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Wisdom on Wednesdays

Feeling Fall

This morning was the first morning below 70 since last spring and it felt tremendous!  The first few mornings of low humidity and cooler temperatures put folks in the mood for fall yard plantings and even fall gardening. In Pearland there is enough growing season left to plant a fall garden.  Check out our Fall Gardening board on Pinterest for great tips and ideas for fall plantings!

 

Litter happens and we can stop it!

Litter is a community wide problem. The war against litter in Pearland must be fought on several fronts.  We must work together as a community to decrease the amount of litter along our streets.

According to KAB, motorists and pedestrians are often blamed for litter. BUT there are actually seven primary sources of litter:

  • Household trash handling and its placement at the curb for collection.
  • Dumpsters used by businesses.
  • Loading docks.
  • Construction and demolition sites.
  • Trucks with uncovered loads.
  • Pedestrians
  • Motorists

When trash is not properly contained by households before setting it out or businesses don’t keep their dumpster closed – litter happens.  Litter is blown about by wind and traffic or carried by water away from it original source. It moves until trapped by a curb, building, or fence. Once litter starts to accumulate in a spot, it invites people to add more.

By being aware of the accidental ways that litter happens we can work on preventing those.   Intentional littering is becoming a bigger problem in Pearland. The only way to stop intentional littering is to change people’s attitudes about litter.
 
Help us combat litter by using the Don’t Mess with Texas Report a Litterer App.  When you see litter thrown or flying out of a vehicle, intentionally or accidentally, take down the following information—license plate number, make and color of vehicle, date and time, location, who tossed the litter, and what was tossed.  Either go to the above link or load the app on your smart phone.

 

Cigarette Butts are Litter

IMG_9074On February 20, 2016 Keep Pearland Beautiful will be hosting a cigarette litter awareness event. Every year it is hoped that volunteers will find less cigarettes than in years past.  This did happen last year.  Since no heavy rains have hit our area in several weeks, and the weather is projected to be good this year will be a good gauge of how many cigarettes are truly left at the 20 key intersections involved in our event.

UNLIKE other kinds of litter Cigarette Litter is a more intentional event.

People who litter cigarette butts and packaging do it with little thought about the impact on the environment.  Some reasons for this type of littering behavior:

  • the size small makes it easy to throw it down and not “see” it again
  • ignorance of the environmental impacts of cigarette butts
  • insufficient ash receptacles in public spaces
  • phase out of ash trays in automobiles
  • indoor smoking bans

To learn more about Cigarette Litter please check out the KPB Pinterest Board:

Follow Keep Pearland Beautiful’s board Cigarette Litter on Pinterest.

Taking Care of My Tree Seedling

Keep Pearland Beautiful gave away 140 seedings this past Saturday for our Arbor Day Celebration.  Not everyone who picks up a tree knows what to do with their tree.  For more information about the trees given away on January 23, 2016.

Now what do you do?  You picked up a tree seedling and you want it to live.  Our Trees in Pearland book (come by our office and pick one up for free) is a great resource.  But for those of you who missed it or want to delve deeper here are some great websites on seedling care.

The Arbor Day Foundation PDF on planting seedlings in pots (the instructions were written for the trees that people purchase from their gift tree program, but are perfect for the seedlings we gave away this year) : https://www.arborday.org/shopping/gifttrees/graphics/planting-instructions-pots.pdf

Planting and taking care of trees in the ground:

The Arbor Day Foundation : https://www.arborday.org/trees/tips/watering.cfm

Weyerhaeuser is a company that grows trees for lumber and cellulose fibers for use in household products has some good tips :  http://www.weyerhaeuser.com/timberlands/seedling-sales/western-seedlings/planting-and-care/

Green World Project : http://www.greenworldproject.net/tree-care.php

Whatever you do, plant your tree nurture and love it.

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”Chinese Proverb
Follow Keep Pearland Beautiful’s board Trees on Pinterest.

What is the benefit of your shade tree?

Trees are important oxygen producers, help provide energy saving shade and the presence of trees positively impacts our psychological well-being.

Some of these benefits of trees are difficult to quantify and measure.  Lucky for us the Davey Tree Company has a wonderful online tool that gives you an idea of how much money your shade tree is saving you.

