The New Houston – From Green Energy to Web Hosting – Houston Is on a Roll!

Bike Share kiosks in downtown. Electric vehicle charging stations at the grocery store. Over 15 miles of new rail lines being constructed. Wind turbines and solar on rooftops. Solar-powered mini-offices at schools and parks. E-cycling and polystyrene foam recycling. Urban gardens surrounding office buildings. LEED-certified historic buildings. Complete Streets in urban neighborhoods. Accessible and recreation-oriented bayous.

What City is this you ask? Houston, and not only is Houston going green, this great city has become a technology mecca with many web hosting firms developing strong relationships in the city.

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The New Houston.

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Innovation, creativity and a black gold rush spirit dominated industrial Houston at the turn of the last century – putting Houston on the map as an economic leader.

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Today, Houston is at an historic juncture. Decision-drivers for the city and the region are no longer only economic. There is an emerging recognition that the city has the building blocks to be one of the most livable, equitable and sustainable places in the nation, and lead the next revolution: the green revolution.

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What are these building blocks? Recently, Forbes Magazine placed Houston as the number one city for young professionals. And young professionals drive innovation and use new thinking to solve old issues. Houston has a business-friendly environment and a plethora of large companies conducting business in new ways. Houston has high average incomes and a concentration of graduates from elite colleges from across the country. Also, for the first time in thirty years, the Kinder Houston Area Study revealed a significant increase in the number of residents who support mass transit and prefer a less automobile-dependent, more urbanized lifestyle. And Mayor Annise Parker’s forward-thinking and innovative approaches and initiatives are putting Houston on the map as a national green leader.

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What’s most exciting about Houston is that few people think it will lead the green revolution. But this sleeping giant is starting to awaken. Houstonians love a good challenge and love to save money.

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At the turn of the last century, rich resources made Houston a national economic leader. At the turn of this century, rich resources will do the same. Texas has, by far, the largest installed wind power capacity of any U.S. state. The City of Houston capitalized on this and has been recognized by the EPA as the number one municipal purchaser of green power and the seventh largest overall purchaser in the nation.

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The City has a robust partnership with the University of Houston’s College of Architecture’s Green Building Components Program. Their innovative faculty has designed the first movable solar powered office/generator, and the City, through a grant, has purchased 17 of these units for emergency preparedness and other uses. Houston also recently received two large grants to reduce the cost of solar for residents and test out new types of rooftop solar technology.

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Houston does not only create cleaner ways to use energy, Houston actually uses less energy. The City knows about energy efficiency: over 80 City facilities are expected to achieve guaranteed energy use reductions of 30% with paybacks of, on average, less than ten years.

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The City also wants energy efficiency to be part of the urban fabric of Houston. Through our Residential Energy Efficiency Program (REEP), led by the General Services Department, the City has helped 13k Houston residents weatherize their homes, resulting in 12-20% kWh reduction and $60-125 savings each month. On the commercial side, the award-winning Houston Green Office Challenge and the City’s partnership in the DOE’s Better Buildings Challenge are encouraging building owners and property managers to find innovative measures to reduce their energy and water consumption and decrease waste.

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We also know that equally important to encouraging high performing buildings is looking at our codes. In January 2012, the City, with leadership from the Public Works and Engineering Department, set the bar high by adopting the Houston Residential Energy Code. This code makes Houston’s standards 5% above the state code for residential energy efficiency standards, and also requires all new residential buildings to be solar ready. And Houston is poised to adopt another 5% increase above state code this year.

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It’s not just about energy efficiency. Houston also embraces green buildings. Currently Houston is number four in the nation in the number of LEED certified buildings with 186 certified projects. That’s up from #7 just a year ago.

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One of the most impressive pieces of the green revolution is the emphasis on public transportation and new transportation technologies. Under the leadership of METRO, Houston will soon have three new rail lines, adding over 15 miles to the system.

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Houston is at the forefront of the electric car movement. Houston was one of the first cities to receive EV cars for a City fleet, which now includes 40 Nissan Leafs and plug-in hybrids. And with partners such as NRG launching the first private investment in public EV charging infrastructure, Houston is leading in electric vehicle readiness.

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In addition to electric, CNG is offering cleaner, cheaper fuel for additional options: In a partnership with Apache, the Airport’s new parking shuttles at IAH are being powered by natural gas.

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With the launch of Houston B-cycle, the City’s bike share program is now a reality with 3 stations and 18 bikes in downtown, with $1 million in committed funding to grow to 20 stations and 225 bikes by the fall of 2012. This grant-funded program offers a transportation alternative for citizens and will help address pollution issues, traffic congestion, and rising oil costs.

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And the City, under the leadership of the Houston Parks Board and the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, recently won a $15 million highly competitive U.S. Department of Transportation’s 2012 TIGER grant. This project will assist in eliminating gaps in Houston’s bike grid: the project includes building 7.5 miles of off-street shared-use paths, 2.8 miles of sidewalks, and 7.9 miles of on-street bikeways.

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And the dream and vision behind the Bayou Greenway project is becoming more of a reality. This proposed linear park system is unrivaled in its breadth and scope.

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Finally, sustainability must encompass urban agriculture. The City Gardens and Farmers Market Initiative supports urban gardens and markets: the City has planted numerous new vegetable gardens (some of which are highlighted in First Lady Michele Obama’s new book, American Grown) and, with its partner Urban Harvest, has encouraged the sale and purchase of local food by starting a weekly farmers market at City Hall, with over 40 vendors.

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In addition, the Mayor’s Council on Health and the Environment created an obesity task force to look at the importance of healthy eating and exercise. The Healthy Houston initiative will review and implement sustainable food policies for Houston to create work, school, and neighborhood environments conducive to healthier eating and increased physical activity. And under the leadership of Councilmember Stephen Costello, Houston is working to minimize food deserts and increase food access.

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These initiatives are helping to make Houston a growing, thriving, modern, green city of the future, a destination for visitors, a magnet for new residents and a city well positioned in the global market.

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The Past of Houston Outdoors Via an Houston Apartment Locator

Houstonians have neither forgotten nature nor neglected the need for recreation. The city offers its residents numerous parks, resorts and indoor and outdoor activities for adults and children. At present, Houston has 276 parks encompassing 6,133 acres of land, and 12,236 acres of water. The parks include 18 hole golf courses, three tennis centers, 52 community recreation centers, 85 neighborhood tennis courts, 38 swimming pools and 287 softball, baseball, football, soccer, and rugby fields. Many of these recreational facilities, available to the public, are utilized by the Houston Parks & Recreation Department (HPRD) for classes in everything from arts, crafts, dance and drama to sports for children and adults.

Park visitors may pursue independently such outdoor activities as jogging, camping and biking, during the winter and summer. Many parks offer riding trails, playgrounds, water sports, picnicking and nature study. Residents may enjoy gymnastics, square dancing and round dancing. Children six years and up may learn judo, karate and self-defense in Houston parks and therapeutic recreation for the blind, deaf, developmentally disabled and occupationally handicapped is also available.

Houston is particularly proud of its exercise-trails. The Memorial Trail, a $100,000 three-mile, rotted pine bark loop beginning west of the Memorial Tennis Courts, drew 879,000 exercisers in 2000. Recently completed, the Braeswood Exercise-Trail runs from Hermann Park to Bissonnet at the Southwest Tennis Center, and an additional ten miles to Mason Park is ready. Unusually enough, Houston features an Exercise-Trail for the physically challenged in Hermann Park.

The Houston Parks Department is now implementing a three year, $40 million appropriation to establish more “passive recreation space” parks. These park spaces are especially designed for children and the elderly. In addition, a group known as the Park People, has come together within the past year to promote park land acquisition, parks legislation and donation of park space. The most significant donation to date has been the Brown Foundation’s gift of Hermann Brown Park in Northeast Houston, an 850-acre plot valued at over $10 million.

Most Houston parks devote themselves to nature and recreation. Neighborhood parks abound, but for a variety of activities there are two large parks, Hermann and Memorial. Perhaps the most versatile of the two is Hermann Park. South of the central business district and bordering the Texas Medical Center complex, Hermann encompasses 410 acres of well kept area. It features the most elaborate playground in the city, along with picnic areas, a recreation center, a golf course, mini train rides, fishing ponds, horse and jogging trails, ball fields and “places to visit.” The last include the Hermann Park Garden Center, a meeting place for botanical groups, a site for flower shows and the home of three beautiful gardens (rose, camellia and fragrant), through which visitors may wander. From here visitors can reach the Houston Zoological Gardens by foot. The Zoological Gardens contain both a main zoo and a children’s zoo. A large variety of animals reside in both garden and cages, making for a day of fun and communing with nature. Nearby centers of interest include the Museum of Natural Science, the Planetarium and Miller Theatre, the outdoor haven for many free spring and summertime cultural events.

Houston Attractions

Ride Through the Houston Attractions

The largest city in the state of Texas in USA, Houston is the focal point of Harris County and the main economic seat of the Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown metropolitan area. Doing justice to its immense size, this Bayou City is the center of some of Texas’s unique and interesting Houston attractions.

Top Houston attractions

Bayou Place – Situated in the center of Houston’s Downtown Theater District, the Bayou Place occupies an area of 130,000 square foot and is devoted to amusement and entertainment purposes with the area filled with theaters, restaurants, bars and lounges. Your evenings can take off with candle light dinner at the renowned Hard Rock Café or the traditional Italian trattoria, Mingalone. Get yourself tickets to the latest box office hits and enjoy a show at the Angelika Film Center and head on to ROCBAR the biggest rock and roll disco.

Galleria Mall – Do the rounds of the biggest mall in Texas as you check out each of the several upscale stores including Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue, Dior, Tiffany and Co., Yves Saint Laurent and Louis Vuitton. Occupying the area just beyond the 610 loop in Houston’s Uptown District, the mall also has two different Westin hotels.

Houston Zoo – Preserving more than 4,500 animals as well as 900 bird species, the Houston Zoo has facilities of a guided tour which takes you through the cages of some of the most interesting animals and birds; feed the lion cub and be with a veterinarian staff for the whole day. Considered to be the seventh most visited zoological garden in the country, it is a nice place to stroll through the manicured gardens and meet the various animals here.

Houston Museum District – Situated inside a radius of 1.5 mile of Herman Park and one of the top Houston attractions, the Houston Museum District is home to a number of art galleries, museums, and cultural hubs. Also home to the Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, the Museum of Fine Arts proudly preserves a collection of over 56,000 pieces of work of art. Travel a little further down to find the John P. McGovern Health Museum which houses the city’s first and sole 4D Theater. Other Houston attractions in this area include the Houston Center for Photography, the Lawndale Art Center and Holocaust Museum.

Downtown Aquarium – Check out more than 400 species of underwater life at Downtown Aquarium. You can, at the same time, dine on the best of food beside this 150,000 gallon two-level tanks namely, Louisiana Swamp, Shipwreck, Rainforest, Sunken Temple, Gulf of Mexico, Discovery Rig, White Tigers of the Maharaja’s Temple,
Shark Voyage. Meet the alligators, turtles, crayfish, spotted gar, bullfrogs, catfish and sharks as you move along them.

Some of the other Houston attractions include:

• The Neighborhood of Montrose
• Splashtown
• Kemah Boardwalk
• Old Town Spring

Houston attractions are varied and numerous – you have to check them out slowly and with patience but at the end of it you will surely have tasted some of the best travel experiences.

Houston Heights Offers Much More Than Just A Unique And Historic Neighborhood

Everyone that lives in Texas knows that everything is bigger and better here. However, what is biggest and best in Texas, is Houston Heights. Houston Heights Real Estate is located just north of Interstate 10, south of Loop 610 and west of Highway 45. This exciting and innovative neighborhood of over 4000 homes in Houston has undergone an extraordinary home appreciation and development within the last 10 years. Discover for yourself how moving to it can be not only a great move financially, but emotionally and spiritually as well.

Houston Heights originally began as a streetcar suburb. Mr. Oscar Martin Carter founded the neighborhood, through his Omaha and South Texas Land Company. Shortly after, the Association was formed in order to bring back life to the city through preservation and restoration of a variety of projects and historical sites within the area. There are many neighborhoods that are included in Houston Heights, and those are Logan, Cottage Grove, Garden Oaks, Timbergrove, Crestwood, Rice Military and Memorial Park. It is located in the 77008 zip code, and there are a large number of multifamily homes, excellent value homes and many other types of real estate for sale there as well.

It offers more than just finely crafted homes and real estate. The neighborhood of Houston Heights offers a variety of annual events that are held there, which include the Historic Heights Home and Garden Tour, the Heights Garage Sale, the Heights Festival, Christmas in the Heights and the Heights Fun Run. It also has an extraordinarily unique 19th St. historic business district, and the Heights playground was completely funded, designed and constructed by the community of the Heights for the children.

