askHRgreen.org | January 2013

Green 2013


Let the New Year begin! While many will resolve to shed a few pounds, find a new job or get organized in the months ahead, one resolution is easy to achieve: to live greener in 2013. To help you get started, the experts with askHRgreen.org have compiled a top 10 list of ways to be a conscientious environmental steward throughout the year, every year.

  1. Choose Tap, Not Bottled Water - In addition to reducing your carbon footprint, replacing expensive bottled water with clean, safe, tap water is good for your wallet, too!  
  2. Get Involved - Resolve to be more involved in 2012 by joining local community clean-up events or sponsor an event in your neighborhood.  
  3. Recycle - There will be plenty of junk mail, plastic containers, glass bottles, cardboard, etc., to go around in 2013. Make sure it all finds a proper home in the big blue bin and take advantage of your local recycling drop off facility.  
  4. Buy Fresh, Buy Local - Support your community by buying fresh from local farmers here in Hampton Roads whenever possible, and consider joining a Community Supported Agriculture program in your city or county.  
  5. Conserve Water - Check toilets and faucets for leaks and repair them promptly, only do full loads of laundry and dishes, install low flow faucets and fixtures, take shorter showers and install a rain barrel to collect water for watering plants.  
  6. Test Before Fertilizing - Testing your soil will indicate what fertilizer mix is best and how much to apply. You'll get the best results and save money by not putting down more than your lawn needs.  
  7. BYOB (Bring-Your-Own-Bag) - Take your own tote when shopping, find alternative uses for plastic bags around the house and recycle what you can't reuse. For a recycling center near you, check out abagslife.com.  
  8. Dispose of the Disposal - Avoid using a garbage disposal and scrape your leftover food scraps into the trash or compost bin.  
  9. Cut Energy Costs - Switch to efficient light bulbs, install a programmable thermostat to adjust the temp for peak efficiency, change air filters regularly and look for the EnergyStar label when replacing old appliances.  
  10. Go Native in your Landscaping Routine - Choose native plants and trees. These plantings are water savvy, have fewer pest problems and need less fertilizer than non-native plants. Download the free guide to native plants in Hampton Roads.
Christmas Tree


When life gives you naturally-grown Christmas trees, make mulch! That's what most Hampton Roads municipalities do with live trees that are placed curbside or dropped off at specified collection areas for recycling after Christmas. Recycling your Christmas tree is a nice way to extend its life. Collected trees are chipped into mulch that is then used to spruce up city and county median areas and plantings. Collection dates and drop-off locations for each locality can be found online at askHRgreen.org.

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Winning Strategies
for Super Green,
Super Bowl Fun


Super Bowl party foods, while delicious, are also notoriously greasy. When poured or washed down the drain, the fats, oils and grease from cooking and serving these football finger foods can clog sink drains and pipes, causing backups in a home's plumbing. Calling a plumber to clean up the mess could cost anywhere from $150 to $450, and that's just for the first hour! To keep the plumber from crashing your game day party, follow these simple steps:


* Trash the fat when frying Buffalo wings, French fries, and mile-high hamburgers. Pour cooled oil and grease into a container, store in the freezer to solidify and toss in the garbage on trash day.


* Use a sink strainer to catch the scraps when peeling, slicing, and cutting vegetables for coleslaw, mashed potatoes or vegetable trays.


* Avoid using the garbage disposal; throw scraps in the trash or compost them.


* Before washing dishes, scrape food particles and batters into the trash. Dessert batters, sauces, and icings have a high fat content which could clog drains.


Remember, keeping drains free of fats, oils, and grease ensures a winning party every time!


Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC)
Chesapeake, Virginia 23320

(757) 420-8300