Here is a sample of the benefit of one of the tree seedlings we are giving away on November 14, 2015 at our Arbor Day Celebration.

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 2.10.43 PM

 

 

Visit the Davey National Tree Benefit Calculator input your zip code, type of tree and  the diameter of the trunk.  When  white oak grows that is 12″ in diameter saves $110. So, come by and visit Keep Pearland Beautiful on Nov. 14, 2015 at the Pearland Old Townsite Farmer’s Market and get a seedling.  The best time to plant a tree was 25 years ago, the next best time it today!

 

Recycling Tires

Tires are recyclable and are used to make many products, from roads to sandals and other shoe materials.  In a landfill, tires leach out materials that are harmful to the environment.   In 2013 according to a report released by the Rubber Manufacturers Association 240 million light duty tires were disposed of in the U.S.  This is a lot of tires that need to be disposed of properly and of these only 8.2% are landfilled.

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 3.39.43 PM Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 3.40.20 PM

 

 

In Texas, the simplest thing you can do is leave old tires with your local retailer when you buy new tires.  Since there is a mandatory fee added to your tire purchase you might as well take advantage of this opportunity to get rid of your worn out tires.  If you already have some old tires sitting in an old shed or the back of your garage you have a couple options in the City of Pearland:

  1. Take them to a tire retailer and for a small fee they will take your tires and recycle them.
  2. Save them until November 14, 2015 and Keep Pearland Beautiful will accept your tires (8 car and light duty truck tires that must be off the rim per Pearland resident).

If you want so ideas on reusing and recycling tires into projects for your house and garden please check out our Pinterest board on Tire Recycling and Repurposing.
Follow Keep Pearland Beautiful’s board Tire Recycling and Repurposing on Pinterest.

Native and Adaptive Plants for Your Yard!

Picking out native and adaptive plants for your yard just got easier!  Every year KPB sells native and adaptive plants along with their Plant Thyme Fall Luncheon.  The luncheon and native plant sale will be Friday, October 9th at the Pearland First United Methodist Church Family Life Center, (2314 N. Grand, Pearland, TX  77581). Doors open at 10:30 AM for silent auction and plant shopping prior to the luncheon program.   The native and adaptive plant sale continues until 5:00 PM. The plant sale moves to the Pearland Farmers Market Saturday morning, October 10th from 8:00 AM until noon. The farmer’s market is located at Zychlinski Park, 2243 Grand Blvd.

Here is the Plant Sale Book 2015 it lists the plants and shrubs that will be available at the luncheon.  You can look up the plants see what they look like and what their growing requirements are so that you can add them to your current landscaping!  Chris Wiesinger the “Bulb Hunter” will be bringing bulb’s from Southern Bulb Company to sell as well.

Best ways to dispose of unused or unwanted medication

Got Drugs?  Well, if you have prescription and over the counter medications that you need to dispose of here are some tips…

First, remember that any prescribed medications should never be shared with anyone else and you should always completely finish your full course of antibiotics for them to be the most effective.  Second, the consumer information sheet that comes with every prescription will tell you how to dispose of any unused portions.

If you no longer have the sheet or are still unsure then the best option is to dispose of the medication whether it is prescribed or over the counter at the closest location for the next National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.  In Pearland the Stella Roberts Recycling Center and Constable Buck Stevens are sponsoring the event on September 26, 2015 from 10AM-2PM at the recycling center (5800 Magnolia, Pearland, TX 77584).

According to the DEA’s website, “The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.”

On the Drug Take-Back official website consumers can search by location to find the closest Drug Take-Back Day collection site.

For more information on disposing of medications you can visit:

If you can’t make it to the Take Back Event on September 26, 2015, most medications can be thrown away in the trash.  It is recommended that you remove them from their container and mix it in with undesirable trash that will make the medication unappealing to anyone who might be picking through your trash. One idea for making pills unappealing is to mix the pills with coffee grounds, bacon grease or spoiled leftovers.  Here is a list of medications that should be flushed down the drain.

Fall Gardening … it is time to get started!

