Have you ever wondered why some cities look pristine, clean and their pollution is lower than other metropolitan areas, while other cities do not? We undertook a study to determine why cities in South Texas are so clean and powered by green, environmentally friendly, sustainable energy. After all, a city that does not define its clean energy goals cannot realize its full potential.
Renewable Energy and Recycling in San Antonio
San Antonio, Texas is one city in South Texas that has defined clear goals for renewable energy and recycling. To begin, the city announced that it will no longer charge a fee for organics collection service. The city provides a green, organics recycling cart as part of the program. The weekly collection service is aimed at collecting leaves, grass, shrubs, food scraps and food-soiled paper. The green cart is collected on the same day as the blue recycling cart that is used traditionally. It takes recycling a step further and one of the outcomes is a cleaner city. The city has a request form on their website that educators can complete to request an educational presentation for use in schools. The city aims to reach a 60% recycle goal by the year 2025.
The Green Economy in San Antonio
San Antonio’s economy is robust and diverse. The mayor of San Antonio has defined a “New Energy Economy” for the city which focuses on recruiting clean energy technology companies to open operations throughout South Texas area. The partnership with CPS Energy helps to facilitate this goal for the new energy economy. Companies that come to San Antonio are developing clean energy technologies such as home area networks, solar panels, and LED lighting. This effort intends to create several thousand jobs in the economy of San Antonio. This new investment of capital helps San Antonio continue its climb to become one of the most sustainable cities in the United States, but also a leader in creating jobs in the accelerating New Energy Economy.
Water Efficiency in San Antonio
The city of San Antonio has defined a clear goal for long-term water management and efficiency. Indeed, San Antonio Water System establishes and updates a long-term water management plan by responding to changes in population, political climate, weather and environmental demands. Not only does the plan include water conservation through diversification and among other things, recycling of water. An example includes the cities initiative to deliver recycled water to the numerous golf courses, parks and industrial companies in the area. The city of San Antonio is proud of its water efficiency initiatives and reaps the benefit of reaching the goal of maintaining the largest direct recycled water system in the United States. It’s a goal that has made San Antonio more efficient and more attractive to families and companies.
One step the City took toward creating a pathway to zero waste was the amending of the Chapter 14 code. The new amendment ensures that all families and individuals living in apartments, condominiums, town homes, high rise condominiums and San Antonio Housing Authority properties have the opportunity to recycle. This ordinance was the first of its kind in the state of Texas. San Antonio has defined a goal of 10-Year Recycling and Resource Recovery Plan is to recycle 60% of all material collected. It’s a goal whose heights are very high, but at the same time, a benchmark of which other cities within the great state of Texas can aim to meet. San Antonio has propelled itself as one of the top cities in the United States for environmentally-friendly objectives.
San Antonio and Clean Energy
The city of San Antonio has pretender with CPS Energy, a national leader in renewable energy, with resources that include solar, wind, and landfill gas. CPS Energy is the leading community-owned utility in wind capacity, purchasing 1059 MW of wind power from farms in west and south Texas and along the state’s coast.
San Antonio Environmental Health
Currently, about 22 farmers markets are in operation throughout the city of San Antonio. The City joined with the San Antonio Food Bank to lease 18 acres of unused City land to cultivate fruits and vegetables that will amount to more than half a million pounds of produce a year that will be distributed to needy families.
Tree Planting Initiative in San Antonio
The Parks and Recreation Department of San Antonio has implemented the Tree Challenge Program, the Tree Planting Initiative and the Tree Adoption Program resulting in over 50,000 trees being planted since the inception of the program. The department has also taken important roles in special events such as Earth Day and Arbor Day. Additionally, the city’s Green Shade Rebate Program CPS Energy, in partnership with the City of San Antonio, is promoting energy savings by allowing citizens to purchase up to five trees and receive a rebate of $50 per tree. The long term goal of the program is to increase the City’s tree canopy from 38 to 40 percent while also reducing energy consumption.
Web Hosting San Antonio
The Internet of Things in San Antonio is part of the eco-friendly initiatives. Indeed, data centers are leading sources of carbon emissions. As such, cities take part in the planning of data center and big data as an opportunity to grow tech in the industry, while also cementing the city as a leader in green IT. San Antonio and the south Texas area is no different. Web hosting San Antonio is a growing sector of the Internet. It’s alive and well, plus growing and perfecting the business goals for companies in South Texas.
The Internet of Things
The Internet of things refers to the internet working of physical devices, vehicles (also referred to as “connected devices” and “smart devices”), buildings and other items—embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity that enable these objects to collect and exchange data. City leaders have a fine line of which to balance while providing opportunities for job growth in the region without over-taxing the environment in order to reach these goals. The Internet of Things revolves around increased machine-to-machine communication; it’s built on cloud computing and networks of data-gathering sensors; it’s mobile, virtual, and instantaneous connection; and they say it’s going to make everything in our lives from streetlights to seaports “smart”.
Green Web Hosting in San Antonio
The area of South Texas is home to many web hosting conglomerates, but a certain sector of the web hosting industry focuses on utilizing green, environmentally friendly energy to power data centers. While not all companies can generate wind power, for example, they can invest in Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) in an effort to off-set their electricity use. Green web hosts utilize the same state-of-the-art data centers that traditional web hosts benefit from. But a green web host takes it a step further by calculating (usually on an annual basis) their energy use and purchasing RECs to off-set that electricity use. One host in Texas, Green Host It, invests in Texas wind power to off-set its electricity use.
Smart Economy and City Growth
Core components of cities should become more and more smart. Smart initiatives should be planned to both improve the smartness of the core components of the city, while also improving the quality of life for the city’s inhabitants. Until recently, smart projects were mainly focused on themes such as building energy efficiency, greenhouse gas reduction, broadband diffusion, but now performance indicators evaluate the progress of a smart strategy. The city goals of San Antonio and its implementation steps include spreading awareness about the smart city role and its benefits for people, companies, and organizations within the area. The city of San Antonio has risen to the level of distinguished local governments who participate with business, universities, not-for-profit organizations and citizens themselves to share the work to build a smart, while also environmentally-friendly city. San Antonio is a city that has increased the return on investment for the area – financial, political, social and human.