher Education.” UT Arlington was one of 334 institutions nationwide and 14 in Texas rated as “exemplary.” Highest marks were on energy efficiency/conservation/renewables and on recycling/solid waste/materials. Additionally, UT Arlington is the first and only university member of a new air quality consortium, Air North Texas. Air North Texas is a regional clean air partnership and campaign whose mission is to provide a comprehensive air quality resource; promote a consistent, regional air quality message; leverage existing resources and program strengths in a collaborative effort; increase public awareness of opportunities to reduce emissions; and motivate individuals and businesses to make clean-air choices. In partnership with the City of Arlington, UT Arlington is an award-winning leader in recycling and composting. In 2007 alone, the University was recognized by the Texas and Greater DFW Recycling Alliances and the North Texas Corporate Recycling Alliance for environmental vision and programming.
Some of UT Arlington’s sustainability programs and efforts include the following:
When completed, the new Engineering Research Building at UT Arlington will provide premier teaching and research laboratories; laboratory support spaces; and faculty, student, and administrative offices for the College of Engineering as well as a fully integrated research facility in partnership with the College of Science. In addition, building design includes many sustainability elements such as energy management systems, daylight harvesting, green roof, and capturing rainwater for irrigation, as well as plans to achieve LEED’s certification.
UT Arlington installed its first Green Roof in April 2008, which included roofing systems, irrigation, plant materials, and about 30,000 pounds of soil.
The Center for Renewable Energy Science and Technology coordinates research, development, and technology transfer in the area of renewable energy at The University of Texas at Arlington.
In the Automation & Robotics Research Institute of UT Arlington, the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center collaborates with manufacturers to improve their competitiveness and sustainability by identifying opportunities and implementing appropriate solutions in processes, operations, global competitiveness, and workforce development.
The Zero Waste Network, a part of UT Arlington’s Center for Environmental Excellence in the Division for Enterprise Development, collaborates with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to develop cost-effective methods to conserve natural resources.
Green Mountain Energy Company
Changing the Way Power is Made
Sure, the stars in Texas are big and bright, but we still need electricity to light our way. Unfortunately, electricity production is the leading cause of industrial air pollution in the United States, and Texas happens to be the biggest carbon polluter of all the U.S. states, contributing 10.5 percent of all the carbon dioxide (CO2) resulting from electricity generation.
Most electricity in the U.S. comes from non-renewable, polluting sources such as coal and natural gas. But electricity generated from clean sources, like wind and water, is 100 percent pollution-free.
That’s why choosing clean energy is one of the easiest things you can do to help reduce your household’s share of CO2, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. It’s also one of the best steps you can take to make a positive impact on the environment.
For more than 11 years, Green Mountain Energy Company, Texas’ only electricity provider dedicated to cleaner energy, has offered its customers an easy option to be part of the solution and support pollution-free electricity. Its customers have helped offset more than 3.7 billion pounds of CO2 emissions. That’s equivalent to not driving more than four billion miles. And since 1997, all of Green Mountain’s customers throughout the U.S. have helped spur the development of more than 35 renewable facilities across the nation.
When you switch to Pollution FreeSM electricity from Green Mountain, the reliability of your service does not change. There is no rewiring or special equipment needed. You’re also joining the company recently ranked “Highest in Residential Customer Satisfaction with Retail Electric Service” by J.D. Power and Associates.1
Green Mountain Energy Company. TX Certificate # 10009
1Green Mountain Energy Company received the highest numerical score among residential electric service providers in Texas in the proprietary J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Texas Residential Retail Electric Service Satisfaction StudySM. Study based on responses from 2,572 consumers measuring 8 providers and measures opinions of consumers with their electric service provider. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of consumers surveyed in June 2008. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.