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Green Committee


Green Committee

Announcements/News | Committee Purpose & Membership | What We’re Currently Working On | Committee Contact Information | Frequently Asked Questions | Green Resources

Announcements/News

  • 2017 Survey Results Recap -  Thank you to the households who completed the recent Green Committee survey!  The survey results are now posted at grandlakeslife.com -> Document Library -> Green Committee.  We look forward to utilizing the survey feedback to further guide us in deciding how to best serve the Grand Lakes Community.
  • 2017 Don’t Mess with Texas Trash-Off Recap - Thank you to the resident and scout volunteers who took part in the April 8th litter pickup.  We had over 60 volunteers on project day.  Our volunteers filled a number of trash bags with litter caught in the landscaping along Fry and Peek or the wooded corners at the Bayou @ 99!  We would like to extend a special thank you to the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office for helping us with safety.  Also, thank you to Home Depot for a generous donation of approximately $400 in safety vests to our Community Association.  Finally, thanks to Starbucks for the excellent coffee, Walgreens for the water, and HEB for Gatorade and snacks.  We appreciate the support of our local businesses!
  • 2017 Recycle Drive Recap - Thank you to the half dozen residents and SLHS students who volunteered on April 22nd at our first ever Grand Lakes recycle drive!  More than 100 Grand Lakes households participated in the recycling initiative, which was held on the afternoon of the spring garage sales.  CompuCycle collected 12 skids of miscellaneous electronics weighing 5,592 lbs.  Additionally, approximately 15 bags of clothing/shoes, one large box of binders, two kitchen bags of wine corks, and a handful (literally!) of packing peanuts were recycled.

 

Committee Purpose & Membership

The Green Committee’s purpose is to assist the Board in fostering a culture of environmental sustainability within the Grand Lakes neighborhood, common facilities, and/or common properties.  The Green Committee Charter can be found on the documents section of the website.

Formed in 2016, current membership can be found on the Board & Committee Members page.

 

What We’re Currently Working On

We are currently working on a review of the GL common area landscaping and lake management practices (use of fertilizers, pesticides, algaecides, etc.) to understand our neighborhood’s environmental footprint.  We are also looking into some potential revitalization of the Grand Lakes Community Garden (12 raised beds across from the Barn Park), ways to enhance the bicycle and pedestrian friendliness of our neighborhood, ideas to reduce litter, and ways to ‘green’ our community events.  We look forward to continuing to utilizing the survey and resident feedback to further guide us in deciding how best to serve the Grand Lakes community.

 

Committee Contact Information

Email us at grandlakesgreen@gmail.com

Frequently Asked Questions

Have a green question?  We hope to have an answer below but if we don’t, please feel free to email to Green Committee at the address above.

  • What are some of the green initiatives Grand Lakes has implemented?
  • Where can I find the Green Committee meeting agendas and minutes?
  • I have a green idea for Grand Lakes and/or some feedback for the committee, who do I contact?
  • When is curbside recycling picked up and what is accepted?

 

Q:

What are some of the green initiatives Grand Lakes has implemented?

A:

The below green initiatives have been implemented in Grand Lakes to date:

  • The GL common area sprinkler system has been upgraded from a conventional to a centrally managed system.  95% of the irrigation can be managed via laptop wirelessly, and weather stations help determine whether or not to water based on recent rainfall.
  • Lake Management does Christmas tree recycling.  Trees picked up on the announced recycle date are put in the GL lakes for fish habitat.
  • Curbside recycling is implemented via the GL MUD districts.
  • GL solar energy, rainwater harvesting, and shingle policies are in effect to guide homeowners who wish to implement these items.

Q:

Where can I find the Green Committee meeting agendas and minutes?

A:

Check the ‘Green Committee’ section of the document library on grandlakeslife.com

Q:

I have a green idea for Grand Lakes and/or some feedback for the committee, who do I contact?

A:

Please email us at grandlakesgreen@gmail.com.

Q:

When is curbside recycling picked up and what is accepted?

A:

Recycling day is Thursday for all three GL MUDs.  A list of items accepted in our curbside recycling can be found at the Best Trash website here: http://www.best-trash.com/guidelines-faqs/recycling/

 

Green Resources

  Recycling Resources

  Water Conservation Resources

  Helpful Resources on the Web

  Helpful Green Tips

  Green Events Around Town

 

 


 

Recycling Resources

Recycling day is Thursday for all three GL MUDs.  A list of items accepted in our curbside recycling can be found at the Best Trash website:

http://www.best-trash.com/guidelines-faqs/recycling/

The Fort Bend County Recycling Center is located at 1200 Blume Rd, Rosenberg, TX 77471.  Many items are accepted there, including Latex paints, electronics, and some hazardous wastes.  Some fees do apply.  A complete list can be found at:http://www.fortbendcountytx.gov/index.aspx?page=649

Best Buy accepts a number of electronics, TV and video equipment, cell phones and radios, appliances, ink and toner, audio, rechargeable battery and home items.  See the complete list here at Best Buy's website.

CompuCycle is a R2 certified electronics recycling company that offers free residential drop off at various business locations, including the StoreIt at Seven Meadows (23110 FM 1093, Richmond TX 77406).  See the complete list of accepted items here at CompuCycle’s website.

