Gail of Green Living


A huge part of green living for me is supporting green businesses.  HEB, a Texas grocery store chain has decided to construct their buildings and run their business with green design features and green business practices.   Recycling containers for plastic bags are set outside more than one entrance to the store.  I put my bags in the same place I keep my re-usable shopping bags–in the trunk of the car, so I have them to turn in every time I shop.

HEB is recognized as one of the best in the U.S. for safety and emission reductions.  Their truck wash saves 1.7 million gallons of water each year.  They have reduced their use of diesel fuel by over 830,000 gallons each year and carbon dioide emissions by more than 8,300 tons annually, which is the same as removing 614,815 cars from the road in one day!

This charging station for electric cars is in the HEB parking lot at Buffalo Market near West University.  eVgo‘s business is based on a network subscription plan where subscribers pay a fixed monthly charge that covers their vehicle charging at home and on the eVgo public charging stations. NRG pays the electricity cost on the public charging stations.

To learn more about this process, visit, where you can find
a wealth of information on eVgo, electric vehicles and public charging stations.

I’m going to cover some of the green architecture of Buffalo Market in a future post.  In the mean time, what green businesses do you support in your community?


Missing my Exercise Already!
Washing your car in your driveway on a summer day, as kids ride by on their bikes and your dog contentedly chews on a tennis ball in the front yard: it’s an idyllic movie scene, but is it the best way to get your car clean?Your car is a major investment, and there’s no question that keeping it clean will help retain its value. Dirt, road salt, acid rain, treesap, bird poop, squashed bugs and general grimeall wear away at your car. They dull the paint, corrode the metal and make your car more vulnerable to rust. Plus, it’s hard to take pride in a grimy car.Everyone loves the look of a car that is clean and new, fresh from the dealership. You can reclaim some of that new-car pride just by scrubbing off the dirt and polishing up the finish. But the question remains: is it better to wash your car yourself or go to the car wash?While you might think you are saving money by washing your car at home, there are many benefits to taking a spin through the car wash. When considering a trip to the car wash, be sure to factor in the following benefits of getting a professional wash.

The Right Tools

It’s easy to spend a small fortune in car wash solution, polish, tire brushes, chamois and other tools when washing your car at home. A professional car wash is specifically designed to efficiently and effectively wash your car.

Water Conservation

While water conservation efforts can become mandatory during a drought, it’s even better to conserve water year-round. Professional car washes often use much less water than at-home washing, particularly if they are recycling and reusing rinse water.

Environmental Safety

When washing your car at home, all the dirt, grime, soap suds and other pollutants get washed into the street and down the storm drain system, affecting local water quality. Because of this, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends commercial car washes over at-home washing.

Time-saving Convenience

There’s no doubt that taking a drive to a nearby car wash is more convenient than lugging out all your car wash supplies, scrubbing down your car, rinsing, drying, cleaning up and packing up all the supplies. When considering the cost of a professional car wash, don’t forget to weigh it against the value of your own time.

Fun for the Family

Face it, there is something just plain fun about a professional car wash. Kids love either riding through the bay in the car or running alongside the windows looking into the bay. You can’t help but smile when your car comes out shiny and clean. It’s fun to feel proud of your car, so don’t
let that feeling get buried under a layer of road grime.

…and I’ve always wanted to wash my own car, because it’s such great exercise!  I’ll just have to walk or bike further, I guess, because I never thought about all the grunge going into the street gutters, drain, off to the bayou and out to the bay–not good!!

Fall Garden: Planted!

This morning I got a head start on the Labor Day weekend and planted my organic garden, which is in pots.  First, I took the rich dark soil from the bottom of my compost pile and mixed it with a commercial organic soil mix.  Then, I took out the soil that supported the summer garden, and put it in the mix.  Then I had plenty of room to plant the tomatoes really deep and maximize the root growth.

From the top of the picture toward the bottom:  Cucumber Dasher with a tomato cage to support the vine, Celebrity Tomato, Rosemary, Husky Red Tomato, Solar Fire Tomato and Arkansas Traveler Celebrity has been a winner for us for several years, but I have never tried the others.  They are advertised as “heat tolerant“, so I’m banking on that!  On the south side of the house they get early morning shade and plenty of afternoon sun, which will become less harsh as the sun falls in its lower arc for the winter (I can’t wait!).  And they will get more morning sun once the trees lose their leaves in November and December.

Planting my garden gives me a spirit of optimism with a new beginning.   I look forward to sharing the progress.  …and rain would be nice!