askHRgreen.org | February 2013 

The Love Issue


What's not to love about February? The days are getting longer, it's the shortest of months and there's a feeling of (dare we say it?) love in the air. This issue of the askHRgreen.org e-newsletter is all about showing a little love for the environment. So read on for simple ways you can embrace the green life this month. Let's just say it's our little Valentine for Hampton Roads.



Your Friends at askHRgreen.org 

Recycle Love
Love Your Recycling Bin


Be generous to your recycling bin this month and top it off with the things it loves:  aluminum cans, plastic bottles, jugs with a neck or pour spout, mixed paper, steel and tin cans, glass bottles and jars, empty food boxes and cardboard. Read on for more reasons to love recycling.


Recycling saves natural resources. 

Recycling conserves scarce natural resources by providing manufacturers with recycled materials to use instead of trees, metal, fossil fuel and other raw materials. Did you know that everyday products, from playground equipment to paper towels, can be made from recycled materials?


Recycling reduces pollution. Products made using recycled rather than raw materials use significantly less energy, which translates into less burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas. When burned, these fuels release pollutants into the air and water. There's no better gift for your sweetheart than a clean future, so also make sure to look for products that contain recycled content.


Recycling creates jobs. Recycling isn't just good for the environment; it's good for the economy, too. From curbside collection, to sorting, to manufacturing recycled-content products, recycling puts people to work and stimulates the economy. 


Recycling conserves landfill space. It can take hundreds of years for waste to break down in a landfill. Recycling reduces the amount of waste that goes into a landfill and extends the amount of time a landfill can remain open. Once a landfill closes, waste disposal options can become very costly for citizens.

Yard Love
Love Your Yard


Don't let the winter doldrums keep you out of the garden this month. Lawns, plants, trees and shrubs are all living things that require year-round TLC. A little work now will yield a healthy landscape in the spring. Follow these simple steps and your yard will soon be the pride of the neighborhood!


Keep Your Yard Clear. Heavy objects such as lawn furniture and toys can create dead spots in the spring. 


Protect Newly Planted Trees. Prevent bark splitting on newly-planted trees by wrapping trunks with burlap strips or a commercial tree wrap. Visit the Virginia Cooperative Extension site for more information about protecting trees. 


Water Properly. This past fall was very dry, so be sure your plants have enough water. Watering on warm days in January, February and March is important. 


Mulch. Mulch helps control erosion, retain moisture and stabilize soil temperature. A two-inch layer of mulch material, such as fir bark, pine needles or wood chips, reduces water loss to maintain uniform soil moisture around roots. 


Prune. Winter is a good time to prune certain trees and shrubs. Pruning keeps plants healthy and reduces the risk of falling branches. Visit the Virginia Cooperative Extension site or check out CaseyTrees' how-to videos to learn more. 


Test Your Soil. A soil test provides a list of recommendations for soil amendments to help you make the right decisions for your lawn. If the results indicate you need to fertilize, make sure you fertilize at the right time of year for your grass (see below). 


Know Your Grass. Cool season grasses such as tall fescue, fine fescue and rye grass should be fertilized in the fall (if needed). Warm season grasses such as zoysia grass, centipede grass and Bermuda grass should be fertilized (if needed). If/when you fertilize, check the weather to make sure rain is not in the near forecast to prevent fertilizer runoff. 


For more lawn and garden tips, visit www.askHRgreen.org


Mailing List

Good to Do tips for electronic recycling  


Love Your Energy Bill


Okay, so you'll probably never love any of your bills, but you can make your energy bill more manageable by implementing a few of these easy changes from the U.S. Department of Energy


* Cover drafty windows


* Switch to more efficient light bulbs


* Adjust the thermostat settings for peak efficiency


* Maintain your heating system (change filters regularly)


* Use ceiling fans to enhance your heating system


* Find and seal leaks


* Turn down the temperature of your water heater

Mulch Tip
Your 3Rs
Your Home
Your Business
Your Community
Your Classroom


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

(757) 420-8300