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September-Ocotber 2015
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ABCs of Reducing, Reusing and Recycling in the Classroom and at Home
While you're gearing up for the classroom with all those back-to-school necessities, keep in mind the need to reduce, reuse and recycle! These simple tips aren't just about eco-friendly schooling. They will also save families time and money, with the added bonus of knowing you are protecting the Earth. 
Take Inventory
Reduce the number of items on your shopping list before even stepping out the door. Check last year's staples-binders, pencil cases, supply boxes and backpacks to see if they could be used for another year. You'll be surprised by how much you already have on hand.
Buy Recycled Content
When purchasing new items, such as pens, paper, notebooks and pencils, look for products made from recycled materials. This closes the recycling loop by providing a second life to those materials you tossed in your recycling bin.
Stockpile Cool Stuff for Art Projects
Those old magazines, cloth scraps, bottle caps and toilet paper rolls can be transformed into amazing works of art. And they'll certainly come in handy when your child springs a last minute project on you!
Pack a Waste-free Lunch
No need to pack green eggs and ham to send children to school with a green lunch. Follow these quick tips for a waste-free lunch:
*  Use meal/snack containers instead of plastic baggies
*  Send reusable flatware instead of disposable utensils
*  Use refillable drink bottles instead of juice boxes or bottled water
Catch the Bus
While walking or biking to school is the greenest way to get to class, sending your child to school on the bus saves gas and puts less cars on the road, resulting in fewer CO2 emissions and improved air quality.
Just for Teachers: Greening Your School
Clean up your School's Act
Adopt a nearby parking lot, roadside or park and regularly pick up litter and improve the grounds through plantings. You'll be surprised to see less and less litter accumulating through your school's hard work. Contact your local representative for more information.
Set up a School Recycling Program
Schools can compete for national awards and prizes in competitive recycling contests such as the Recycle-Bowl (register by Oct. 13) or the  Trex plastic bag recycling program. If your school doesn't provide recycling in classrooms or the cafeteria, speak with the administrators about starting a program.
Find a Classroom Resource
Visit the Your Classroom tab of and discover a variety of teaching resources from the Green Classroom Pledge to grade specific lesson plans and downloadable graphics and posters.
Get a Grant
Teachers can apply for environmental education mini-grants of up to $500. The mini-grants are intended to provide funding for environmentally-themed projects for K-12 children. Apply online now!

Mark Your Calendar: Drug Take-Back Day is Sept. 26
Proper disposal of medication is essential to ensuring clean waterways and safe, drug-free communities. As part of the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Sept. 26, law enforcement agencies and select pharmacies across Hampton Roads will accept all prescription and over-the-counter medications for safe disposal from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm. Find the collection site nearest you by entering your zip code into the National Take Back Initiative Collection Site locator.

If you can't make it out to one of the prescription drug collection sites that day, please learn how to safely dispose of medication. Medications should never be flushed down the sink or toilet. Wastewater treatment is designed to treat the water that goes down toilets and sinks and make it safe to return to the environment. But a treatment plant cannot remove chemicals from medications once they've dissolved into the wastewater. When medication is poured down the sink or flushed down the toilet, they enter our waterways and have lasting impacts on the marine environment-especially that yummy seafood we all enjoy!
Don't Miss Out on this Great Day of Golf!
Don't wait a minute longer! Become a sponsor, donate a prize or register your team for the 2nd Annual Keep Hampton Roads Beautiful Golf Tournament today. The tournament will take place on Monday, Oct. 12 at the Greenbrier Country Club in Chesapeake. All golfers will enjoy 18 holes of golf, cart rental, range balls, snacks, beverages, lunch provided by Chick-fil-A and an awards dinner from Outback Steakhouse., Keep Virginia Beautiful and the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission are proud to support this annual fundraiser. Last year's tournament raised over $10,000, half of which stayed right here in Hampton Roads to provide funding support for a new cigarette litter prevention program. Programs like this demonstrate the ultimate in cooperation and collaboration to address regional problems at a regional level. With your support, this year's KHRB Golf Tournament will prove to be another positive step towards cleaner, more sustainable communities.

Need more information? Email us at or visit the Keep Hampton Roads Beautiful Golf Tournament page to register online.
The Team Behind the Green: Sherry Coffey
In this installment of the Team Behind the Green series, meet Sherry Coffey. As an Team Member, Sherry is one of many folks working behind-the-scenes to power the program. From Suffolk to Williamsburg, the experts come together as one team to encourage environmental stewardship among all residents here in Hampton Roads.

1. Tell us about your job.
I have been employed with the City of Poquoson since 2002 as an administrative assistant for the Community Development Department, which consists of planning, engineering and building inspections. I also clerk for the Wetlands Board and the Architectural Review Board. I think the best part of my job is that I am in charge of issuing Farm Animal Permits for residents wanting to keep chickens and other farm animals on their property.  

2. Why is the program important?
The program is important to me because I get to share lots of green information with residents of Poquoson (and my co-workers) by distributing resources at the front counter and talking to residents when they have questions. The program also offers me an opportunity to work with other localities and offer suggestions at a regional level. 

3. What is your favorite "green" tip to share?
I would have to say that my favorite green tip is to plant more plants!
Don't throw your old electronics in the trash!
America Recycles Day is coming Nov. 15. Stay tuned to learn about an electronics recycling event near you.

Details coming soon to!
For more ways to be green
in 2015, head over to