We could feel fall in the air on Monday morning (September 14, 2015), the 64 degree temperature and lower humidity was a tease, a glimpse of what fall will be like.  With that first taste of fall, your thoughts should turn to cleaning out your summer vegetable garden and putting in your fall garden.  Even if you don’t eat a lot of the traditional fall vegetables (broccoli, squashes and carrots) the food pantry at Pearland Neighborhood Center will take any and all produce that your family can’t or won’t eat.  So, get your hands dirty and plant a fall garden.  For help you can visit this Fall Gardening Guide full of lots of great links and tips or this one by Texas Agrilife.

 

Follow Keep Pearland Beautiful’s board Fall Gardening on Pinterest.Follow Keep Pearland Beautiful’s board Gardening Tips on Pinterest.

The Top Ten Most Littered Items in Pearland

After reading through many years of Adopt A Spot Wrap Up Reports we have come up with the top most littered items in Pearland:

10.  Tires and Tire Debris (although this wasn’t common for these adopt a spots – the Community Service Workers pick up a lot of tires every week)

9.  Plastic Bags

8.  Glass Bottles

7. Fast Food Packaging

6.  Fast Food Cups

5.  Candy Wrappers

4.  Paper – especially shreds from lawn mowers running over paper

3.  Plastic drinking bottles (especially water bottles)

2.  Aluminum Cans (especially beer cans)

  1. Cigarette Butts

Fortunately, if you pick up lots of cigarette butts there is a way to recycle them.  KPB sends them to Terracycle.  So, carry two freezer sized bags on your next walk in Pearland, pick up cigarette butts and drop them off here at the KPB Office and we will send them to be recycled.

Follow Keep Pearland Beautiful’s board Litter and Trash on Pinterest.

Planting Natives is Good for Lots of Reasons

IMG_0119Keep America Beautiful started National Planting Day  to celebrate the value and power of native species in restoring ecological balance to the environment while creating greener, more beautiful communities. With a national focus on September 12, 2015 and activities happening throughout the Fall, national nonprofit Keep America Beautiful, its affiliates and its partners are mobilizing Americans to plant native species of trees, flowers, and plants.

Native species are losing ground to suburbanization, fragmented habitats, ornamental plants and invasive species. Yet we know that natives are critical to attracting specialized pollinators and insects, which in turn provide food for birds and ultimately many more animals up the food chain. Natives also provide habitat for wildlife. Natives are hardy, low maintenance and require less water than other ornamentals. A reliable reference website about native plants is American Beauties Native Plants and for Texas the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower is a resource https://www.wildflower.org/.

This year KPB will host the Gardening Expo taking place at the Lion’s Club Building (3350 S Main St, Pearland, TX 77581) on August 27, 2015 from 6-8 p.m.  The event will be free to the public.  There will be opportunities to learn about gardening and yard care by visiting with the vendors and participating in the fun activities that are planned for the event. As of July 7 HEB, Sprouts, Pearland Community Garden, and Pearland Old Townsite Farmer’s Market are all confirmed vendors.

Visit our Pinterest Board for Texas Native Plants:
Follow Keep Pearland Beautiful’s board Texas Native Plants on Pinterest.

The odd recycling questions we get…

We often get odd questions about what is and isn’t recyclable in the 96 gallon recycling carts.  The cart is big and inviting.  We could fit a lot of things in one.  The problem is that if we don’t put the right things in our carts it makes our recycling a less valuable commodity.

So, here is a list of some of the things that are NOT RECYCLABLE in your cart and some information about how to properly dispose of them:

  • plastic bags and plastic film – take to your local retail store that has plastic bag recycling.
  • garden hoses – need to be put in the trash.
  • plastic and wire clothes hangers – plastic hangers need to be put in the trash, some dry cleaners will take back their metal hangers, they will take them at the Stella Roberts Recycling Center if they are separate from the regular recycling.
  • Soiled pizza boxes – if there is cheese and or grease on your pizza box then it belongs in the trash.
  • shredded paper – separate from your other recyclables and take them to the Stella Roberts Recycling Center they will add your shreds to the bales they create using their shredder.
  • clothing – donate used clothing.

This list is by no means everything that is not recyclable.  You can always check our recycling web page to see what is recyclable curbside.

Check out some cool recycling resources on our pinterest board:
Follow Keep Pearland Beautiful’s board Recycling in Pearland on Pinterest.

What is a Litter Evaluation Bag?

