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May 2013
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Drinking Water Week

Celebrate the Essential During Drinking Water Week

May 5-11 is Drinking Water Week, an annual celebration of, you guessed it, our drinking water! If you've never heard of Drinking Water Week, you might wonder why we celebrate something so basic? Well, we live in a world where more than a billion people are without access to safe, clean drinking water. Each year, an estimated three million people worldwide die from preventable waterborne disease. Yet, in Hampton Roads, we have some of the cleanest, safest drinking water in the world-and all at an affordable price. We should celebrate that privilege!

 

For about a dollar, you can buy a bottle of water at the store. Or, you can fill up 1,500 glasses of tap water. Now that's a great value. Think about it. Here in Hampton Roads, a family using 5,000 gallons of water per month will spend about $75 monthly on water and sewer services. How much do you pay per month for your smart phone? Could you live without it? Yes. Could you live without tap water? Not for long!

 

Here at askHRgreen.org we have decided to celebrate Drinking Water Week by saying "fill 'er up!" That's right, grab a reusable bottle (or two) and take your tap to go! It's easier than ever thanks to programs such as TapIt, a regional water bottle refilling network that allows you to fill your reusable bottle on the go. Simply take it into any of our partner cafés and fill it up with clean tap water for FREE! TapIt's online store locator shows you the closest places to fill your bottle. Want to become a partner? We'd love to hear from you. Cheers!
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Go Native in Your Yard (native plants, that is)

Native Plants How would you like to walk out your door to see a spread of beautiful colors across your yard, hear songbirds singing in the trees and spy butterflies fluttering about? Sure you would! And you easily can by planting native plants and trees in your yard. When we say "native" we mean plants and trees that are adapted to the local soil and climate of Hampton Roads. These plants are wonderfully low maintenance. They don't require wasteful watering, fertilizing or pesticides. Planting natives also restores wildlife habitat for birds, butterflies and beneficial insects (think honey bees!). askHRgreen.org has great tips and information about native plants, courtesy of the Virginia Tech Cooperative Extension Environmental Horticulture Office in Chesapeake.

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Please Flush Responsibly

Regardless of what the packaging may say, if it is not toilet paper, it belongs in the trash and not down the drain! Tissues, paper towels, cotton swabs, feminine hygiene products and those so-called "flushable" disposable wipes can wreak havoc on your pipes causing clogs that result in a nasty backup. Remember, the toilet is not a wastebasket, so please flush only your personal contributions. Not only will you save your pipes, you'll also save plenty of water!

 
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Flush Good to Know: 
Expired or unwanted medications should never be flushed, either. They can contaminate the environment when the treated wastewater is discharged back into our waterways. Be a good green steward and learn how to properly and safely dispose of medications.

What do you know about H2O?

 

Water TestEach year, all water utilities prepare a water quality report which contains information about your water and summarizes test results performed from the prior year. Be on the lookout for your local water quality report to learn where your water comes from, how it is treated and tested, and how your water compares to federal and state standards. Annual water quality reports will be available in each city/county in Hampton Roads by July 1, 2013.

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