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Local Green Guide: Houston, TX

Recycling, Green Programs, Houston Events, Parks, & More

As the fourth largest city in the country, Houston has many things to offer its residents and tourists alike. From renowned restaurants, museums, live music and night life - this city has it all. Although built by the oil and gas industry, Mayor Parker has made it her mission to make Houston as green as possible. Many strides have and are being made to make Houston "more liveable, walkable and bikeable," according Laura Spanjian, Director of Sustainability for Houston. So here is a comprehensive green guide to highlight all green aspects of Houston.

Annual Events

Bike to Work Day - April 12th

Lights Out Houston - April 25th at 10:00 p.m. This is for all commercial buildings in the greater Houston area to pledge to turn lights off after 10:00 p.m.

Earth Day Houston at Discovery Green - April 14th. This is a FREE, one day celebration of family entertainment and environmental education.

Activities

DOWNTOWN

The Heritage Society
1100 Bagby
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 655-1912

Consists of nine structures restored in accordance to historical standards. Organic products are used for fertilizer and pest control.

Houston Astros
501 Crawford
Minute Maid Park
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 259-8000

First sports team in Houston to launch a recycling campaign and the baseball field is kept with eco-safe chemicals. Only fluorescent light bulbs are used and the club composts grass cuttings to use as fertilizer.

Segway Tours of Houston
1739 Richmond Avenue
Houston TX 77098
(713) 522-1200

Rent a Segway and tour Downtown or Buffalo Bayou.

MEMORIAL PARK/WASHINGTON CORRIDOR

Bayou Bend
6003 Memorial Drive
Houston, TX 77007
(713) 639-7750

Texas' largest all organic public garden down to the mosquito spray and soil preparation and treatment. The gardens are at their peak during March and April but open year around.

Beer Can House
222 Malone
Houston, TX 77007
(713) 926-6368

It's the ultimate recycling project made of over 50,000 cans (estimated by Ripley's Believe It or Not).

Houston Arboretum and Nature Center
4501 Woodway Dr.
Houston, TX 77024
(713) 681-8433

Visitors can enjoy more than 5 miles of nature trails, including forest, pond, wetland and meadow habitats.

MUSEUM DISTRICT

Children's Museum of Houston
1500 Binz
Houston, TX 77004
(713) 522-1138

This children's museum offers many activities for the kids including an environmental outdoor exhibit which is powered almost entirely by solar panels.

Houston Zoo
6200 Hermann Park Drive
Houston, TX 77030

The Houston Zoo has implemented many green strategies in their day to day operations as well as in their new construction. See herefor more information.

The Menil Collection
1515 Sul Ross
Houston, TX 77006
(713) 525-9400

Enjoy every changing art exhibitions ranging from antiquities to modern and contemporary art. It has employed major recycling initiative throughout the campus and has switched to fluorescent and other energy efficient lighting. Also, prints all materials on recycled paper and uses environmentally friendly soy-based dyes.

Revolution E-Bikes
1544 Westheimer Road
Houston, TX 77006
(713) 523-2453

Rent an electric bike at Revolution E-Bikes. It's a great way to learn about electric bikes and tour the city.

GREATER HOUSTON

Houston B-Cycle
(713) 865-3662

Check out a bike through the city's low cost B-Cycle program. Houston B-cycle members can pick up a bike at any B-station and return it to that same station or any other B-station when they're done.

Buffalo Bayou

Buffalo Bayou runs 52 miles through the city from Shepherd Dr. to the Turning Basin. You can hike, bike, canoe and kayak your way down the bayou.

Farmers Markets

WEEKLY

Airline Farmers' Market
When: Open Daily from 6:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Where: 2520 Airline Dr. Houston, TX 77009
(713) 862-4027
Neighborhood: The Heights

TUESDAYS

Rice University Farmers Market
When: 3:30-6:30 p.m.
Where: Rice University, West Stadium Lot, 5600 Greenbriar Dr. Houston, TX 77005
Neighborhood: Rice University

WEDNESDAYS

City Hall Farmers Market - OPEN FOR THE FALL http://urbanharvest.org/
When: 11:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Where: City Hall, 901 Bagby St. Houston, TX 77002
(713) 880-5540
Neighborhood: Downtown

Central City Co-Op
When: Every Wednesday
Where: 2515 Waugh Dr. Houston, TX 77006
Neighborhood: Montrose

THURSDAYS

Rawfully Organic Produce Pick Up
When: 4:00-8:00 p.m.
Where: CityCentre, Plaza Lawn, 800 Town and Country Blvd. Houston, TX 77024
Neighborhood: Memorial

Spring Branch Farmers Market
When: 2:00-6:00 p.m.
Where: Unitarian Fellowship of Houston, 1504 Wirt Rd.
Neighborhood: Spring Branch

SATURDAYS

Urban Harvest Farmers Market
When: 8:00 a.m. - Noon
Where: 3000 Richmond Houston, TX 77098
(713) 880-5540
Neighborhood: Greenway/Upper Kirby

The Farm Stand at Petrol Station
When: 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Where: Petrol Station, 985 Wakefield
Neighborhood: The Heights

White Oak Farmers Market

When: 8:00 a.m.-Noon
Where: Onion Creek Cafe, 3106 White Oak
Neighborhood: The Heights

SUNDAYS

Urban Harvest Farmers Market
When: 11:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Where: 3000 Richmond Houston, TX 77098
(713) 880-5540
Neighborhood: Greenway/Upper Kirby

Parks

DOWNTOWN

Allen's Landing
1001 Commerce Street
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 752-0314

Discovery Green
1500 McKinney
Houston, TX 77010
(713) 333-1161

Sam Houston Park
1000 Bagby
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 655-1912

Sesquicentennial Park
400 Texas Avenue
Houston, TX 77002

Tranquility Park
400 Rusk St.
Houston, TX 77002

EAST END

Guadalupe Park
2311 Runnels
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 752.0314

Hidalgo Park
7000 Avenue Q
Houston, TX 77011
(713) 752.0314

Tony Marron Park
808 North York
Houston, TX 77003
(713) 752-0314

THE HEIGHTS

Spotts Park
401 South Heights Boulevard
Houston, TX 77007
(713) 845-1000

MEMORIAL PARK

Houston Arboretum & Nature Center
4501 Woodway Drive
Houston, TX 77024
(713) 681-8433

Memorial Park
6501 Memorial Drive
Houston, TX 77001
(713) 863-8403

MUSEUM DISTRICT

Hermann Park
6201 A Golf Course Drive
Houston, TX 77030
(713) 524-5876

RIVER OAKS

Buffalo Bayou Art Park
100 Sabine St.
Houston, TX 77007
(713) 502-9454

Buffalo Bayou Park
18-3600 Allen Parkway and Memorial Drive
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 752-0314

Eleanor Tinsley Park
500 Allen Parkway
Houston, TX 77002

Transportation

GreenLink Shuttle
When: Monday through Friday, 6:30am-6:30pm.
Neighborhood: Downtown only
Cost: FREE

For visitors sightseeing or the downtown community - hop on the GreenLink shuttle for free. With stops all around downtown, it's an easy way to connect to restaurants, shops and entertainment.

The Wave
(713) 863-9283
When: Thursdays: 6:00 p.m. - 1:00 a.m.
Fridays & Saturdays: 6:00 p.m. - 3:00 a.m.
Sundays: 4:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.

Neighborhoods: Midtown,the Heights, Downtown/East Downtown, Rice Village,Upper Kirby/Shepherd, Montrose,Galleria/Uptown and the Washington Corridor

Cost: One Way Rates: One Route - $5/Cross Route - $8
All Night Access Rates: One Route - $10/Cross Route $15

Going out for a night on the town? Ensure it's a safe night and take The Wave, Houston's premier jitney shuttle service.

MetroRail
(713) 635-4000
When: Monday - Thursday: 4:30am - 11:40pm
Friday: 4:30am - 2:20am
Saturday: 5:30am - 2:20am
Sunday: 5:30am - 11:40pm

Neighborhood: Downtown, Museum District and Medical Center

Cost: $1.25 (one way)

See everywhere from Downtown to Reliant Stadium on Houston's light rail system.

Utilize one of METRO's many services:

  • Park & Ride - Utilize one of METRO's 28 Park& Ride lots that provide bus service to key destinations.
  • Bus - Local service runs mostly on city streets, stopping at every other corner along its route. They also will be rolling out a new fleet of 40 diesel-hybrid buses in the future.
  • METROLift - is a FREE paratransit service that provides transportation service for people with disabilities who cannot board, ride or disembark from a METRO fixed-route bus.
  • METRO STAR Vanpool - It's a vanpool where riders share the cost of the vehicle, fuel, maintenance routes and any parking and tolls.

http://www.greenhoustontx.gov/bikeways.html. The City of Houston offers over 300 miles interconnected bikeway network spanning across 500 square miles. The network includes bike lanes, bike routes, signed-shared lanes and shared-use paths.

