My vermiculture adventure started in November 2018 a couple months after I returned to Texas from my eco-road trip . Having spent the previous seven months up at an intentional community in Oregon, I wanted to continue my greener living with something easy I could do.
I saw a DIY worm bin class advertised online with the Texas Worm Ranch, and figured it might be interesting. Little did I know how big these little guys would become in my life after I got my first worm bin going!
Take Care of Texas is a statewide campaign from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality that provides helpful information on Texas’ successes in environmental protection and encourages all Texans to help keep our air and water clean, conserve water and energy, reduce waste, and save a little money in the process!
Take Care of Texas Overview
I’ve outlined major highlights below in my role with the Take Care of Texas (TCOT) program. These sections include samples of my work ranging from graphical work to written blog content and more! I’ve also included my experiences with other program initiatives.
Shortly after joining the program, a new logo was implemented for TCEQ as well as the TCOT program.
Using my background in marketing, I helped steer the program into a new branding direction with the team. This also included updating our style guide, branded content, and other initiative logos – like our Proud Partner Logo.
Here’s a list of famous people (and locally famous icons) I’ve met along my way in life. They are all some how related through either my eco-travels, my conservation career, or my general eco-interests. Most of these people I’ve met while in Texas, which goes to show there’s a growing interest in eco-thinking in Texas.
I’ve included a brief bio and how I’ve met each person. I also included a video of each person for better context. (You might not consider some of these people to be famous, but they are well-know in local movements.)
Famous Person: Marty Raney
Homestead Builder, Master Stone Mason, Hunter & Mountain Guide
“Marty Raney does the teaching and travels helping other homesteaders learn the ways. He is often joined by daughter Misty who is a good carpenter and a farmer and son Matt a proficient hunter. Their journey is chronicled on the Discovery show “Homestead Rescue.”
Marty was who I was most excited to see at the Mother Earth News Fair! I’ve watched nearly all of his Homestead Rescue episodes. He’s an inspiration for another way to live, while also making homesteading popular on TV.
My girlfriend wanted to get away from Austin for a weekend Texas coast trip. We rented an AirBnB in Aransas Pass, TX with no real set plans, other than just hanging out. So I looked for eco-destinations in the area to go visit. We considered going to the Texas State Aquarium, but two adult tickets were going to be $80! Meaning we looked elsewhere. That’s when I found the South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center in Corpus Christi, TX. We headed over there with her dogs because unlike the aquarium, these gardens were pet-friendly.
After attending many educational events and conferences, I noticed a trend of educational exhibit trailers. I’m a big fan of mobile education, especially when it’s experiential and hands on. Mobile learning (not digital) helps students absorb information differently than traditional classroom at-desk learning. Trailers like there outside of conferences can be towed to schools for on-site field trips or to create temporary outdoor classrooms for contextual environmental learning. I could go on about this topic!
The educational trailers listed below include a mobile greenhouse, aquaponic lab, anti-poaching station, mobile solar power and education, and interactive agricultural exhibits!
Mobile Aquaponics Learning Lab Trailer
“Out of the very humble beginnings of a tiny, dark, crowded ag mech shop at Collins Middle School, Larry Acock and his team of young eighth grade boys have emerged year after year with some very spectacular projects.
One year they did a handicapped-accessible deer stand with elevator for disabled veterans. Last year they made the first mobile calf cooler of its kind. And this year, they topped by constructing a mobile aquaponics lab.” – Corsicana Daily Sun
Wall of Shame Anti-Poaching Traveling Exhibit
“The Operation Game Thief Wall of Shame Exhibit, is a display that acts as a valuable means of advertising the Operation Game Thief message with the public.” – Operation Game Thief
Along my travels, I’ve come across a lot of different architectural models and 3D printed works. With the rate of 3D technology improving, I can easily see 3D printed houses on a commercial scale in coming years. The models I found most interesting lean toward a futuristic design. A type of design that is self-contained and often includes food production and passive energy elements.
Below you’ll find futuristic buildings, 3D printed products, and a few other interesting models!
Architectural Models at A&M University
These were some of the models at the school of architecture at Texas A&M University. The first was that of Frank Lloyd Wright’s ‘The Robie House,’ built by two students. Next to that house was an artistic architectural flow chart of the school’s disciplines. Very cool! After my tour I went to the student center and found a three-dimensional map with raised buildings and braille for visually impaired people to use to orient themselves on campus.