Tuesday August 11, 2015 KPB Staff and one of our wonderful volunteers brought a Waste in Place Activity (Litter Evaluation Bags) to the KIA Campers at Pearland Parks & Recreation.  We discussed with the campers: why people litter, the consequences of littering and litter in Texas.  A  litter evaluation bag is a bag full of different types of litter.  A group of people sorts the litter and ranks is from most harmful to least harmful after deciding what that means to their group.

KIA Campers learned about litter today and littering behaviors.  Check out the photo album we created on Facebook!

Posted by Keep Pearland Beautiful on Wednesday, August 12, 2015

 

The Don’t Mess with Texas website has a list of 10 litter facts :

LITTER FACT #1: 1 in 4 Texans admits to littering in the past year.

LITTER FACT #2: Approximately 435 million pieces of visible litter accumulate on Texas roadways each year.

LITTER FACT #3: The most common forms of litter are food/organic material, cigarette butts, and small pieces of paper—receipts, gum wrappers.

LITTER FACT #4: 71% of litter consists of microlitter that is not easily seen on roadways, such as cigarette butts, straws, and gum wrappers.

LITTER FACT #5: Tobacco trash is the most common form of litter found on Texas roadways.

LITTER FACT #6: You can be fined $500 every time you litter in Texas. And, if what you toss weighs more than 5 pounds, you may have to pay up to $2,000.

LITTER FACT #7: Tire debris is the second largest component of litter and is pervasive across all areas of Texas.

LITTER FACT #8: If every person in Texas picked up just two pieces of trash every month, our highways would be completely litter-free in just one year.

LITTER FACT #9: 62% of Texas smokers admit to tossing their cigarette butts out of the window of their cars. Please keep your butts in the vehicle at all times. Thanks.

LITTER FACT #10: Litter is trash that is not disposed of properly in a trashcan. Apple cores are litter too!
Follow Keep Pearland Beautiful’s board Litter and Trash on Pinterest.

What do I do with clothes I no longer want?

With our first Recycled Runway Fashion Show less than a week away Keep Pearland Beautiful is thinking of clothing recycling and making clothes out of recycling.

Recycling clothing should be as easy as recycling other reusable materials but it isn’t.  Clothing, shoes and other textiles do not belong in your curbside recycling cart or bin. Much like plastic bag or plastic film recycling, recycling clothing requires planning and a trip somewhere.  For clothing and textile recycling a trip to the closest clothing donation store, resale/consignment shop or recycling facility is required (http://keeppearlandbeautiful.org/recycling-waste/reuse/).

The Stella Roberts Recycling Center has a drop box out front that accepts just about any kind of textile product.  The ATRS bin accepts any and all clothing, shoes, toys and household textiles. This includes new, used, gently worn, dry-cleaned, laundered, out of season, outgrown, misfitting, unwanted clothing in any condition, regardless of gender or size. This includes garments that are worn, torn, missing a button or zipper, have small imperfections, rips or stains. Categories include jackets, coats, sweaters, tops, bottoms, maternity wear, children’s, babies, undergarments, athletic gear, bathing suits, hats, gloves, socks, laptop covers, small luggage, bags, wallets, accessories and jewelry, hospital scrubs, uniforms, corporate shirts with logos, costumes and much more! Household textiles including soft toys, stuffed animals, blankets, sheets, towels, shower curtains, comforters, drapery, mats, small rugs and more are also accepted.

After our exciting photography session with our designers and models last Saturday we are excited for everyone in Pearland to see what wonderful fashions can be made with items that would otherwise have been trashed or sent to the recycling center.  Make sure to come out to the Pearland Town Center Pavilion on Sunday, August 9, 2015 from 4PM-6PM and see what our participants have created.  You will even have the opportunity to vote for the fan favorite award.

Follow Keep Pearland Beautiful’s board Recycled or Trash Fashion on Pinterest.

Can I grow fruit trees in Pearland?

Fruit trees grow very well in Pearland, Texas.  Having success growing fruit trees starts with picking the right trees  for your yard, having a water supply for dry spells and picking the right site to plant your tree(s).  In addition, every successful orchard has an owner with a proactive weed and pest management schedule.