Hotels

Hilton Americas
1600 Lamar
Houston TX 77010
(713) 739-8000
Neighborhood: Downtown

Houstonian Hotel
111 North Post Oak Lane
Houston TX 77024
(713) 680-2626
Neighborhood: Galleria/Uptown

Magnolia Hotel
Texas Avenue
Houston TX 77002
(713) 221-0011
Neighborhood: Downtown

Embassy Suites Houston, Downtown
1515 Dallas Street
Houston TX 77010
(713) 739-9100
Neighborhood: Downtown

Hyatt Regency Houston
1200 Louisiana St
Houston, TX 77002
(713) 654-1234
Neighborhood: Downtown

Hotel Derek
2525 W Loop S Fwy
Houston, TX 77027
(713) 961-3000
Neighborhood: The Galleria

Modern B&B

4003 Hazard St
Houston, TX 77098
(832) 279-6367
Neighborhood: Upper Kirby

Courtyard Houston by The Galleria
2900 Sage Road
Houston, Texas 77056
(713) 622-3611
Neighborhood: The Galleria

Hilton Garden Inn Houston Energy Corridor
12245 Katy Fwy, Houston, TX 77079
(281) 531-0220
Neighborhood: Energy Corridor

Dining

Ruggles Green - CityCentre
801 Town & Country Blvd
Houston TX 77024
(713) 464-5556
Neighborhood: Memorial/Energy Corridor

Sparrow Bar + Cookshop
3701 Travis Street
Houston TX 77002
(713) 524-6922
Neighborhood: Midtown

Haven
2502 Algerian Way
Houston, TX 77098
(713) 581-6101
Neighborhood: Upper Kirby

Elevation Burger
3819 Kirby Dr.
Houston, TX 77098
(713) 524-2909
Neighborhood: Upper Kirby

Just Dinner
1915 Dunlavy St.
Houston, TX 77006
(713) 807-0077
Neighborhood: Montrose

Local Foods
2424 Dunstan Rd.
Houston, TX 77005
(713) 521-7800
Neighborhood: West University

Zelko Bistro
705 E. 11th St.
Houston, TX 77005
(713) 880-8691
Neighborhood: The Heights

The Grove
1611 Lamar
Houston, TX 77010
(713) 337-7321
Neighborhood: Downtown

Harvest Organic Grille
11681 Westheimer Rd.
Houston, TX 77077
(281) 597-0000
Neighborhood: Westchase/West Houston

City Programs

Brownfields Redevelopment Program

The City of Houston facilitates the redevelopment of brownfields. For example, Minute Maid Park was built on a former brownfield.

The Environmental Coordinating Council This council is comprised of city employees from each of the city's several departments to meet and discuss environmental issues such as coordinating environmental investigations, Enhancing cross-departmental environmental education, etc.

Energy Efficiency Incentive Program (EEIP)

The EEIP will provide a financial incentive to help motivate office building owners, property managers, and tenants located in the City of Houston to reduce energy consumption and increase the economic performance of their building.

Electric Vehicles

Starting with just two Toyota Prius vehicles in 2002, today the City's light duty passenger fleet has become over 50% hybrid.

Green Office Challenge

This is a friendly competition for commercial property managers and office tenants to acknowledge participants for their achievements in greening their operations through Mayoral and media recognition.

Houston Bikeways Program

The City of Houston offers over 300 miles interconnected bikeway network spanning across 500 square miles. The network includes bike lanes, bike routes, signed-shared lanes and shared-use paths.

Recycling

The City of Houston offers two types of recycling services for participating areas of Houston that allow Houstonians to recycle curbside on a bi-weekly basis.

REEP

Funded by CenterPoint Energy, the City of Houston created the Residential Energy Efficiency Program (REEP) to provide income-qualified Houstonians the opportunity to receive the implementation of weatherization measures for their homes for free. These funds allow for Houstonians to reduce their energy consumption by installing energy efficiency upgrades such as CFL light bulbs, door weather-stripping, caulking, wall and attic insulation, air conditioners, HVAC system upgrades, refrigerators, solar screens and more.

Organizations

Citizens' Environmental Coalition

This organization provides environmental news and resources for the Houston region.

U.S. Green Building Council: Texas Gulf Coast Chapter

It connects environmental stewardship and sound business practices within the local building industry and offers educational programs to the building industry and public at large, in order to grow both local expertise and the green building market.

Go to Find Green 411 for a complete list of Houston's environmental organizations.

Resources:

Visit Houston Texas http://www.visithoustontexas.com/travel-tools/green-houston

Green Houston - http://www.greenhoustontx.gov

Green Building Resource Center - http://www.codegreenhouston.org

Green Restaurant Association - http://www.dinegreen.com

Go Carbon Neutral! - http://carbonfund.org/

Green Houston - GreenHouston.pdf

Guide to Houston Farmer's Markets - http://www.chron.com/entertainment/article/Guide-to-Houston-Farmer-s-Markets-4457044.php

Shopping in Houston's Farmer's Markets - http://www.visithoustontexas.com/shopping/farmers-markets/

Green Houston Dining and Food - http://www.visithoustontexas.com/travel-tools/green-houston/dining-and-food/

Green Houston Hotels - http://www.visithoustontexas.com/travel-tools/green-houston/hotels/