Houston Heights prides itself on its quality and distinction, and its downtown is known for its architecture and small-town character, as well as its proximity to downtown Houston. It has an enforced deed restriction, which helps to keep the neighborhood’s charm and character intact. All of this historic influence provides this exciting community many advantages that other neighborhoods in Houston cannot offer. Also, from the Woodland Heights on the southeast side of it, you can see the downtown skyline from many of the second story buildings in the area.

Finding your next home in Houston Heights is extremely easy, fast and exciting. All you need to do, is find a registered real estate agent, they can help you with providing you with a list of the best value homes for sale, can offer you 7 Houston home sale tips as well as provide you with the 2011 Houston Market Trends Report that proffers the best neighborhoods that offer the best buys since 2002. You can find your next home on the Internet, or via an MLS listing. All of these MLS listings offer all of the homes that are for sale in Houston Heights, and are replete with the description about the size, type, year, location and the broker that currently holds that particular property. Discover for yourself how living in Houston Heights is not only fun and exciting, but offers a richness and value that is unsurpassed.

Successfully Managing Home Equity to Increase Liquidity, Safety and Rate of Return

What’s the biggest secret in real estate? Your mortgage is a loan against your income, not against the value of your house. Without an income, you often can’t get a loan. If you suddenly experience financial difficulties, would you rather have $25,000 cash to help you make your payments or an additional $25,000 of equity trapped in your home? Anyone who ever lost their home to foreclosure would have been better off if they had their equity separated from their home in a liquid, safe, conservative side fund that could be used to make mortgage payments during their time of need. In 2003, financial planner Doug Andrew was the first to articulate the strategy the wealthy have been using for decades in his book, Missed Fortune. Doug educates his readers to view their mortgage and home equity through a different lens–the lens used by the affluent. He shows how relatively minor changes in home equity perception and positioning can produce monumental long-term effects in financial security.

Many Americans believe the best way to pay off a home early is to pay extra principal on your mortgage. Similarly, many finance professors think a 15-year loan saves you money by reducing the interest you pay. However, Doug points out that this thinking is flawed. If you set aside the monthly payment difference between a 15-year and a 30-year loan as well as the tax savings into a safe side account earning a conservative rate of return, you will have enough to pay off your home in 15 years with $25,000 to spare!

In April 1998, The Journal of Financial Planning presented the first academic study undertaken on the question of 15-year vs. 30-year mortgages. They concluded the 30-year loan is better. Based on that same logic, wouldn’t an interest-only loan be even better than an amortizing loan? And due to the tax deductibility of mortgage interest and compounding returns, you can borrow at a higher rate and invest at a lower rate and still make a significant profit.

The Importance of Separating Equity From Your Home In Missed Fortune, Doug suggests that people strongly consider separating as much equity as possible from their home. These three primary reasons are often used as the test of a prudent investment:


Let’s see why home equity fails the tests of a prudent investment, and, more importantly, why homeowners benefit by separating equity from their home.

Separating Equity to Increase Liquidity The importance of liquidity became all too clear when the stock market crashed in October 1987. If someone had advised you to sell your stocks and convert to cash, they would have been a hero. Those with liquid assets were able to remain invested and were rewarded as the market recovered fully within 90 days. Those without liquidity were forced to sell while the market was down, causing them to accept significant losses.

In Missed Fortune, Doug tells the story of a couple who learned what he calls: “The $150,000 Lesson on Liquidity.” In 1978, this couple built a home that was featured in Better Homes and Gardens. It appreciated and by 1982, it was appraised for $300,000. They thought they had the world by the tail–a home valued at $300,000, with first and second mortgages owing only $150,000. They believed they had “made” $150,000 in four short years.
Then a series of events reduced their income to almost nothing. They couldn’t borrow money because without an income they did not have the ability to repay. They soon realized that to protect their $150,000 of equity, they would have to sell their home. And since the real estate market had turned soft, they reduced their asking price several times–down to $195,000–and still could not find a buyer.

Sadly, they gave up their home in foreclosure. The two mortgages were in the amounts of $125,000 and $25,000, respectively. The second mortgage holder outbid the first one at the ensuing auction, feeling it could turn around and sell the property to cover the investment. It took nine long months to sell, during which time the lender was forced to pay the first mortgage and also accrued an additional $30,000 of interest and penalties. By the time the home finally sold, the original couple who owned the house not only had a foreclosure appear on their credit report for seven years, the report also showed the deficiency balance owing $30,000 on a home they had lost nearly one year earlier. In a time of financial setback, they lost one of the most valuable assets due to a lack of liquidity. If they had separated their $150,000 in home equity and repositioned it into a safe side account, they could have easily made their mortgage payments.

At this point in the story, Doug admitted the young couple was really him and his wife. He wanted his readers to know that he understood firsthand the importance of maintaining liquidity in the event of an emergency. And he learned never to allow a significant amount of equity to accumulate in his property. Being “house rich” and “cash poor” is a dangerous position. It’s better to have access to the equity or value of your home and not need it, than to need it and not be able to get at it. Keeping home equity safe is really a matter of positioning yourself to act instead of react to market conditions over which you have no control.

Separating Equity to Increase Safety of Principal Due to the hidden “risks of life,” real estate equity is not nearly as safe as many other investments and assets. A home that is either mortgaged to the hilt or owned free and clear provides the greatest safety for the homeowner.

According to a recent study, 67% of Americans have more of their net worth in home equity than in all other investments combined. However, if 100 financial planners looked at a client portfolio that was 67% weighted in a single investment, 99 of them would immediately recommend that the client should diversify. Holding large amounts of home equity puts the homeowner at unnecessary risk.

When oil prices fell to all-time lows in the early 1980s, Houston was hit hard. Thousands of workers were laid off and forced to sell their homes. With a glut of homes on the market, prices plummeted. Unfortunately, with too many sellers and too few buyers, 16,000 homes were foreclosed. Did these families suddenly become bad people? No, they just couldn’t pay their mortgages. Previously, many of these people had made extra principal payments. But they couldn’t coast on those extra payments and with so many houses for sale, some people literally had to walk away from their homes. The equity these people had worked so hard to build up was completely lost. They learned the hard way that home equity is certainly not as safe as they once thought.

Separating Equity to Increase Rate of Return No matter where you live, the rate of return on home equity is always ZERO. Home values fluctuate due to market conditions, not mortgage balances. Since home equity has no relation to the home’s value, it is in no way responsible for the home’s appreciation. Therefore, home equity simply sits idle in the home and does not earn any rate of return.

Assume you own a home free and clear worth $100,000. If it appreciates 5%, you own an asset worth $105,000 at the end of the year. What if you had separated $100,000 of equity and place it in a side account earning 8%? Your account would be worth $108,000 at the end of the year. You still own the home, which appreciated 5% and is worth $105,000. By separating the equity, you created a new asset that earned a rate of return. Therefore, you earned $8,000 more than if the money were left idle in the home. To be fair, you do have a mortgage payment you didn’t have before. However, since interest rates are relative, by assuming a rate of return of 8%, we can also assume a strategic interest-only mortgage would be available at 5%. Also, since mortgage interest is 100% tax-deductible, the net cost of the money is only 3.6%. This produces a 4.4% positive spread between the cost of money and the earnings on that money.

The story gets more compelling over time. Through compound interest, the side account grows at a faster pace each year. In year 2, the 8% earnings on $108,000 are $8,640. In year 3, the 8% earnings on $116,640 are $9,331. Since the mortgage debt remains the same, the spread continues to widen in the homeowner’s favor every year. As Albert Einstein said, “The most powerful force in the universe is compound interest.” If we allow home equity to remain idle in the home, we give up the opportunity to put it to work.

Taken from a different angle, suppose you were offered an investment that could never go up in value, but might go down. How much of it would you want? Hopefully none. Yet, this is home equity. It has no rate of return, so it cannot go up in value–but it could go down in value if the real estate market declines or the homeowner experiences an uninsured loss, disability or a foreclosure. After all, homes were built to house families, not store cash. Investments were made to store cash.

Houston Heights Real Estate Offers Old World Charm to Modern Texas City

It is no secret that Houston, Texas is a fine place to live and raise a family. The city has a long history and is considered one of the most desirable places in the US to buy real estate. And when it comes to homes for sale, Houston Heights Real Estate is quickly becoming a favorite destination for those looking for a home.

Houston Heights real estate is a neighborhood comprising nearly 3,700 homes. The area is located just North of the I-10 highway and South of Loop 610 and West of Highway 45. Over the last ten years or so, the area has seen significant property appreciation as well as seen an overall boom in its home development.