The City of Pearland has an Edible Fruit Trail along a section of the Mary’s Creek Trail parallel to the 5000 block of Magnolia.  There are many different kinds of fruit trees and some fruit vines along the trail. Find a complete list of fruits and when they should be ripe here http://www.pearlandtx.gov/residents/about-pearland/urban-forestry/mary-s-creek-trail . For questions about the edible fruit trail contact the Urban Forester Tyler Froberg (

Another great resource for fruit trees is the Texas Agrilife Website (http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/extension/homefruit/stone/stone.html).  The local county Agrilife extension office sponsors the Brazoria County Master Gardeners you can learn more about this group through their webpage http://txmg.org/brazoria/.  If you have a question about your garden, lawn, or trees call the Master Gardener’s help-line at 979-864-1558, ext. 119 or send your question via email to: [email protected].

So, yes we can grow fruit trees in Pearland.  The key to your success with fruit trees is to do your homework and put time into your orchard.  Every successful garden project happens because of the time you spend tending to your plants!

The garden lecture at 7pm on August 13, 2015 will be about “Stone Fruit Pest Management.”

Stone Fruit Pest Control (1)

Some examples of the stone fruits (or drupes) are cherries, apricots, plums, peaches, nectarines and almonds.

Follow Keep Pearland Beautiful’s board Stone Fruit Trees (Drupes) on Pinterest.

It’s hot! How can I save on money on cooling my house?

  1. Install a programmable thermostat, some of these can even be controlled remotely from your smart phone
  2. Install a ceiling fan above your beds
  3. Replace the air conditioner filters at least monthly
  4. Plant trees around the perimeter of your home (check the Davey Tree Expert Company benefits of tree calculator to see how much value and savings trees can add to your home)
  5. Delay doing heat generating activities (like running the dishwasher or clothes dryer)until late in the evening after the sun goes down
  6. Don’t air-condition unused rooms, consider zoning your house so that you can air-conditioned areas that you use
  7. Turn your thermostat up when the house is empty

Follow Keep Pearland Beautiful’s board Energy Use on Pinterest.

Is recycling harder than we think it is?

Recycling is easy. But Perhaps we are too entrenched in the world of “green” living, maybe we here at KPB have lost touch with how difficult it is to make decisions about recycling.

At the latest City of Pearland 4th of July Celebration a lot of what we call solid waste was put into dumpsters and from there will end up in a landfill. This happened despite the placement of recycling containers next to the trash receptacles (landfill cans).  As a community we need to start using the recycling bins more!

There wasn’t a lot of trash in the recycling containers (some french fries, but overall it was fairly clean). At an event like this the key to successful recycling is sharing with the public what you want in each container. The trash receptacles should have contained soiled paper, polystyrene (#6 plastics like foam cups and bowls) and food. The recycling containers should have had everything else in it (clean paper & cardboard, plastic bottles & containers, glass bottles, and aluminum cans).

Here is how the solid waste looked at the July 4th Celebration:

July 4th, 2015 (1)

For more information about Litter and Trash check out our Pinterest Board: Follow Keep Pearland Beautiful’s board Litter and Trash on Pinterest.

For more information about what is can go into a recycling container : WM-Poster-8 Revised with Glass

Is it possible to have a zero waste event?

A “Zero Waste Event” according to Wikipedia is one in which event organizers plan ahead to reduce solid waste from the event, reuse various elements such as banners, and set up Zero-Waste Stations for those recyclable and compostable materials such as paper cups, food scraps, and plastic water bottles that are generated by the event. Zero Waste Events can range from large-scale sports events to weddings and small parties.

There are a lot of great resources for putting on a Zero Waste Event.

Sustainable Connections : https://sustainableconnections.org/bizdev/tzw/tzwevents

Seven Generations Ahead : https://sevengenerationsahead.org/zero-waste/zero-waste-overview

Harvard University Sustainability : http://green.harvard.edu/tools-resources/how/zero-waste-event-guide

POCKET PEARevent recycling (1)Keep Pearland Beautiful held the Pocket Pear Environmental Scholarship Fundraiser Event on June 27, 2015 and although we didn’t try to make it a zero waste event we did manage to recycle 90# of glass and plastic.  KPB created a reusable event banner, email invitations and re-create table decorations from recyclables and reuse them from year to year.  Perhaps our next event can be a zero waste event.

Follow Keep Pearland Beautiful’s board Getting to a Zero Waste Event on Pinterest.

Glass Recycling in Pearland is a Crush!

