McAllen Mayor Richard Cortez stood at a podium on Earth Day in the McAllen Chamber’s courtyard and talked to a small audience of about 50 people. In that audience were about 20 students from a nearby elementary and they sat there and listened dilligently to the message Cortez had to say.

“You need to tell adults if they (children) feel adults are not being green enough,” he said.

Green Mountain Energy was also there, but they were in attendance to donate solar panels that would create of 4,000 hours of energy a year.

“It’s great to back in my hometown,” said Vanessa Montelongo, South Texas Market Manager for Green Mountain Energy. “I went to live in Houston for 14 years and now that I’m back it’s great to see how much everyone is so excited about going green.”

Montelongo and Cortez flipped a switch together signifying the turning on of the solar panels making the McAllen Chamber of Commerce the first chamber in the Valley to be powered by solar panels.

State Rep. Veronica Gonzalez also spoke to the children directly and had a message of her own.

“Today we celebrate 40 years of Earth Day,” Gonzalez said. “You kids are the ones that are teaching us about all the recycle, reuse and the compose and making sure we turn off our lights and water when we’re not using it and unplug appliances and all the things that you’re doing.”

She also told the audience about what the state is doing to become a more green state.

“This last session we said that cities are given the authority now to allow people to pay for their solar panels through their property tax bills over a decade instead of having to pay them all up front,” “This is a great opportunity to have solar panels at their homes.”

She also said that the state now requires that all new vehicles use for the state have to meet a high fuel efficency standards.