In This Issue
Decrease your VAMPIRE load
Calculate your Carbon Footprint
Green Business Challenge
Lowering your thermostat
Fire Station Challenge WINNER
Quick Survey
Plastic Bags to Benches
Solar Car Challenge
2013 Environmental Summit
Environmental Explorers
Photo of the Month
Join our Mailing List!

Events for October and November

Introduction to Rio Bosque Wetlands Park
Saturday, Oct. 26, 8 am

Learn more about the historic environmental conditions in the Rio Grande Valley on this two mile tour! You can learn about native ecosystems restoration work that has been done here! For more information, contact John Sproul at or 915-747-8663. 

Northeast Hike 

Saturday, Oct. 26, 8 am  


Come enjoy the cool Fall weather with this 8-9 mile hike from Jobe Quarry to NM404. For more information, please visit this website.


Save Money: Energy Audits and Energy Efficiency Incentives

Mon., Oct. 28, 11:30 am- 1 pm

7968 San Paulo



Learn how you can save money by performing energy audits and taking advantage of El Paso Electric's incentives!



How Embracing "Green" Can Give Your Business the Competitive Advantage

Thurs., Nov. 7, 12 pm- 1 pm

7968 San Paulo


Come learn how you can increase your sales and win over clients and customers by showcasing the environmentally-conscious changes you have made in your business!


America Recycles Day

November 15, 2013, 9 am-1 pm

Union Plaza Area

Downtown El Paso


Environment Services will be planning a day of fun recycling events in conjunction with the Downtown Artist and Farmers Market! Please keep checking our Facebook page for updates! 


Downtown Farmers Market 

Saturdays from 9 am-1 pm


Join us for the Downtown Artist Market and Farmers Market every Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm! There will be several local farmers there with fresh, local produce. It is held in Union Plaza in Downtown El Paso where Anthony Street meets W. San Antonio Avenue. Come support your local farmers! 
Decrease your VAMPIRE load this Halloween


You finished your show and turned off your TV, which means it's off, right? 


Well, not quite. Your TV uses electricity even when turned off, so it can quickly turn off at the click of a button. This is referred to as "vampire load" or "phantom load." Other appliances that also suck your energy include, chargers, coffee makers, microwaves, radios, and so much more!

Anything with a light is still using energy, even if it's turned off.

The average American pays about $200 extra a year from "vampires loads." 


According to Cornell University, Americans are using the equivalent of seven electrical power plants from vampire loads each year. Yikes! 


Use these tips to reduce your VAMPIRE load:

- Purchase a power-strip that allows you to easily shut off plugged-in electronics when on vacation or during the day when you're at work or sleeping.

- Unplug electronics that are not in use.

- Purchase energy efficient electronics whenever possible, especially for those appliances that remain plugged-in.

How do your daily activities impact the planet?
Ysleta High School's Environmental Science Academy calculated their carbon footprints and displayed them in their classrooms.

Do you fly in a plane once a month? Do you hibernate your computer when not in use? Do you recycle? Do you drive 30 miles to work everyday? 

All of your daily activities add up to what is called your "Carbon Footprint," which is a measurement of how much impact a person or group is contributing to global carbon dioxide emissions. 
Click here to calculate your carbon footprint!
Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have been increasing and many are concerned that higher carbon dioxide levels will contribute to a "greenhouse effect", changing global climate patterns.
Green Business Challenge: Exciting New Workshops in October & November!

Check out our website for information about the new and exciting workshops we will be having! 

On October 28th, Dennis Wike, energy expert, and Araceli Perea, from EP Electric, will present about how businesses can save money by conducting energy audits and taking advantage of energy efficiency incentives.

On November 7th, Dr. Norma Mendoza will be giving a very informative presentation about how embracing "green" policies can help give your business the competitive advantage. 

If you would like to sign up for the challenge, or you would like more information, please check out our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to email us. 
Saving the Green in Your Wallet


It's time to bring out the blankets!
Did you know that lowering the thermostat by just one degree Fahrenheit can reduce energy use by 3 percent?
Image courtesy of
By lowering your thermostat in these soon-to-be cold winter months, you can save a lot on your energy bill. Bring out the blankets, wear socks and a sweater indoors to make up for the difference in temperature. 
Lowering your thermostat 10 degrees at nighttime could save as much at 20 percent on your energy bill! The more you lower it, the more savings you will see! 
Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Click here to learn more about cancer prevention and the resources available to you and your family.
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Time for the Howl-days!

In this October issue of Green Matters, you will find information about decreasing your VAMPIRE load, the Solar Car Challenge, the Environmental Explorers Summer Camp, Bags to Benches, and more!

We welcome your feedback about our  newsletter--please feel free to email us at with any questions or comments.


Lauren Baldwin
Sustainability Program Specialist
City of El Paso
Congratulations to our Overall Winner... Fire Station 29!
Fire Station Energy Savings Challenge Winner
Captain Larry Hernandez explains how his station was able to win this six-month challenge
Congratulations to all of our hard-working fire fighters! We would like to thank all of our wonderful fire fighters for all of your hard work throughout the Energy Savings Challenge. We hope that our stations were able to identify and modify high energy consumption behaviors and that they will continue their energy reduction changes in the future! 
ALAS, these six months have flown by! We would like to congratulate our overall winner of the challenge. This station consistently showed lower energy usage and proactively pursued ways to reduce their energy bill. A big CONGRATULATIONS to our overall winner... 


No surprise here, as they consistently reduced their energy and won three of the six months in this challenge. They
reduced their energy by 21%, with Station #3 in 2nd
place at 16%. 

Overall, 82% of the stations reduced their energy! 

We are so appreciative of our fire fighters' hard work throughout this energy reduction challenge!

Here is the list of our winners:
  • 1st winner, with the Best Plan: Fire Station 6
  • 2nd winner: Fire Station 26
  • 3rd winner: Fire Station 29
  • 4th winner: Fire Station 29
  • 5th winner: Fire Station 34
  • 6th winner: Fire Station 29
  • Overall challenge winner: Fire Station 29
Have you made any GREEN changes this year?

What GREEN changes have you made to your lifestyle, workplace, or home this year? 

Have you started composting? Have you switched out your incandescent light bulbs for CFLs? Did you buy a solar motion-sensor light for your front porch? Did you buy orange LED lights for Halloween (instead of conventional lights)? Did you take your Styrofoam peanuts to the local packing and shipping store, instead of throwing them away? Did you encourage your neighbor to start recycling

Turning plastic bags into a beautiful park bench


We need your help to turn plastic bags into a park bench!

Plastic bags collected through this program will be sent to Trex to be converted into a park bench to be given to the City of El Paso. Approximately 70,000 bags are needed to creat
e a bench.

Bags that may be recycled include: grocery bags, bread bags, dry cleaning bags, newspaper sleeves, ice bags, food storage bags, produce bags, bubble wrap and cereal bags.


The public is asked to take empty plastic bags to designated city facilities: 7968 San Paulo; 9311 Alameda; 4451 Delta; 7400 High Ridge; 11620 Vista Del Sol; 4435 Maxwell; 620 E. Seventh; 4001 E. Paisano; and 6701 Convair. Bags should be bagged.  


For more information please contact Tammy at (915) 621-6754.

Solar Car Challenge



When embarking on a 1600-mile cross country solar car race, it's a no-brainer to make the Sun City one of your pit stops.


The 2013 Solar Car Challenge race, which originated at the Texas Motor Speedway in Dallas, was welcomed by El Paso Electric, Time Warner, Texas State Energy Conservation Office and our own Sustainability Team at Franklin High School on July 26th. 


Over 200 hundred high school students from across the country and Puerto Rico faced the challenge that has been deemed by Science & Technology Magazine as one of the top science and engineering programs in the country. 


The challenge, for its 20th year, tasked the 110 teams to design, engineer, build and safely race road worthy solar cars. 


Fourteen of these teams made time for a two-day stop in El Paso, the official halfway point in their race, to showcase their crafty vehicle and the art of harnessing electrical energy in a sustainable way. "These vehicles really help people see the possibilities of solar energy and a more sustainable way of living," noted Marty Howell, Chief Sustainability Officer.


After two days of triple-digit weather and solar-car mania, the 14 high school teams continued on their journey to the California Science Center of Los Angeles.


Click HERE to see more pictures of the Solar Car Challenge. 

2013 EcoWise Environmental Summit

This year's EcoWise Environmental Summit was a huge success! The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality brought together border grassroots organizations and local businesses so they can work together to identify primary, local environmental issues and their solutions. There were breakout sessions that encouraged discussion about illegal dumping and sustainable buildings. 


A big congratulations to all of the wonderful people that organized the summit and for those that were recognized during the award ceremony! Among those that were recognized were Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo, Fort Bliss Recycles, and Ysleta High School's Environmental Science Academy! Keep up the great work!




Environmental Explorers Summer Camp 

Marty Howell, our Chief Sustainability Officer, led a presentation for the students at the Environmental Explorers Summer Camp this past August. He explained all about the City of El Paso's environmental efforts that featured a question and answer session on water treatment facilities and renewable energy! 



Images courtesy of Renew El Paso's Facebook page.


Photo of the Month

At this year's EcoWise Environmental Summit, one of the highlights of the day was the "Trashion Fashion" designs, made by El Paso Community College fashion design students. This lovely young lady is showing off a dress made out of folded magazines! What a creative way to reuse recyclable materials!
El Paso Office of Sustainability 
October 2013 Newsletter 
Visit our website for more information!