The Stella Roberts Recycling Center (5800 Magnolia, Pearland, TX  77584) has added a new glass crusher purchased with Houston-Galveston Area Council of Governments solid waste grant funds, making Pearland a more environmentally friendly city.  The nearest glass recycling facility is in Midlothian Texas, glass is heavy and shipping costs to get it to Midlothian are high. By crushing glass and using it locally Pearland  will reduce our carbon footprint.

Recycling glass at the center is easy.  Empty the glass bottles and containers.  The glass does not have to be free of paper labels.  Just keep glass separate from the rest of your recyclables so that you can easily put it into the glass only bin at the Stella Roberts Recycle Center.

KPB and the City of Pearland would like to see more glass recycled in Pearland. Not only can glass be reused continuously, it can also be used to beautify our community. The glass crusher  can crush and pulverize glass into sand and gravel pieces with no sharp edges, resulting in a great material for landscaping and walkways. You can see the results of what can be done with crushed glass by visiting the Yard Wise Garden adjacent to the Stella Roberts Recycle Center.

All colored and clear glass can be put in your recycling cart for curbside pick up or dropped off at the Stella Recycling Center at 5800 Magnolia, Pearland, TX 77584. Here at Keep Pearland Beautiful, we recommend keeping your glass separated from your other recyclables and dropping it off at the Recycling Center.  By keeping glass recycling local, you can help reduce our carbon footprint while beautifying our local landscapes.

For more information about recycling and other programs sponsored by Keep Pearland Beautiful please visit our website mykpb.org or call 281-652-1659.

For more information about DO IT YOURSELF Glass Projects and ideas for using crushed glass visit our Pinterest board on glass recycling.

Follow Keep Pearland Beautiful’s board Glass Recycling Ideas on Pinterest.

What is eco-friendly landscaping and why should I do it?

For those of you that missed the Garden Lecture on May 14, 2015 by agrilife extension agent Beth McMahon…

Here is what eco-friendly landscaping is according to the EPA’s website and why you should consider making your yard eco-friendly.

According to the EPA (http://www.epa.gov/greenkit/landscap.htm)

What it is: Eco-friendly landscaping is beneficial landscaping, sometimes referred to as natural or native landscaping though it is more than that.  It contains a number of principles that revolve around balancing our needs and sense of beauty with those of nature (our ecosystems) because, in the long run, they are interrelated.

Why use it: Traditional landscaping and current landscape maintenance practices, while frequently meeting human needs and aesthetics, often have harmful impacts. The clearing of native woodlands and other natural habitats for urban/suburban growth and subsequent planting of grounds with vast lawns and manicured arrangements of exotic ornamental plants place a heavy toll on environmental and human health. Traditional type of a landscape requires extensive use of mechanical equipment, unnecessary consumption of our limited natural resources (water and fossil fuels), frequent application of fertilizers and pesticides, and the generation of significant quantities of solid waste. As a result, our surface and ground waters are being polluted; destructive flooding is more commonplace; our neighborhood’s tranquility and air quality are compromised by noisy, polluting landscape equipment; and our landfills are being consumed by yard waste. Furthermore, the biodiversity of our ecosystems is suffering from the introduction of invasive exotic landscape plants.

Follow Keep Pearland Beautiful’s board Eco-Friendly Landscaping on Pinterest.

“How will you preserve our natural resources for future generations?”

Keep Pearland Beautiful wants to know, “how will you preserve our natural resources for future generations?” Please visit our Facebook page and share how you will do your part as a comment on our Posting “Earth Day Challenge.” Use the hashtag #EarthDayPearland and you may win a KPB EARTH DAY T-shirt and Water Pouch!

Ways to Celebrate Earth Day:

 
Follow Keep Pearland Beautiful’s board Earth Day on Pinterest.

 

Follow Keep Pearland Beautiful’s board Energy Use on Pinterest.
 
Follow Keep Pearland Beautiful’s board Sustainability on Pinterest.

 
Follow Keep Pearland Beautiful’s board Food Waste Reduction on Pinterest.

What day is Earth Day?

The answer around here is Earth Day is every day.  Taking care of the earth is our responsibility every day and we are grateful to have the help of lots of volunteers.  Come out Saturday April 18, 2015 from 10AM to Noon and learn more about how you can promote environmental responsibility.  Keep Pearland Beautiful is partnering with the City of Pearland to put on an Earth Day Celebration at the Pearland Recreation Center, 4141 Bailey Rd. in Pearland.

Exhibits, games, clowns, classes and crafts will all be a part of an Earth Day Celebration sponsored by Keep Pearland Beautiful (KPB), the City of Pearland and four middle school environmental clubs.

The event is set for Saturday, April 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Pearland Recreation Center, 4141 Bailey Road in Pearland. It will include more than 30 games, exhibits and activities for the entire family. There is no charge for anything at the event.

There are more than 20 exhibitors, including Texas Snakes, Moody Gardens and Texas Parks and Wildlife. Middle school student from the KIPPERS (Kids In Pearland Preserving the Environment through Responsible Service) will staff the games and help with other activities.  There will also be four gardening related classes presented at no cost. They are: Urban Forestry by Pearland Urban Forester Tyler Froberg; Nature Center History by Tracey Prothro of the Eddie V. Gray Wetlands Education and Recreation Center; Native Snakes and Reptiles by Clint Pustejovsky of Texas Snakes; and Composting by Delores Fenwick.

Learn more about Earth Day and Activities that you can do:

Follow Keep Pearland Beautiful’s board Earth Day on Pinterest.

What is litter, where does it come from and is Pearland dirty?

According to Google,

“lit·ter ˈlidər/noun

  1. trash, such as paper, cans, and bottles, that is left lying in an open or public place.
    “fines for dropping litter”
    synonyms: garbage, refuse, junk, waste, debris, scraps, leavings, fragments,detritus, trash, rubbish

    “never drop litter”

Litter is a problem that affects us all.  A group consisting of Keep Pearland Beautiful (KPB) staff and volunteers and representatives from the City of Pearland did a windshield survey on March 18 to determine the extent of the littering problem in Pearland.

KPB is required to do this survey, called the Community Appearance Index, each year to maintain its affiliation with Keep America Beautiful. Riding around the city in a van, a volunteer scores specific areas to determine the amount of litter. They use a scale of one (1) to four (4) with one meaning no litter, two equaling slightly littered, three meaning littered and four being extremely littered.

When the survey is finished, the individual scores are averaged to give an overall score. The overall score this year was 1.464. The scores have consistently been lower than 2 in Pearland since 2011, when the overall score was 1.72.

This year’s Community Appearance Index team was August and Ruth Aimone, Debbie Cooley, Dorman Davidson, Delores Fenwick, Michelle Graham, Andrew Miller, Marisa Vazquez and Fay Watson. In addition to checking the areas for litter, one team member was assigned to check for bandit signs and another for graffiti. The overall score for bandit signs was 1.22 and for graffiti was 1.04.

In addition to scoring each area, team members wrote down notable conditions in each area, such as discarded tires, junk vehicles, high weeds, etc. Keep Pearland Beautiful uses this information to determine areas that need special attention by community cleanup groups or community service workers.

KPB also uses this information as it attempts to educate and inform citizens about littering and its sources. Keep America Beautiful knows that there is no such thing as a single source of litter or a single profile of a litterer. What they do know is that there are seven primary sources of litter:

  • Pedestrians or cyclists who do not use receptacles.
  • Motorists who do not use car ashtrays or litter bags.
  • Business dumpsters that are improperly covered.
  • Loading docks and commercial or recreational marinas with inadequate waste receptacles.
  • Construction and demolition sites without tarps and receptacles to contain debris and waste.
  • Trucks with uncovered loads on local roads and highways.
  • Household trash scattered before or during collection.

KAB has also found three major reasons why people litter. They have a tendency to litter where trash has already accumulated, where they don’t have a sense of ownership or where they think someone will cleanup after them, such as at a sporting event or movie theater.

Because people tend to litter where trash has already accumulated, KPB believes it is important to have periodic community cleanups such as the Great Texas Trash-Off, scheduled for April 11 at 7:30 a.m. For more information about all Keep Pearland Beautiful litter prevention programs give KPB send us an email at [email protected] or call the office at 281-652-1659.
Follow Keep Pearland Beautiful’s board Litter and Trash on Pinterest.

What plants will attract butterflies?

