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Simple Ways to Save Super Bowl 100

Posted on February 5, 2016 by | Comments (0)

Super Bowl Party TipsNothing goes better with good, ol’ American football than saving the planet! 

Too much of a stretch? Yeah, ok! The point is the decisions we make every day, be it a regular work day, a small family dinner or a big game day extravaganza, have an impact on our environment and how we will leave it for future generations. So think of it this way – protect future football fans and their right to enjoy Super Bowl 100 by celebrating Super Bowl 50 in the following ways:

 What to Buy:

  • Better Disposables. It’s best not to use disposable cups, plates and utensils, but if you must, pick products that are made of recycled material and/or compostable.
  • Local Goodies.  Support a local restaurant, pizza shop or brewery for any game day staples you plan to purchase. Buying local is an investment in our economy and reduces your carbon footprint.
  • Bulk Items. Buy in bulk and knock out your party supply list for the Super Bowl AND the Daytona 500 (or other upcoming celebrations).

What to Skip:

  • Disposable Cups. Invite guests to BYOC (Bring Your Own Cup) especially one supporting the mascot of their favorite sport team. This offers the convenience of less to cleanup without the harmful environmental impact.
  • Bottled Water. We know certain beverages are sold in containers, but H2O is not one of them! Safe, clean and great tasting tap water is available right at your faucet so skip the wasteful bottled water.
  • Garbage Disposals. Food scraps clog drains and belong in the trash not the sink or garbage disposal. Can you imagine the price for a service call to the plumber during the Super Bowl?

How to Cleanup:

  • Recycle More, Trash Less. Place a recycling container next to the trash can and help guests recycle the appropriate items by labeling it (such as “Bottles and cans here”)
  • Leftovers to Go. Don’t let leftovers go bad in your fridge. Fix a plate or goody bag for your guests to take home -  keeping your fridge and our landfills a little cleaner!
  • Can the Grease. Traditional game day fare is often high fat food. Remember to keep fats, oils and grease out of the kitchen drains and disposal to avoid clogged pipes.

Posted in: Going Green, Reduce reuse and recycle

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Is Your Safety Seat Unsafe?

Posted on January 29, 2016 by | Comments Off

Little Girl Kissing New Sibling to BeDid you know that an old or broken safety seat could be putting a child in danger?

Car seats that are over 8 years old, expired, purchased  secondhand or involved in a car accident all pose safety risks for young children. Unknown wear and tear or other damage to these car seats makes them less effective in protecting your most precious cargo. To help keep our young children as safe as possible, Drive Safe Hampton Roads, along with Walmart, AAA Tidewater Virginia, DMV: Virginia Highway Safety Office, Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, Boomerang Recovery, WVEC Channel 13,West Service Center, Waste Industries, and Hoffman Beverage have teamed up to conduct the 27th Annual Old, Used, Borrowed and Abused Child Safety Seat Round-Up.  During the month of February, the public is invited to bring old, used or abused car seats to a participating drop-off location for a $5 reward and the good feeling of knowing that you are helping keep kids safe while protecting the environment.

Drive Safe Hampton Roads has found that many safety seats are old, have missing parts, have been recalled by the manufacturer, or are no longer crashworthy. Together with their partners, Drive Safe Hampton Roads wants to “round them up” and recycle them so they cannot be used again but can also have a second life through the recycling process.

If you have any questions about the Round-Up or traffic safety issues, please call us at 757-498-2562 or email dshr@drivesafehr.org.

Download the event flyer!

Download a list of participating drop-off locations

Posted in: Community events, Reduce reuse and recycle

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Pump Out, Don’t Dump Out

Posted on January 26, 2016 by | Comments Off

Boater-Logo-SmallWastewater comes from all different sources:  sinks, toilets, showers, dishwashers, the list goes on and on.  When we are at home or at work, all of this dirty water we create throughout the day is sent down a drain, pumped through pipes, and ends up at a wastewater treatment plant where it is cleaned and then discharged into local waterways.  You probably just flush it and forget it.  It’s easy to do until you send something down the drain other than the 3 Ps (Pee, Poo, and [Toilet] Paper) that causes a clog and a sewer backup.  Coming face to face with sewage is normally not a pleasant experience.  I know from my own personal experience.  We all want to keep it in the pipes. 

However, not everyone can flush and forget.  If you have a boat with a sanitary holding tank, you know that proper sewage disposal is not something that just magically happens.  Nope, there is no sewage fairy that waves a magic wand and takes care of these things.  When that tank fills up it’s got to go somewhere, and someone’s got to do it. 