Other Items Accepted Locally:

Item

Recycling Destination

Empty Ink Jet Printer Cartridges

Target – bins at front of store or Best Buy

CFL Bulbs

Home Depot

Packing peanuts

UPS Store - UPS store website

Worn Out Running Shoes

Nike (there is a store at Katy Mills Mall)

Worn Out Clothing / Rags - Any clothing or cloth not suitable for donation can be given as “rags” for textile recycling

- American Textile Recycling Bin (donation bins for gently used, unwanted clothing, shoes, toys, and household items - find a bin here)

- Goodwill (place clothing in a bag labeled rags so personnel do not have to sort/inspect for salability)

 

Binders

Office Depot or Office Max

 Wine Corks

 Whole Foods

(Note: our list is not comprehensive and we are always looking for additions.  Email us at grandlakesgreen@gmail.com if you have a suggestion!)

Mail in Programs:

TerraCycle (www.terracycle.com) accepts many common household trash items for recycling via a mail in program.  Shipping is free and requires only a free customer account to participate.  For a full list of accepted items visit http://www.terracycle.com/en-US/brigades. Examples of accepted items include cosmetics packaging (such as lipstick cases, mascara tubes, eye shadow cases, foundation packaging and bottles, eyeliner pencils, etc.), Energy Bar Wrappers, Drink Pouches, Writing Instruments (such as pens, pencils markers) and Instrument Strings.


Water Conservation Resources

All three GL MUDs participate in the WISE (Water Irrigation System Evaluation) Guys Program.  Using this program, you can have your sprinkler system evaluated for free.  Visit the MUD link below to sign up for an evaluation.

Water conservation tips can be found at the following link courtesy of Municipal District Services: http://www.municipaldistrictservices.com/water-conservation.html


Helpful Resources on the Web


 Helpful Green Tips

Junk Mail

Junk mail is a hassle that takes up both time and resources. Here are some tips from the book Zero Waste Home (by Bea Johnson) to reduce the junk mail coming into your home:

-          To opt out of the yellow pages, utilize www.yellowpagesoptout.com or call 1-866-329-7118

-          To limit the receipt of catalogs, visit www.catalogchoice.org

-          To minimize credit and insurance offers, use www.optoutprescreen.com

-          To reduce receiving direct mail, visit www.dmachoice.org.  (Direct mail is unsolicited advertising sent to prospective customers through the mail.)

Solar Panels

Q:Are solar panels allowed in Grand Lakes?

A: Yes!  In fact, a few of our neighbors already have solar panels!  A handful of residents submitted this question through our recent survey, and we are happy to provide clarification.  Thanks to a 2011 amendment to the Texas Property Code, HOAs and POAs in Texas only have limited circumstances under which they can restrict residential solar power installation or require relocation of such devices.  (Source: http://www.solarresourceguide.org).  The Grand Lakes Board of Directors adopted solar energy device guidelines in early 2012.  Solar installations in the neighborhood must comply with these guidelines.  The guidelines can be found online at the Grand Lakes website under Document Library -> Legal Documents -> Solar Energy Devices Policy.

Sprinkler Settings

The following article is from North Fort Bend Water Authority’s official publication, ‘The Water Log’:

Your lawn doesn’t receive the same amount of rain year-round, so why water the same amount every day?  Texas A&M AgriLIFE Extension has published its recommended settings for the water budgeting feature on your sprinkler system. You should adjust your sprinkler every month to ensure a healthy and sustainable yard.

Month          Setting

January        35%

February       46%

March           64%

April             76%

May             90%

June            100%

July             96%

August         90%

September    85%

October        63%

November      44%

December      35%

If your lawn is healthy or if we’ve been getting a lot of rain, don’t worry about watering at all. If you do need to water your lawn, water 1 inch per week, early in the morning or late at night.

For updates on changing your water budgeting feature, and other tips such as winterizing your system, like fb.com/LarryTheTalkingSprinkler

Get to Know Your HVAC System

Here are some energy saving tips from https://energy.gov.

LOWER your thermostat temperature in the winter and RAISE it in the summer: 

During the winter, you can save energy by setting your thermostat to 68 degrees when you're at home and awake, and using lower settings when you're away or asleep.  This will help your furnace not to run continuously.

In the summer, on the other hand, set your thermostat to 78 degrees if you can and use ceiling or portable fans. Fans move the air and make the room feel four to six degrees cooler, and use much less energy than the air conditioner.  Remember, setting your thermostat to a lower temperature than normal will not cool your home faster!

Choose the RIGHT thermostat: 

Choosing the right energy star qualified programmable thermostat can deliver savings without sacrificing comfort.   A programmable thermostat helps your house to never get too cold or too hot.  When properly programmed, these thermostats can save up to 15% in cooling costs.  

If you don't have a programmable thermostat, don't worry!  You can manually adjust the temperature on your air conditioner to the recommended temperatures.

CLEAN or REPLACE your HVAC system’s air filter:

Air filters remove dust and allergens from the air before returning it to your rooms through your A/C unit, so it is a critical component of the system.  Unfortunately, they can often become clogged with dust and debris and eventually block the free flow of air, reducing the system’s efficiency. Remember that dirty filters are the number one reason most HVAC systems begin to operate inefficiently.

A dirty air filter uses more energy than a new clean one, which means a higher electricity bill for you. By keeping your air filter clean and in good condition, it is estimated that you can save up to 15% on utility costs.  It is recommended that you check your filter’s condition and change it once a month, especially if you run your unit six months a year to year-round, if you have pets or if you have a large family. More activity means more household dust, dirt and debris.

INSPECT your HVAC system:

Make sure you service your unit at least one a year once a year and head off costly problems. This sort of evaluation is best left to the professional, unless the homeowner has had the appropriate training.  A furnace/HVAC unit contains moving parts so it is important that belts are not cracked, ventilation ductwork is not cracked or rusted, and components, such as coils and fans are adequately lubricated. 

With a clean, inspected A/C system you will preserve energy, lowering your utility bills and cooling your home efficiently.

 


 Green Events Around Town

Coming soon