IMG_0078 IMG_0119 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gasteracantha_cancriformisThere are a lot of resources on the internet for butterfly gardening.  The key to a successful butterfly garden is planting native plants that will attract the butterflies that are native to your area.  Butterflies are important pollinators so please consider making your butterfly garden a North American Butterfly Association (NABA) certified garden.

SOME GOOD BUTTERFLY RESOURCES FOR OUR AREA

Follow Keep Pearland Beautiful’s board Monarch Butterfly Garden on Pinterest.

How Do You Recycle Paper?

Paper recycling is an easy and fun do it yourself project.  It is a great activity to do as a family, or a group.  Children of all ages will especially have fun if you add food coloring, dried flower petals, or crushed dry herbs. There are a lot of great demonstration videos online.

Paper can be made up of any plant fiber.  It is most commonly made from pine trees.  It is also made out of rice, cotton,and hemp plants.

In papermaking, a dilute suspension of fibers in water is drained through a screen, so that a mat of randomly interwoven fibers is laid down. Water is removed from this mat of fibers by pressing it or putting it through a roller. The dry product becomes paper. To make recycled paper the dilute suspension of fibers is made up of ground up paper. This can be done in any food processor or blender.

Follow Keep Pearland Beautiful’s board DIY Make Paper on Pinterest.

Why do I have to pick up my pet’s waste?

People tend to forget about pet waste when they think about water pollution.  Especially dog waste that is left in yards, parks other public spaces.  Pet waste pollutes our storm water run off.  Dog waste is cited as the 3rd or 4th largest contributor of bacterial pollution in urban watersheds.  According to a recent white paper published by the EPA up to 20% of watershed pollution can be attributed to bacteria that is traced back to dogs as the host.  Many of these bacteria are human pathogens if they are ingested by humans.

The most effective way to take care of pet waste is to pick it up and flush it down your toilet.  Pet waste flushed down the toilet will be sanitized along with the rest of the sewage.  In Pearland it is legal to bag up your pet waste and dispose of it in your garbage.

What is a pest?

The power of a google search reveals that…
pest. noun
1) A destructive insect or other animal that attacks crops, food, livestock, etc.
informal
2) an annoying person or thing; a nuisance.
synonyms: nuisance, annoyance, irritation, irritant, thorn in one’s flesh/side, vexation, trial, the bane of one’s life, menace, trouble, problem, worry, bother; More
noun: the pest

Check out the KPB Garden Pest Pinterest Board for good information about different yard and garden pests.
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What are wetlands and do we have any in Pearland?

Wetlands are the link between land and water.  They may or may not always contain water.

  • According to the EPA website wetlands are lands where saturation with water is the dominant factor determining the nature of soil development and the types of plant and animal communities living in the soil and on its surface (Cowardin, December 1979). Wetlands vary widely because of regional and local differences in soils, topography, climate, hydrology, water chemistry, vegetation, and other factors, including human disturbance. Indeed, wetlands are found from the tundra to the tropics and on every continent except Antarctica.
  • According to the “Clean Water Act” wetlands are defined as “those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs and similar areas.”
  • Health wetlands are important to the our environment because they filter water cleaning pollutants out of the water through the native plants and microbes that live in them.  These wetlands are important habitat for waterfowl, amphibians and reptiles.

Pearland has a lot of wetlands, serving as detention ponds and stormwater runoff catches.  One such wetland can be found behind the Stella Roberts Recycle Center (5800 Magnolia, Pearland, TX 77584).

Pearland proclaimed March 7, 2015 as Pearland Wetland Awareness Day. Check out the awesome work that everyone did. All of these people showed up on a cold Saturday morning as we empowered Pearland citizens to be responsible for their environment.

Follow Keep Pearland Beautiful’s board Wetlands on Pinterest.

What is the Stella Roberts Golden Pear Award?

Helen-Beckman-Received-QuiltThe Stella Roberts Golden Pear Award – (Our top award) The individual receiving this award must have made contributions to improving or protecting the environment in a number of areas (i.e. recycling, composting, beautification, cleanup/litter prevention, etc.) or must have made a significant contribution in one particular area.  Last year’s winner was JoAnne Knodel.  Nominate someone for the 2015 award today…

http://keeppearlandbeautiful.org/programs/2014-environmental-awards-nomination-form/