On the Award-Winning Farmer’s Branch website:

As the original “City in a Park,” Farmers Branch prides itself on being green in more ways than one. In addition to the City organization engaging in recycling and energy conservation measures on a daily basis, the community has the opportunity to participate with drop-off recycling stations located strategically throughout the City.

Going green” in Farmers Branch means more than the miles of trees, plants and landscaped grounds that populate our City. “Going green” means the City is using a variety of environmental programs to do its part to preserve and protect the Earth and the environment.

Find out more about how the City of Farmers Branch is “going green.”

I looked at the link to find out more, but it didn’t offer much – just a list of how City Hall is conserving: by buying energy saving lightbulbs, waterless urinals, digital thermostats, and complying with some Standard Building Codes.

 I know what you’re thinking: “That’s great, but how can I, a lowly citizen, be Green?”.

Well, when you’re buying plants, you could check out the one and only resource that the city points you to: The SmartScape® program.The SmartScape® site shows you what plants and irrigation systems to purchase, and how to set your sprinklers to conserve water. That’s okay, but doesn’t go far enough.

The Photo Gallery showed some very nice Texas landscapes, none from Farmers Branch. I guess that’s because there were a lot of plants that spilled out over sidewalks. Although that was very pretty it’s against Code here in “The City in a Park”.

Besides that, The SmartScape® program applies if you are purchasing plants and/or irrigation systems. That’s very nice, but what if you already have landscaping and don’t want to spend the money to completely redo it.

I know from experience that you can’t have a rain barrel if there’s a chance that someone may see it and be offended, so that’s out. Too bad too, because my rain barrel could wring over 55 gallons of water out of a half- inch rain shower. And my plants sure preferred the rainwater over city water. <sigh>

I guess you could have a compost bin. Never one to miss an opportunity to “Cha-Ching”, the city does sell those plastic compost bins, or so I hear. Actually, The Dirt Doctor recommends that compost be grown in “piles” not bins, and I’d guess the City has an ordinance against that too.

Always one to encourage citizen participation in squealing on your neighbors, the city does have a “Report a Litterer” link. I didn’t even bother to look at it, I just saw that it was there.

Hey – I have an idea – let’s have a contest.

It will be – How Can We Go Green Without Offending Our Neighbors and The City?

There will be a PRIZE for the best idea. I’m not going to tell you what it is right now, but you will like it.

Here’s my idea:

The City states that as part of their Go Green initiative they are:

Encouraging departments to consolidate trips in vehicles and check tire pressure regularly.

That is a great start, but we can go even further. Today I looked out my kitchen window and saw our Code Enforcer driving by. I had been weeding my back yard and had a huge pile of weeds. Since weed pickup isn’t until Tuesday I was worried because it was too early to put them on the curb, yet there they were, and that is Against Code.

I was a bit disappointed because he didn’t stop at my house. I guess he had bigger fish to fry today. But, since I was thinking about Code Enforcement and Trash Pickup at the same time, I had a great idea:

What if the Code Enforcement people rode with the Trash Collectors?! Just think – they could visit each and every home and business in Farmers Branch several times a week. Then I thought: What if the Code Enforcement people were the Trash Collectors? They could check your trash for contraband and distribute citations right then and there!

Oh – it gets better:

If the citizens left those Raid Mosquito Foggers out by their trash, the CE/TC person could spray for mosquitoes while he was enforcing the code and picking up trash! Especially when he/she is checking in the easements and alleys and back yards.


Let’s not stop here: As I drive along the streets in Farmers Branch I see many trees and bushes that are infringing on the curbs and pavement. So what if the CE/TC/MS person also trimmed the trees?! And the trash truck is right there, so he/she could discard the tree limbs and such right then and there?! NO WASTE to sully our city, promote crime, endanger children, and offend the easily offended.

This idea is about as Green as you can get, and the City can “Cha-Ching” by laying off a ton of employees. Win-Win-Win!!

Can you beat that?