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January-February 2015
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Easy Ways to Go Green in 2015!

It's that time of year again! New Year's resolutions help each of us focus on what we could be doing better or what we'd like to change. And no matter how green you think you are, there's always room for improvement. If you resolve to live a little greener in 2015, here are five super easy ways to help you get started.
Recycle your plastic bags.
If you choose plastic over paper at the grocery store, make sure you recycle your plastic bags ... but not in your curbside container. Gather plastic bags and return them to the grocery store for recycling on your next trip.
Scoop the Poop.
Don't look the other way when your furry friend does his business. Pledge to scoop the poop and reduce pollution in local waterways. All you have to do is scoop it, bag it, trash it!
Ditch your garbage disposal.
Resolve to scrape food scraps and leftovers into the trash or compost bin. Garbage disposals send food scraps into the pipes which can become clogged and spill sewage into local waterways.
Choose tap water
Drinking tap water, instead of bottled water, is an easy way to be green on multiple levels! It cuts back on your carbon footprint, decreases trash and shows your support for your local water infrastructure.
Don't be an energy hog. The TV is on, but no one is watching! Wasted electricity is a wasted resource. It takes a lot of resources to produce energy, and the environment is polluted in the process. So take a second and turn off electronics and lights when not in use.

Help Your Christmas Tree Give Back

Naturally-grown Christmas trees are a beautiful centerpiece for holiday celebrations. Don't let them leave an ugly mark when it's time to toss them out. Christmas trees that are thrown out with the trash will take up valuable space in local landfills. But Christmas trees can do some good if they are recycled. Recycled Christmas trees get a second life as compost or mulch, which enhance our communities. Many cities and counties in Hampton Roads offer Christmas tree recycling to residents for free after the holidays. Check out askHRgreen.org for a complete list of Christmas tree recycling collection schedules and drop-off locations by locality.

askHRgreen.org Publishes Report on Recycling in Hampton Roads

askHRgreen.org recently released "The State of Recycling in Hampton Roads," an in-depth report on local recycling programs and national recycling trends. The 18-page report was developed by members of the askHRgreen.org Recycling & Beautification Committee, a regional committee made up of municipal recycling representatives from the 17 localities in Hampton Roads. The committee's goal is to promote litter control, recycling, beautification and general environmental awareness through educational projects designed to reach all sectors of the regional community. This easy-to-read report provides a point-in-time look at recycling programs in Hampton Roads, describes the economic importance of recycling and outlines the innovative recycling trends that will expand and improve recycling in the years to come. The report also reveals that a common challenge of residential recycling programs is getting residents to recycle the right things, more often. Through public education and community partnerships, the askHRgreen.org Recycling & Beautification Committee is working diligently to help each resident of Hampton Roads recycle more, trash less! Read the full report now.
The Team Behind the Green: Lisa Renée Jennings
This is the third installment in a series of profiles featuring the behind-the-scenes folks who are part of the askHRgreen.org program. From Virginia Beach to Southampton County and from as far north as James City and Gloucester counties, they come together as one region to encourage environmental stewardship among all residents here in Hampton Roads. This month, we'd like to introduce you to Team Member, Lisa Renée Jennings:

1. Tell us about your job.
As Clean Community Coordinator for the City of Norfolk and Keep Norfolk Beautiful (KNB), I coordinate all litter prevention programs and serve as the KNB volunteer coordinator. We have 140 Adopt-A-Spot groups and more than 30 Clean the Bay Day and Great American Cleanup sites. In addition, we host many individual community cleanups held throughout the year. I also oversee the maintenance of the Eco Garden at our office, the Ernie Morgan Environmental Action Center, located in historic Lafayette Park.

The best part about my job is getting to know the people who get out and volunteer to care for our City. There is a great feeling to be had after an Eco Garden work day; in just three hours, a small group can accomplish amazing things! I also love speaking with children during outreach programs. Last week, I asked a group of children what could we do when no trash can is available. One child looked at me, as if it was a stupid question, and said, "Just put it in your pocket!" My heart soared, and I thought to myself "Yes, children are the future!" In my spare time I enjoy upcycling. My current medium is men's ties, from which I make dresses and handbags.

 

2. Why is the askHRgreen.org program important?

askHRgreen.org is the best one stop shop for environmental stewardship. I refer citizens to the site for a variety of resources and knowledge. I love being a part of the askHRgreen.org team because I can hear about other localities' programs and find out what they are doing to help deepen our shade of green. The environment has no boundaries so we share ideas and become resources for one another.

 

3. What is your favorite "green" tip to share?
"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next-best time is now." - Chinese proverb
For more ways to be green
in 2015, head over to askHRgreen.org