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June 2013
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Go Local

Go Local This Summer

Go local. It sounds great, right? But what exactly are all the benefits of buying local foods from right here in Hampton Roads? Our friends at Buy Fresh, Buy Local provide some great insight on reasons for being a locovore this summer, and tips on how to do so.



  • Buying local food keeps our dollars invested in our own community.
  • If every area household spent just $10 a week on local foods, it could generate $384.2 million annually in southeastern Virginia, and $1.65 billion statewide.
  • There's never been a more critical time to support our farmers. Between 2002 and 2007, Virginia lost more than 500,000 acres of farmland. With each local food purchase, you choose to support farms staying farms and farmers staying farmers.
  • Local food is fresher and tastes better than food shipped long distances from other states or countries.


  • Shop at farmers markets. Plan to get most of your produce there or think about joining a CSA (farm share) or Co-op.
  • Eat with the seasons. Your food will be thousands of miles tastier and more nutritious.
  • Grow things you can't buy in stores. And save a bundle of money by growing your own peppers, tomatoes, herbs, and salad greens.
  • Preserve what is growing in season. Can. Freeze. Make jam. Dehydrate figs and tomatoes. Each preserved bit of summer becomes a warm memory in January.


To learn more, visit and take the $10 a week challenge!

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Hot Tips for Staying Cool and Green
Pack a reusable water bottle filled with tap water for your next beach trip. The night before, fill it up three-fourths of the way with H20 and stick it in the freezer. It'll help you keep your cool at the water's edge.

Repurpose your reusable shopping bag as a picnic basket and pack it full of fruits and vegetables from your local farmers market. Toss in reusable napkins, tablecloths and silverware instead of disposables. When it's time to leave, make sure there isn't any trash on the ground.

Recycle more.
Make your own recycling containers out of baskets, boxes or bins and place them around your house and on your patio or porch to make it easier for you and your family to recycle paper, cans, glass and plastics with necks and spouts.

Use a ceiling fan in a counter-clockwise direction to enhance your cooling system. If you raise your thermostat by only two degrees and run your ceiling fan, you can lower cooling costs by up to 14 percent. Remember that ceiling fans cool you, not the room, so turn off the fan when you leave the room.
Maximize shade. Pull the curtains and shades closed before you leave your home to keep the sun's rays from overheating the interior of your home. If possible, move container trees and plants in front of sun-exposed windows to serve as shade.
Tighten the hose bib before you fill the kiddie play pool or water the grass. Leaks cost money which can make you hot under the collar!

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Be Good to Your Neighbors
Trash, leaves, motor oil. Yuck! No one would willingly choose to swim with these contaminants, but often that's exactly what we do when pollutants get washed into our favorite natural swimming spots. How does this happen? Here's a play-by-play:
  • Your neighbor toils in the yard all day, raking leaves, clipping branches and edging the sidewalk, all to make his yard the envy of the neighborhood.
  • But what he does next is actually harming his neighbors. 1) He blows his grass clippings into the street, and 2) He piles his leaves at the edge of the yard, with no regard for the city's next scheduled pick-up!  
  • What's the harm in that, you ask? Well, the next time the wind blows or the rain falls, your neighbor's yard debris is going to be washed down the street into the nearest storm drain opening. Some of that debris might get through the drain, which leads to the waterways where we swim and boat.
  • Wanna' know what else can happen? The yard debris can block the storm drain, preventing it from doing its job-moving stormwater off the street to reduce flooding. This can be especially critical during hurricane season, which arrives this month.

Want to be a good neighbor?


Do your part by keeping yard debris out of the street. Follow your locality's collection schedule and pickup requirements. Make sure trash bins are covered and oil leaks get fixed straight away. Oh, and scooping your dog's poop? It's always appreciated!

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