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December 2013
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Frying a Turkey This Holiday Season?
Get the Facts, Jack.
Is your mouth watering at the thought of a deep-fried gobbler this holiday season? Then, it's time to talk turkey. Did you know that large quantities of cooking oil can be kept for up to six months and reused for up to six hours of frying time? It can also be recycled. Simply put the used fryer oil back into its original container and drop it off at your city or county's recycling/household hazardous waste center. Need more info? We've got lots of great advice about how to properly dispose of fats, oils and grease-including a turkey frying fact sheet -at, your go-to source for all things green in Hampton Roads.
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Green Your Gift-Giving this Holiday Season

It's easy to lose track of your concern for protecting the environment during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. So before you cross all those gifts off your list, check out these easy ways to give a little greener this year.

Celebrate Locally.
Before hitting the online and big box sales, check out local shops and farmer's markets for unique treasures that are unlikely to end up in next year's white elephant gift exchange!

Don't be Material.
Give the gift of a memorable experience. How about "dinner-and-a-movie" gift certificates for your newlywed sister, a skydiving voucher for your adrenaline-junky brother or a donation to an animal rescue for your animal-loving Grandma.
Give the Gift of Green.
If you do go with a traditional gift, give something that will help others be eco-friendly all year long, like a chic reusable bag, travel cup to fill with tap water or packaging-free coffees and teas. And, if you give electronic gifts, include rechargeable batteries.
Regift that Wrapping Paper!
Crafty green gift wrapping options abound! Fabric, maps, your child's artwork or reused tissue paper are all great options for wrapping gifts. And remember, reuse this year's bags and tissue paper for zero waste wrapping next year!
Pass on your old toys and clothes!
If you need to make room for new holiday goodies, make sure to properly recycle your old electronics and donate old clothing and textiles to local consignment shops and thrift stores.
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Protecting Local Waterways, One Free Pet Waste Station at a Time

Hampton Roads residents can now apply for a free pet waste station through a new grant program from If your neighborhood association, community group or property  manager is ready to make scooping the poop a priority, simply complete the online application at For those who qualify, provides the pet waste station, which comes ready to install and includes a post, sign, bag dispenser, waste can, hardware, 400 dog waste bags and 50 can liners. It's yours to keep! All your group needs to do is install the station, regularly empty the trash and replace the bags.


Leaving pet waste on the ground? That's just gross. Installing a pet waste station is one easy way to combat water pollution in your community, while keeping our local waterways clean. In addition to being unsightly, pet waste gets washed into our waterways when it rains and becomes a major source of nitrogen and bacteria pollution. This excess nitrogen and bacteria is responsible for cloudy, green, foul-smelling water, aquatic dead zones, declines in local fish and crab populations and beach closures. will accept applications as long as the pet waste stations are in stock. Supplies are limited, so apply today!
"O Christmas Tree" Recycling in Hampton Roads
These lovely evergreens are sure to deck the halls in many homes across Hampton Roads this holiday season, but after the holidays, don't forget to recycle your naturally-grown Christmas tree. Most cities and counties have a recycling program in place to turn the trees into mulch and will either pick them up curbside or provide collection areas for residents to drop off their trees after Christmas. Remember to clear the tree of any ornaments, lights, tinsel or stands before disposing of it. Check for Christmas tree recycling collection schedules and drop-off locations by locality.

For greener holiday tips and reminders, check the chatter at our  "Let's Talk Green"  blog! is a public awareness program of the 16 cities and counties of Hampton Roads administered through the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC). Members include the cities of Chesapeake, Franklin, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach and Williamsburg; the counties of Gloucester, Isle of Wight, James City, Southampton, Surry and York; and the Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD).