Spring Spruce Up


Spring is around the corner and that means warmer temperatures and the beginning of ozone season on March 1st. It’s time to clear out the junk, plant a few flowers, and get ready for more sun. Here are some sustainable spring-cleaning tips, easy gardening ideas, and some important ozone season information to make getting ready for spring as easy as can be.


What is Ozone Season?

Ozone season occurs from March 1st to November 30th in North Texas. It’s when ground-level ozone is at its highest concentration. Ground-level ozone is a common air pollutant that forms when certain organic compounds mix with sunlight and intense heat. Examples of pollutants that contribute to this are vehicle emissions or power plant emissions. High ozone levels can make being outside dangerous for young children, senior citizens, and those with respiratory issues. Make sure to check airnorthtexas.org and NCTCOG’s ozone activity page for more information on air quality and updates on forecasts before spending time outside. Familiarize yourself with the Air Quality Index and know that when it is an orange, red, or purple day, it is unsafe to be outside. On green and yellow days, it’s a safe day for most people.


What Can You Do?

Visit airnorthtexas.org to sign up for air quality alerts and learn more about the Air Quality Index. Other things you can do include taking your lunch to work, working from home when you’re able to, reducing idling, conserving electricity and water, and trying to reduce pollution in your area.


Wednesday, August 4th, 2021 is Clean Air Action Day

You can share your clean air actions by including #CAAD2021 in your posts or by tagging @NCTCOGtrans. Visit www.airnorthtexas.org/cleanairactionday for a list of clean air choices you can make and submit the choice you plan to make.


Time for a Spring Spruce Up

Spring is creeping up on us with the spring solstice on March 20th, and that it’s time to come out of our dens to get some fresh air. Check out these tips for how to make your spring a sustainable success.


Time to Try Out Your Green Thumb

Warming temperatures mean gardening can finally resume and adding plants indoors will help improve your life in more than a few ways. Adding some green friends to your office or kitchen will help improve mood, mental health, and concentration. Plants are also a great stress reliever, so take some time and check out these pet friendly plants for new gardeners.


For those of you adventurous enough to attempt to garden outside, here’s some information on how to make your garden safe for canines. You can also check out these easy outdoor plants if you don’t have to worry about any furry friends.


If you’re worried about overwatering or underwatering, pick up a moisture meter from your local hardware store or nursery, it will tell you how dry your soil is.


If you’re going to be outside, make sure you check the air quality using the pages listed above to make sure it’s safe to be outside for extended periods of time during ozone season.


Donate, Donate, Donate

Donations to your local shelter or nonprofit are still a great way to practice sustainable spring cleaning while helping your community. Salvation Army and Goodwill are two well-known options that accept clothing and other household items for donation. There are plenty of organizations in need of help, but especially after the recent winter storms. The Genesis Women’s Shelter and the Tarrant County Homeless Coalition are just a couple of many North Texas organizations in need that can be found with a quick search. Make sure to check what they accept before making the trip or scheduling a donation.


Repurpose and Reuse

For the clothes and other textiles that you can’t donate, there are plenty of uses. You can repurpose old clothes and turn them into rags, pillows, blankets, and more. So, grab your sewing kit and have some fun learning how to use what can’t be donated sustainably. You can even make it fun for the kids by letting them cut out designs for a pillow or blanket made from old clothing that you’re repurposing. Check out this article for some interesting ideas for your old clothes. By repurposing, you’ll be preventing waste and helping our environment.


Use Environmentally Friendly Cleaners

Typical household cleaners use harsh chemicals and contribute to plastic use, so why not try something new? Whether it’s lemon and baking soda to get those stubborn stains out of plastic or pots and pans, there are plenty of safe and easy homemade cleaners for you to experiment with. By using environmentally friendly cleaners, you’ll make a difference in our environment by preventing plastic from entering our landfills. Check out this video filled with examples.


Take a Walk, Ride a Bike

Don’t forget to enjoy the outdoors, if you’re planning on making a trip that doesn’t require a car, try taking a bike or walking. Fresh air and sunlight are a welcome reprieve from sitting in your home office all day or sitting in traffic. By walking or biking, you’ll help improve air quality by keeping vehicles off the road. If you’re looking for a bike trail, check out NCTCOG’s trail resources here and check the air quality on our website before heading out.


Whether you’re excited about trying out your green thumb or you’re just ready to clean the house, these are some great first steps to prepare for the upcoming ozone season and a sustainable spring cleaning.

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