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March-April 2015
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Make a Difference in Your Community
Grab your work gloves (and a friend or two) and get ready for the 2016 Great American Cleanup! Improve your community by participating in a pick-up, clean-up or green-up project near you. Events are being held across Hampton Roads from March through May, and there's ample opportunity for all ages and abilities to participate. Come one, come all! Individuals, groups and businesses are all welcome to participate. Check our listing of Hampton Roads events to find a local project that interests you.
Why should you join the Great American Cleanup?
It's good for you.
That's right! Volunteering leads to improved physical and mental health due to the sense of accomplishment an individual gains from the activity.
You'll meet new friends.
There's nothing like digging into a messy project to form a deep connection with those around you!
It helps your community be the best

The Great American Cleanup is a chance for residents to give back, and it's been proven that clean, cared-for communities are safer,  more prosperous and enjoyable places to live.

It's Time to Check, Twist and Replace!
Did you know that an average home can waste more than 10,000 gallons of water every year due to running toilets, dripping faucets and other household leaks? Nationwide, more than one trillion gallons of water leak from U.S. homes each year. In honor of national Fix a Leak Week, March 14-20, reminds you to check your plumbing fixtures and irrigation systems. To help save water for future generations (and money on your water bill), simply check, twist and replace!
Check for leaks.
Look for dripping faucets, showerheads and fixture connections. Also check for toilets with silent leaks by putting a few drops of food coloring into the tank to see if it appears in the bowl before you flush. Don't forget to check irrigation systems and outdoor spigots too.
Twist and tighten connections.
To save more water without a noticeable difference in flow, twist on a faucet aerator that has a WaterSense label.
Replace the fixture if necessary.
Look for WaterSense-labeled fixtures, which are independently certified to use 20 percent less water and perform as well as or better than standard models.
Put Your Soil to the Test
A Beautiful Lawn Could Save You Time and Money

Spring time is fast approaching and it's time to put together your spring lawn care plans. One of the first things people usually think about is fertilizing to achieve a beautiful lawn. However, chances are your soil does not need added nutrients to thrive. Before you head to the store to stock up on pricey fertilizer, reach out to your local Virginia Cooperative Extension office for an inexpensive soil test. For about $10, you could discover that your soil is already healthy and requires no chemical fertilizer to look its best. Imagine all the time and money you will save by not applying fertilizer this spring! You'll also be keeping your family, pets and local waterways safe from the negative impacts of chemical lawn fertilizers.
Get started today and put your soil to the test! Download our soil testing guide for complete step-by-step instructions on how to take proper soil samples, what you'll learn on the soil test report and when to fertilize (if at all) based on the type of grass you have.
Want to learn more about the benefits of soil testing?
Watch this short video about soil testing from Virginia Tech and Virginia Cooperative Extension. 

You Are
Our ambassadors are out and about in the community all the time, meeting folks just like you who make smart choices each day so that future generations can enjoy a similarly amazing Hampton Roads lifestyle. We want to spotlight all of our supporters and show how they are protecting our local environment in small and big ways. So send us your pictures of DIY projects you've done around the house, details about a stewardship program you started at your office or information about what your community group is doing to support a cleaner, healthier environment. Submissions will be spotlighted on the website, social media and more! Submit your contribution to
Some cities and counties offer free specialty recycling year-round through drop-off recycling? Learn more about the drop-off recycling options in your city or county.
Keep on being green
in 2016!