Consumer Reports explains why grass-fed beef costs more

Grass-fed beef may cost a little more, but according to Consumer Reports, it’s less likely to have harmful bacteria. Consumer Reports explains why you should consider buying grass-fed beef. You’ll pay a little extra, but Consumer Reports’ tests of ground beef show grass-fed is less likely to harbor dangerous... read more

Seasonal food calendar for Texas

Are you planning an event and wondering what food to serve? Sustainable Food Center asks that you consider planning your menu around seasonal foods. Here is a handy seasonal food calendar from  GO TEXAN to help you out.... read more

UT will partner on Solar Energy Visualization System

UT’s Office of Sustainability announced that wit will be collaborating with one of the 2015-2016 “Longhorn Innovation Fund for Technology” award recipients on a new Solar Energy Visualization System. Together with UT’s department of Art & Art History, College of Natural Science, and others, the grantee team will create a brand-new software system to pair with stand-alone solar stations on higher education campuses and beyond. UT’s Office of Sustainability said the project will feature the Green Fee-funded solar charging stations located at ART and the PCL Plaza. Get more info: read more

Austin Alfresco Culinary Retreat in October

The Sustainable Food Center announced that you can get involved with a unique new Austin culinary event. Austin Alfresco: Carson Creek Ranch Culinary Retreat, which will be held Oct. 16-18, 2015, is an exclusive food and wine overnight glamping retreat and festival, located on picturesque Carson Creek Ranch near downtown Austin. The Center says 100 percent of proceeds benefit Sustainable Food Center. Info This sign up is for Austin Alfresco Culinary Retreat. Sign up online today and receive automated reminders for your... read more

Austin Energy’s Community Connections Fair Sept. 19

Austin Energy’s Community Connections Fair will be held on September 19. This free, family friendly event combines fun with learning to assist Austin Energy customers who sometimes could use a little help to meet basic needs. Kids and adults alike can interact with City staff in fun activities like working a bucket truck or seeing how a fire truck works! Local community providers will also be on hand to provide information and answer your questions about: Medical assistance programs Veterinary services Food services Housing assistance services Read on FB... read more

UT Students Against Cruelty to Animals meeting

UT Students Against Cruelty to AnimalsUT Students Against Cruelty to Animals announced it will hold its first semester meeting Wednesday, Sept. 2nd, at 6:30 p.m. in PCL room 5.102A. The group will be discussing the philosophy of the group, get to know each other, decide on meeting times and semester actions. Vegan deserts will be served.

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Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center fall classes open

Learn your Texas native plants, get a native garden design certificate or take art classes in nature. Registration is now open for Fall 2015 Wildflower Center classes. The center offers a plethora of classes and programs for both adults and children. New classes include family yoga in the garden and moonlight hikes (a great date night!). Info Learn more here:... read more

UT’s 6th Annual Sustainability Symposium Sept. 18

The President’s Sustainability Steering Committee at The University of Texas at Austin will host a full day symposium dedicated to highlighting the scholarly and practical sustainability efforts of the university community. The symposium itself is an effort to share best practices and academic findings in hopes of discovering new opportunities for collaboration and innovation. The 6th Annual Sustainability Symposium will feature presentations from faculty, staff, and students covering sustainability research and initiatives throughout campus. Lunch provided. See for presenters and more information. 6th Annual Sustainability Symposium Friday, September 18 at 8:30am AVAYA Auditorium, POB... read more

You can vote for Texas’ CityLab SXSWedu 2016 panel proposal

The UT School of Architecture wants your  vote for its Texas CityLab SXSWedu 2016 panel proposal. The proposed panel session, Putting the Public Back into Public Universities, will discuss: 1) How to create inclusive learning spaces that empower people to become both students and teachers, 2) How to transform Texas cities into living classrooms, and 3) How local and University expertise can unite to strengthen shared problem solving in cities. Online community voting amounts to 30 percent of the total score, so the more votes received the better the chance for the UTSOA. The link closes Sept. 4th and you can only vote once. Log in using Facebook or create a personal SXSW account to cast your vote. More info here: Read on... read more

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center names photo contest winners

More than 8,000 online votes were cast in LBJWC’s Beautiful Roadsides photo contest, with the three images pulling in the most votes declared winners. View the winning entries and other Wildflower Center staff photo faves at When we debuted our first-ever roadside landscape contest this June, we expected to get many great entries. We refined our sixth annual contest – which we call Beautiful Roadsides – to focus on pictures of native plants along roadsides in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Highway Beautification... read more

LBJ Wildflower Center offers native plant suggestions

If you’ve thought about updating your garden in the future with drought-tolerant plants, our August e-newsletter includes a story with some great #nativeplant suggestions for you. Spanish dagger is among a dozen-plus beautiful options suggested in this article by our magazine editor. You can sign up for the monthly Wire online at... read more

Tell EPA About Your Green Infrastructure Project

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a poster contest to highlight green infrastructure and low-impact development projects in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas. Did your business build a parking garage with a green roof? Do your city government buildings harvest rainwater? EPA wants to hear about projects like these in preparation for the EPA Region 6 Stormwater Conference. Green infrastructure uses natural hydrologic features to manage water and provide environmental and community benefits, including pollution reduction, flood control, and water-use efficiency. As climate change affects our communities in different ways, implementing green infrastructure techniques becomes more important than ever in improving resiliency. Anyone who has developed or is working on a project using green infrastructure or low-impact development is encouraged to submit a poster. Entries are due by Friday, September 25. First- and second-place prizes will be awarded for municipal or private professionals (for example, stormwater program operators, developers, or landscape architects), as will a first-place prize for student entries. Poster authors can present their submissions at the upcoming 17th annual EPA Region 6 stormwater conference in Hot Springs, Ark., October 18 through 23. After the conference, all posters will be highlighted on the Region 6 green infrastructure web page.   More Info For complete contest rules and criteria: For more on green infrastructure in Region 6, including information on this year’s conference:... read more

Texas Tech awarded EPA grant to research chemical contaminants

  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is awarding $374,510 to Texas Tech University through EPA’s Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program. The university will develop a better approach to understand and predict individual and community level ecological effects of chemical contaminants in the environment. “This research will help develop innovative methods to reduce chemical impacts on the environment and people’s health,” said EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry. “EPA’s STAR program is making these scientific advances possible.” The study is part of a $4 million grant to six universities to study the ecological impacts of manufactured chemicals, leading to better chemical risk assessments and decisions for protecting the environment. EPA’s STAR program grants are part of EPA’s Chemical Safety for Sustainability (CSS) research program’s efforts to develop new methods to improve chemical evaluation and support environmental sustainability. This research will use innovative methods to understand negative impacts of chemicals in ecological and human... read more

Texas bans shark fin trade, closing the biggest US source

Texas has banned shark fin trading, ending what had become a major US source for the Chinese buying the fins, which are considered a delicacy used to make soup. But the world cannot afford such profligacy, according to conservation groups, which blame shark finning for driving shark populations into a steep decline. Texas’ move may help turn things around for the oceans apex predators.

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Scary facts about water scarcity to ponder for World Water Day 2015

Despite a few spring rains that have helped ease drought conditions in Texas, residents should still consider conserving water in all they do, because the world’s most important resource is not getting any more plentiful. Austin remains a candidate for future “water stress,” and so in honor of World Water Day (March 22) here are some uncomfortable facts about how we abuse water and could run short of it.

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