Because of its location, Houston Heights real estate is an outstanding choice for those who want to be near downtown Houston. The area is surrounded by other neighborhoods of note such as Garden Oaks, Camp Logan, Memorial Park and Rice Military. This is a great area for families and for those who want to close to city activities and events.

In addition to a great location, Houston Heights real estate properties are steeped in history. The neighborhood got its start in the late 1800’s. Houston Heights itself was founded in 1891 and the area has not lost its historic charm. In fact, the neighborhood has enforced deed restrictions which allow it to keep its historic nature and distinction. Many of those who own real estate in the area are proud that their homes and property are located in such an enchanting area.

Many of those who live in and own Houston Heights real estate say that the area has a small-town appeal that is virtually impossible to find in other areas of the city. One of its most distinctive features is Heights Boulevard which serves as the main street through the neighborhood and is known for its unique turn-of-the-century architecture. Within the area are privately maintained parks, giving the area even more charm! Families will love the Height Playground, which was designed and paid from by the property owners of the community. The area also has a truly unique business district that is fashioned in 19th century style. There are plenty of good schools in the area and the community offers several special events throughout the year such as the Historic Heights Home and Garden Tour, Fun Run, and Christmas in the Heights, to name just a very few of the many activities that Houston Heights real estate owners enjoy.

In terms of homes for sale, Houston Heights real estate is considered very reasonably priced when compared to other areas of the city. Starter homes are available for those who are looking to buy their first home. Larger, more expansive homes are also available for those who are looking for their dream home. Homes that are often available range from intimate bungalows to new construction homes for sale. Many of the new homes reflect the same type of architecture found in Victorian mansions.

How to “Go Green” With Your Home

With all the attention that global warming is receiving these days, everyone is looking to make the world a better and safer place to live. There are many ways to “go green” and in such a large city as Houston, Texas, this may be even more important. There are many ways to cut back on the harmful emissions and Houston families can do many of these right in and around their homes to reduce waste and save energy.

Reducing water usage is a terrific way to go green in Houston. By simply replacing your old showerhead with one that has a lower flow and is energy efficient, an incredible 280 gallons of water a month can be saved by a family of four. A misconception with these showerheads is that they will reduce the amount of water pressure in the shower but that is not true. You will not only enjoy your shower just as much as you used to but you will enjoy it more knowing that you are doing good for the planet, and saving on your water bill!

It only makes sense that buying greenery and placing it inside and outside your home will promote “going green.”

Residents in Houston and the rest of the state of Texas are lucky in the way that there are many beautiful plants, shrubs, and flowers that are native to Texas and are easy to grow and maintain. By placing some of this greenery inside the home it will help to remove irritants such as formaldehyde and benzene. Buy planting flowers and plants in your garden that are native to Houston in your outdoor landscaping, you will be helping the environment by not using so much fertilizer or pesticides. Some wonderful plants that are native to Texas are: pigeonberry, red columbine, betony, fall obedient plant, scarlet sage, and black-eyed susan.

Besides planting Texas-native plants, there are other ways to “go green” with your landscaping as well. Placing solar powered lights in the patio or garden area will provide a fabulous way of displaying your gorgeous landscaping and it will also help cut the energy costs and omit any wires that could detract from the beautiful space. When tending to your lawn and garden, opt for a lawn mower with a reel, instead of a power mower. These are much easier to use than they once were and they will also save on energy. If you really do prefer power mowers, there are many battery-operated models available that will also help preserve energy and save the earth.

Batteries such as those that are used for cell phones, digital cameras, and video cameras, are very harmful to the environment. Houston has actually illegal to throw out these types of batteries and have set up many different programs for recycling them. In addition to batteries, there are also many Houston community programs that will recycle the entire device once they are no longer being used.

Reducing the amount of electricity used within the home is another great way to “go green” in Houston. There are now compact fluorescent light bulbs that are more effective than regular light bulbs. These light bulbs will last ten times longer, saving you some money on the electricity bill as well as protecting the earth’s energy. Using a laptop rather than a personal computer will also help cut the amount of energy used as they use significantly less power. Freezer and refrigerator temperatures should also be adjusted to minimize energy output. A refrigerator temperature should be set to 37 degrees Fahrenheit, and the freezer temperature no lower than zero degrees Fahrenheit.

Eliminating paper waste is another step in making Houston a greener city. When printing something off a computer, make sure that the printer is set to print on both sides of the page and when you mistakenly print something, flip the paper around and use the other side to print your next document.