Environmental experts in Hampton Roads hope you will make some all-important resolutions for 2013: Resolve to Live Greener! It's important because of our close proximity to the Chesapeake Bay and the many natural resources we enjoy along the Mid-Atlantic coastline.
Here's what the experts with askHRgreen.org outline in a news release as good goals for the coming year:
- Choose Tap, Not Bottled Water – In addition to reducing your carbon footprint, replacing expensive bottled water with clean, safe, tap water is good for your wallet, too!
- Get Involved – Resolve to be more involved in 2013 by joining local community clean-up events or sponsor your own neighborhood event. Make it a family affair! Giving back to the community is a great way to spend quality time with the kids.
- Recycle – There will be plenty of junk mail, plastic containers, glass bottles, cardboard, etc., to go around in 2013. Make sure it all finds a proper home in the big blue bin or take advantage of your local recycling drop off facility.
- Buy Fresh, Buy Local – Support your community by buying fresh from local famers here in Hampton Roads whenever possible. Join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program in your city or county.
- Conserve Water – Check toilets and faucets for leaks and repair them promptly, only do full loads of laundry and dishes, install low flow faucets and fixtures, take shorter showers and install a rain barrel to collect water for watering plants.
- Test Before Fertilizing – Testing your soil will indicate what fertilizer mix is needed and how much to apply. You’ll get the best results and save money by not using more than your lawn needs, while reducing the amount of phosphorous and nitrogen going into local waterways.
- BYOB (Bring-Your-Own-Bag) – Take your own tote when shopping, find alternative uses for plastic bags around the house and recycle what you can’t reuse. Remember, dry-cleaning bags, bread bags, wraps from your paper products and newspaper bags can all be recycled, but they don’t go in your curbside bin. To find a recycling center near you, check out abagslife.com.
- Dispose of the Disposal – Avoid using a garbage disposal and scrape your leftover food scraps into the trash or compost bin.
- Cut Energy Costs – There are a number of ways to trim dollars and cents off your energy bills. Switch to efficient light bulbs, install a programmable thermostat to adjust the temperature for peak efficiency, change air filters on a regular basis and look for the EnergyStar label when replacing old appliances.
- Go Native in your Landscaping Routine – Choose native plants (like the bee balm pictured here) and trees. These plantings are water savvy, have fewer pest problems and need less fertilizer than non-native plants. To view a guide of native plants in Hampton Roads, click here.
Find more green-living tips for any time of the year at askHRgreen.org!
About the HRPDC and askHRgreen.org
askHRgreen.org is your resource for all green living in Hampton Roads— from recycling tips and pointers for keeping local waterways clean to water-saving ideas and simple steps to make local living easy on the environment. Launched in 2011, the regiononal public awareness and education campaign is administered through the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission and powered by the following members: 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 Hampton Roads Sanitation District.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun