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Chesapeake Tap Water Wins People’s Choice Award

Posted on June 1, 2017 by | Comments Off

h2o-1610746_960_720The City of Chesapeake was recently declared the Peoples’ Choice in a Tap Water Taste Test conducted by the Virginia chapter of the American Water Works Association (AWWA). This was the fourth year the VA AWWA has held the taste test competition at their three-day Water Distribution Seminar and Utility Rodeo. The event is modeled after the National AWWA Distribution & Plant Operations Conference, a leading educational conference for water system operators nationwide. The tap water taste test is a non-scientific, friendly competition intended to highlight the importance of taste and quality in drinking water, a vital public health resource. A utility is only eligible to enter the competition if they have no violations of bacteriological, chemical or monitoring data. 

Here’s how the taste test works: Conference attendees are given numbered paper cups containing samples of tap water served at ambient temperature. After tasting all samples, they record their choice of the best tasting water. The city that receives the most votes is awarded the Peoples’ Choice.

The award-winning tap water was submitted from Chesapeake’s Northwest River Water Treatment Plant. The city uses the latest advances in water treatment processes such as reverse osmosis and microfiltration. As this recent recognition indicates, it is clear they know how to make excellent drinking water in Chesapeake. Cheers!

Posted in: Clean and safe tap water

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National Drug Take-Back Day 2017

Posted on April 28, 2017 by | Comments Off

National Prescription Take Back DayTomorrow is National Drug Take-Back Day so it’s time to clean out those medicine cabinets! And when you do, I’m willing to bet you’ll find more than one expired or unwanted medication. Safely getting rid of unwanted/unused medications is good for several reasons. It ensures that those medications won’t fall into the wrong hands and that they can’t harm the environment if disposed of improperly (like being flushed down the commode).

You can take advantage of the National Drug Take-Back initiative on Saturday, April 29, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Local police and Sheriff departments, along with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), will be collecting expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs for destruction.

You can easily find a medication collection site near you using the DEA’s online collection site locator. Simply put in your zip code or city/state and voila!

Why can’t we just flush medications down the toilet? 
For most of us in Hampton Roads, our wastewater flows to HRSD’s treatment plants where it is treated before it is released back into the environment. However, the treatment process cannot remove medications, it was never designed to do so. That’s why it is so important we dispose of medications responsibly, like participating in the National Drug Take-Back Day. If you can’t make it out to a collection location tomorrow but you have medications to get rid of, DEQ has published this handy guide for disposal of home pharmaceuticals with step-by-step instructions.

 

Posted in: Community events, Going Green

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askHRgreen.org Hits the Streets with “Write as Rain” Campaign

Posted on April 18, 2017 by | Comments Off

rainworks_hashtag

Launched this week (just in time for Earth Day) on sidewalks, streetscapes and thoroughfares throughout Hampton Roads, the motivational campaign will reveal a bevy of good-to-know “green” messages that become visible when wet.  

With the approval of local municipalities, askHRgreen.org committee members blanketed the region using custom-made stencils and an eco-friendly rain-resistant spray to adhere their messages to sidewalks in locations where residents gather. When it becomes wet, the surface around the message darkens while the stenciled area stays dry and light. The messages carry such sayings as: Only Rain Down the Storm Drain; No Wipes in Our Pipes; Your Morning Shower Starts with Tap Water; and Cigarette Butts are Litter, Too. There are 12 different messages in all!

Why “Write as Rain?”
The goal of the campaign is to inspire people to think about our Hampton Roads environment in ways they haven’t before. What’s more unexpected than a magically appearing message written with rain?

Grab your umbrella and head outside to enjoy the next rainy day in Hampton Roads and look for messages in Chesapeake, Hampton, Isle of Wight County, James City County, Newport News, Portsmouth, Smithfield, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, York County, and more locations. Find a message near you using our interactive map below and check back often as new locations are added.

Whenever you find one of our hidden messages, don’t forget to snap a photo to share with us on social media #askHRgreen.  

Posted in: Clean and safe tap water, Community events, Don't litter!, Fats, oils and grease disposal, Going Green, HR Green campaign updates, Keeping storm drains free, Reduce reuse and recycle, Waterways

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askHRgreen.org Honors Environmental Action Award Winners

Posted on February 23, 2017 by | Comments Off

Mr. Amber LaMonte, teacher at York High School Dr. Ella Ward, Chesapeake City Council Member and HRPDC Chair Mr. Michael Hipple, Chair of the James City County Board of Supervisors and HRPDC Vice Chair Mr. Thomas G. Shepperd, Jr., Member, York County Board of Supervisors Mr. Neil Morgan, County Administrator, York County Last week, askHRgreen.org recognized two local schools and educators for their commitment to environmental stewardship and leadership. Wendy VanHosen, assistant principal at John Yeates Middle School in Suffolk, and Amber LaMonte, a teacher at York High School in Yorktown, each received the Environmental Action Award from askHRgreen.org on Thursday, Feb. 16, at the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC) meeting in Chesapeake.

Ms. Wendy VanHosen, assistant principal at John Yeates Middle School Dr. Ella Ward, Chesapeake City Council Member and HRPDC Chair Mr. Michael Hipple, Chair of the James City County Board of Supervisors and HRPDC Vice Chair Mr. Lue R. Ward, Jr., Suffolk Council Member The Environmental Action Award was developed to recognize individuals who inspire youth (K-12) to have a positive impact on the environment by taking action in their schools or communities. The winning projects had previously received funding through the askHRgreen.org mini-grant program and were selected as outstanding by a panel of local askHRgreen.org representatives from the HRPDC’s 17 member jurisdictions and HRSD. The John Yeates Middle School and York High School projects were among 19 projects under consideration for the award, all of which were funded by askHRgreen.org in 2016.

John Yeates Middle School was recognized for VanHosen’s leadership of a school-wide recycling program.Students from JYMS, Suffolk

“This project is a shining example of what can be done when students, teachers and community partners work together,” said Katie Cullipher, askHRgreen.org team leader. “Not only did the project focus on the importance of recycling and reducing landfill contributions, but also on integrating diverse studies from art to science to social studies. The project itself is a sustainable initiative that will continue to impact students and the environment for years to come.”

At York High School, LaMonte helped the school’s green team improve availability and access to tap water and reduce plastic bottle waste by installing a water bottle filling station at the school.

Students from YHS, York County“We were impressed that the students tracked data on water usage and challenged their peers to reduce waste. Because of their efforts, the school experienced a 75 percent increase in the number of students carrying reusable water bottles,” said Cullipher. “While the projects may have started with a simple idea and a small amount of grant funding,  both serve as a legacy to their schools and will continue to remind students and faculty alike that we can each make an impact by thinking globally and acting locally.”

In addition to the award, each school received a check for $100.00 to be spent to further their project or to launch a new environmental initiative.

askHRgreen.org offers environmental education mini-grants of up to $500 to provide funding for environmentally-themed projects for students. All Hampton Roads teachers (K-12), youth leaders or organizations working with youth are eligible to apply. For details visit www.askhrgreen.org/mini-grant-program/

 

Posted in: For educators, HR Green campaign updates

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Gifts That Keep On Giving

Posted on November 17, 2016 by | Comments Off

Green Holiday WrappingAs hard as it is to believe, Thanksgiving is just one week away and that means we have a month to go until the “gift-givingist” time of the year. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of time to get the right presents for all those special people in your life. There’s also still time for you to put a plan together for how you can give responsibly this year.

Show someone you care by purchasing memberships or event tickets to give someone an experience instead of something that may just end up sitting on a shelf or in a closet. If you are shopping for someone who has it all or just really doesn’t need anything, consider making a donation to a charitable organization in their name. Shop small and local with businesses and artisans/entrepreneurs to support our local economy with your holiday spending instead of sending your hard-earned money elsewhere. Seek out companies with Fair Trade CertifiedTM products to let your loved one know that their gift is helping to ensure healthy, safe working conditions and improving communities the world over. And finally, think about supporting companies that give back, like Toms or Warby Parker, by donating products to someone in need for every product they sell. 

Get creative and show someone you care in a special way this holiday season. There are plenty of ways to give a gift that gives back in some way, shape or form. Happy shopping and happy holidays from the askHRgreen.org team! 

Posted in: Going Green, Holidays

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