HRSD  Marina Interns make it easy for boaters to protect our waterways.

HRSD Marina Interns make it easy for boaters to protect our waterways.

And that someone is us!  HRSD offers a year-round boater Pump Out Program and we’ll pump your sanitary holding tank for free.  It’s part of our Boater Education Program and one way we promote the proper disposal of wastewater from sanitary holding tanks and prevent dumping into waterways.  HRSD was created 75 years ago to prevent sewage pollution in Hampton Roads, and we want to make it easy for boaters to do the right thing and help protect area waterways.  Our network of over 500 miles of sewer pipelines might not reach your boat – but our Marina Interns will!

By remembering to Pump Out, Don’t Dump Out, you’ll help us ensure future generations inherit clean waterways and are able to keep them clean.  Find out more about our Boater Education and Pump Out Program and schedule your pump out at http://www.hrsd.com/boatereducationproject

Posted in: Going Green, Outdoor tips, Waterways

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5 Ways to Save Big On Your Electric Bill with Home Automation

Posted on January 25, 2016 by | Comments Off

home automationThe arrival of winter typically brings cooler temperatures, energy usage and higher heating bills. Meanwhile, houses across the country are still decades in the past when it comes to efficiently reducing energy costs. Implementing just a few pieces of automated technology will prevent energy and money from being wasted. Consider these steps when preparing your home for the season.

  1.  Install a Smart Thermostat. A Wi-Fi-enabled thermostat is not only convenient to use, but it also really helps in monitoring a household’s energy usage. If you forget to turn the heater off before leaving for the day, open the thermostat’s corresponding app and bring the temperature down until you return home. Setting up a consistent programming schedule for the thermostat can save nearly $200 per year.
  2. Switch to Smart Bulb Automation. Replacing incandescent light bulbs with CFL or LED bulbs guarantees long-term savings on the electric bill, but going one step further and automating those bulbs can chop even more off the monthly price. Look for dimming systems that can be controlled via remote, phone or computer so that the lights can be turned off wherever you are. 
  3. Automate the Unexpected. Hopefully your water heater is not something you think about often. Spare yourself from ever thinking about it by installing a Wi-Fi module to the heater. It will notify you in the event of a leak, but its most useful feature is putting the water heater in “vacation mode” so that energy is diverted away from heating those taps when you’re away for a prolonged period.
  4. Identify Energy Vampires. Uncover exactly which appliances and gadgets are devouring energy around the house with an energy use monitor. Plug the monitor directly into the outlet, then plug the appliance in question into the monitor and over time you’ll be given data on its energy use and cost.
  5. Invest in Smart Plugs. Turn off appliances and gadgets while they’re not being used without having to move furniture to access your outlets by adding a smart plug to every outlet. Smart plugs have Wi-Fi capabilities that allow you to turn off things that often use energy while dormant, like a computer monitor, as well as turn an outlet off so that no energy can be sent to vampire products running in the background.

How have you added smart technology to make your home better equipped to handle energy costs?

 Guest blog submitted by Kelly Schwarze, gadget guru providing technology advice for The Home Depot.  She gives tips on how tech and home automation can help you save energy and money.  

Posted in: Going Green, Household tips

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Suffolk Test Results Show Local River is Cleaner

Posted on January 11, 2016 by | Comments Off

Did you know…

IMG_20140928_104907801

Our waterways seem to be getting clearer! The Chesapeake Bay Foundation has recently reported findings that suggest our waters have been clearer than they have been in years. This could be because of a period of dry weather this summer, but it can also be because of pollution reductions. What’s more, the City of Suffolk has found the same thing! The Suffolk Public Works conduct monthly monitoring on the Nansemond River and other tributaries draining into the Chesapeake Bay. Recent lab results are consistent with the same water clarity identified by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

 What does it mean to have clearer water?

  • Healthy waters for swimming and fishing
  • Better habitat for aquatic life that aids in filtering pollutants from the water such as oysters
  • Clearer water provides aesthetics for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed
  • Sunlight can reach underwater plants to increase oxygen in our water: more oxygen = more aquatic life
  • “Everything flows downstream”: A cleaner bay = cleaner watersheds where we live, work, and play.

How can you help keep our water looking clearer?

For more information on reporting environmental concerns or water monitoring contact hrgreen@hrpdcva.gov or call (757) 420-8300 to connect with the local stormwater professionals in your locality.

Blog contributed by Lacie Nixson, City of Suffolk Environmental Engineer.

Posted in: Beautification, Waterways

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