Air Pollution & Climate
The threats we face from climate change are serious and urgent. Large metropolitan areas like Dallas-Fort Worth have an outsized impact on the creation of air pollution and greenhouse gases, and North Texans have long dealt with the health effects of bad air quality. Climate pollution has long term consequences for our quality of life, ability to grow food, and the reliability of our clean water resources. Many of these impacts hit working families and communities of color the hardest.
We can implement climate solutions in North Texas that protect the health of our communities and help working families thrive.
That’s why we’ve been working to advance local policies and programs that conserve energy, reduce emissions, and help the transition to clean, affordable power for everyone. We’re calling on folks across North Texas to join in creating a future for the region that puts people and communities first!
Plastic & Food Waste
Our economy is full of waste and we need to change that. The impact of plastic and other wasteful products on our health and our environment is adding up to a crisis. The vast majority of plastics products end up in landfills and incinerators shortly after they are used. This creates tons of air and climate pollution in the process. Even worse, plastic waste is seeping into our environment in ever more harmful ways, including getting into our bodies before we’re even born, and each of us is consuming a credit card’s worth of plastic every week.
Another critical category of waste we need to address is surplus food—it’s one of the single largest components of our city’s trash and enormous amounts of resources are wasted to grow food that goes unused. We could easily put surplus food to better use.
TCE Fund created a report that showed that landfills in North Texas are located in communities of color that have low access to healthy food. This means we’re dumping food waste in communities that could benefit from increased food donations and local food production.
TCE and its allies are organizing for solutions that will reduce waste in our cities and make producers of wasteful products responsible for their messes, instead of leaving it up to residents and cities to figure out how to manage difficult-to-recycle products.
Read about our Dallas and Denton campaigns and click here to get involved with TCE organizing.
Dallas People’s Climate Action Coalition
In May 2020, the Dallas City Council unanimously passed its first ever comprehensive climate and environmental plan. However, even the city officials involved in writing the plan would tell you, it doesn’t go far enough in reducing emissions and many of its actions will come too late.
TCE and our allies have been fighting for more effective climate solutions, and we successfully pushed for the city to create a resident-led environmental commission to advise on the climate plan implementation. We’re hopeful that this will spur quicker policy action. As Dallas turns the plan into policies over the next few years, we need to make sure the city takes bold steps to protect our future.
Right now Dallas is moving forward with their “Year One Implementation Plan” for the climate plan and has created a temporary resident-led committee to provide input.
You can keep track of updates on the city’s climate plan website here.
Get Involved in Dallas Climate Action: We’re building a movement by collaborating with residents and community leaders to advocate for stronger climate action. Here are some of the priorities we’re working on to reduce climate change emissions and empower communities and residents to decide the future for Dallas:
Plastic & Food Waste
TCE fought to get Dallas to require multi-family apartment complexes to provide recycling residents, which went into effect on January 1, 2020. If you’re an apartment resident in Dallas and you don’t have recycling already, you can check out the North Texas ZeroWaste Alliance website here to learn how to get these services for your community.
Now, we’re pushing city hall to take action on residential and commercial food waste policies outlined in its Climate Action Plan. The city has delayed addressing food waste and commercial recycling policies since they were first proposed in the city’s Zero Waste Plan seven years ago. That’s why we’re working with local food organizations to make sure Dallas stops delaying action on reducing waste.
Clean Energy Future in Denton
In Denton, we’re supporting local efforts to push for climate change solutions and phase out fossil fuel energy, including preventing the reemergence of fracking in Denton neighborhoods. With a publicly owned electric utility, Denton residents have the power to invest in cheap renewable energy and control the costs of electricity. While the city has made strides in some green energy investments, residents can push city officials to go further to reduce air pollution and our reliance on energy sources that won’t last forever.
In 2020, Denton passed a sustainability framework to address local environmental issues and is creating a resident advisory committee to help implement it. We’re working with local organizations and community members to make sure the city remains committed to clean energy and takes effective action to address climate change and pollution.
Priorities for Denton:
Reducing Landfill Trash
With the help of local community members over the last year, we’ve fought the City of Denton’s efforts to expand the city trash landfill and pressured the city to do a better job of managing its trash. Over half the trash going into the landfill comes from outside cities and businesses, and the landfill expansion could turn Denton into the regional dumping ground. As a result of our efforts, the city is developing its first ever Comprehensive Solid Waste Strategy. It’s crucial that we continue organizing with allies to move Denton away from its trash-first oriented policies to focusing on reducing waste with programs like expanded recycling and composting.
Take Action: Denton is asking residents to fill out a community survey for their long-term solid waste strategy. This is an important opportunity for residents to tell the city to make its long-term strategy about reducing trash and not just burying it in the landfill.
Click here to take the survey and see below for talking points: Denton Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Strategy Community Survey
When going through the survey you’ll be asked:
Consider these questions along with these sustainability measures that Texas Campaign for the Environment has advocated for with wide support from Denton residents: