CEC welcomes Angie Chicas as our Marketing Intern

Photo of Angie Chicas

Angie Chicas is a senior at the University of Houston where she is pursuing a B.S. in Digital Media, and a minor in Organizational Leadership and Supervision. She currently serves as the Marketing Director for the Graphic Communications Education Association at U.H., where she helps the organization by maintaining all social media accounts and following current trends in the market. 

Angie loves to travel and spend her free time outdoors. Her favorite park is Buffalo Bayou because she enjoys riding the B-cycles. She is passionate about taking care of the environment and strives to live a zero-waste lifestyle

Angie is excited to start working with CEC to learn more about nonprofits and the environmental issues in our region. She may be reached at [email protected]

Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: September 6, 2019

TCEQ’s dangerous trade off: jobs over clean air

(Houston Chronicle, Editorial Board, Updated 09/06/19. Photo by Dow Chemical.)

“Look at the agency’s decision to grant permits,over community objections, for a $10 billion ethane cracker plant just north of Corpus Christi. Levin said the nearby communities only asked for “modest improvements” to the permits, including additional air monitoring equipment inside the plant, but their request was denied. Not only is the commission doing a bad job enforcing environmental rules, it is making rules that are bad. Among them a proposed regulation that will expose Texans to higher levels of ethylene oxide, a cancer-causing flammable gas used to sterilize medical equipment and make plastic packaging.”


Metro supporters have nine weeks to sell bond plan to voters

(Houston Chronicle, Dug Begley, Updated 09/03/19. Photo by Steve Gonzales.)

“Transit officials spent the past 18 months developing a plan to add $7.5 billion in new bus lines, rebuilt transit centers and rail expansion. They have nine weeks to sell it to voters. Officials are asking for voter approval to borrow $3.5 billion, paid back by future sales tax revenues from Metro’s 1 percent sales tax. Metro, based on its 2020 budget, will spend $6.7 million to educate voters on the long-range plan, another $1.8 million for public engagement and $800,000 on legal expenses related to the plan.”


Report: Plastics industry driving pollution

(Houston Chronicle, Perla Trevizo and Erin Douglas, Updated 09/05/19. Photo by Jon Shapley.)

“The Environmental Integrity Project identified 90 plants that either make plastics or their ingredients in the Houston and Port Arthur area and, using state data, found that in 2017 the plants emitted 55,704 tons of potentially health-damaging air pollutants. More than $140 billion in new petrochemical capacity has been planned or added in the Gulf Coast region since 2010, according to the American Chemistry Council, an industry trade group. The Baytown facility has violated the Clean Air Act for the last three years, according to Environmental Protection Agency data. The TCEQ declined to comment in advance of the public release of the EIP report.”


Read more Headlines

Houston Environmental News Update September 5, 2019

Urban Harvest Farmers Markets, Take Care of Texas campaign, Neches River Rally, Green Film: Hot Grease, Green Jobs, and more

Unless you are a long time reader or a farm-news fanatic, you might not realize that September is a big month harvest-related observances, such as:

In honor of these special days, we’d like to take a moment to recognize one of CEC’s member organizations, Urban Harvest, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Founded in 1994, longtime CEC member organization Urban Harvest works to address these problems and others by using fruit, vegetable, and habitat gardens to improve the quality of life in the greater Houston area. Among their programs are organic gardening glasses, farmers markets, a school and youth gardening program, and a community gardens program.

Urban Harvest is also celebrating the launch of its new Northeast Farmers Market at Kashmere Gardens Elementary School, 4901 Lockwood Drive. The market is open on 10 am – 2 pm, 1st & 3rd Saturdays, rain or shine. It joins the long-running Urban Harvest’s Saturday Farmers Market and the back-after-summer City Hall Local Lunch Market each Wednesday. In 2004, Urban Harvest’s Saturday Farmers Market started with just seven vendors, providing an outlet for community and backyard gardeners to sell fresh produce harvested directly from their own soils. Today, many of the original vendors – including Animal Farm, Atkinson Farms, and Pat Greer’s Kitchen – are now part of one of Texas’ largest farmers markets, today supporting over 70 local Houston farmers market vendors. All farmers and producers in our market come from within 180 miles of Houston, offering the freshest, local produce and meats available. The prepared and hot food vendors source 51% of their ingredients from local farms and growers, providing additional economic support to producers and building a more interconnected local food system.

Urban Harvest’s market is now just one of many markets in the Houston area listed on the CEC calendar. Let us know if we are missing any!


Houston Green Films: Hot Grease

The Houston Green Film for September 18 will be Hot Grease (filmed in Houston), the surprising story of how the biodiesel industry is turning an ostensibly worthless raw material — spent kitchen grease — into a green energy source capable of fueling all the trains, ships, and trucks across the country (see this clip). Following the film, panelists will offer thoughts about the themes in the film and answer audience questions. Panelists include Dr. Jody Gibson from Energy Institute High School, Chris Powers, founder of Houston Biodiesel, Michael McClere from Dependable Cooking Oil, Alondra Hernandez with the Corral the Grease program through Houston Public Works and Ted Driscoll with the Cease the Grease campaign through the Galveston Bay Foundation. Socializing from 6:30 p.m., film at 7 p.m.

TAEE Scholarships and sponsorship opportunities

Teachers can apply for a scholarship from the Citizens’ Environmental Coalition to the Texas Association for Environmental Education conference in Galveston on Sept. 27-28, 2019. Email [email protected] your request, including amount desired, current teaching position, and rationale, by September 6. Those interested in sponsoring a teacher at the conference for $150 should email [email protected]. Most teachers fund professional development (and pencils, and Kleenex, etc.) out of their own pocket. Houston, we can do better! Please contact [email protected] by September 6.

Wild About Houston: A Green Film Festival

Join CEC, the Houston GREEN Film SeriesRice Media Center and additional partners on October 16, 2019, for “Wild About Houston: A Green Film Festival.” We will showcase local short films that tell environmental stories. Please watch the contenders on the CEC YouTube Channel, and give a thumbs up to your favorites to see them on the big screen. Submit a film for consideration via our Google Form. Secure a ticket today, or register to host an exhibit table, via Eventbright.

Earth Day Houston

Earth Day Houston, part of the 50th worldwide observance, will be held at Discovery Green on Sunday, April 19, 2020. Opportunities to volunteer, sponsor, and exhibit will be available soon.

Candidate Forums and Questionnaires

7 days of being engaged in the community

Are you organizing a candidate forum or questionnaire for the November 2019 election? CEC is gathering information about election-related activities within our environmental communities. Let us know what you are planning, and we’ll keep you in the loop. CEC is interested in either hosting, coordinating, and/or supporting the efforts of local environmental nonprofits leading up to the election. Send your comments to [email protected] Note: the filing deadline for the November City of Houston elections is August 26, 2019. CEER Houston will be hosting a mayoral candidate forum on Saturday, September 21, 2019.

Interested in serving on the CEC Board or a Committee?

CEC is seeking individuals who might be interested in joining our board of directors in January 2020, or volunteering to serve on one of our committees starting this year. We are hosting information sessions for prospective board and committee members to learn more about the commitment and opportunities. Upcoming sessions include the evenings of September 23, and October 15. For more information (including directions to our top secret world headquarters), please email [email protected]

Scroll down to read notes from our member organizations and the community, or view the emailed version of the newsletter, which includes a green job listing.

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