askHrgreen.org
askHRgreen Blog
Upcoming Events for askHrgreen
  • askHRgreen Facebook
  • a
  • askHRgreen YouTube
  • a
  • askHrgreen Newsletter

 

avatar

Suffolk Farm Days

Posted on November 10, 2015 by | Comments Off

Suffolk_LacieAbout 1,200 second-grade students from Suffolk Public Schools recently got some hands-on experience at a farm.

Farm Days is a two-day hands-on farm experience that takes place at the Virginia Tech Research Extension Farm on Hare Road. “It’s a very good experience for the kids,” said Julie Moyer, science instructional specialist for the school system. “It’s their only field trip. The students look forward to it every year.”

The event has been held annually for 12 years and features several learning stations for children to rotate through. Some of the topics covered by the stations were the water cycle, pollution prevention, recycling, and animal care.

The City of Suffolk Public Works Engineering Department attended the event to help educate the children about the effects of litter and other pollutants on our waterways and wildlife. “The kids were great listeners and very compassionate when they were shown pictures of harmed wildlife,” remarked Wayne Jones, City of Suffolk Litter Control Coordinator, “one student said it made him feel mad that people litter and hurt the animals”. At Wayne’s station, the kids talked through the top 5 litter items found around the world including cigarette butts, food wrappers, bottle caps, plastic bottles, and drink straws. Afterwards the students put their skills to the test with a recycling knowledge game. The students were asked to distinguish between common items to figure out which of the items could be recycled. “It was very reassuring to hear so many of these children know what to and not to recycle” comments Wayne Jones.

The next station ran by Alacia Nixson, City of Suffolk Environmental Technician, focused on how pollutants affect our waterways. Using an Enviroscape, the students watched how our actions affect the Chesapeake Bay. An Enviroscape is a fun portable model that helps to visualize and better understand the sources and prevention of water pollution. Through this hands-on playful interaction the children discussed practical ways to prevent pollution at the source. 

“We were able to reach over 1,000 kids in two days!” says Kathy Russell, education coordinator for TFC recycling. “A key component to changing behaviors is teaching citizens, while they’re young, how to be environmentally responsible”.

Blog post contributed by Wayne Jones, Litter Control Coordinator with the City of Suffolk.

Posted in: Community events, Don't litter!, Gardening, Going Green, Keeping storm drains free, Reduce reuse and recycle

Share a link to this article with someone you know. Fill out the form below to send it to them.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

avatar

Annual Virginia Waterway Cleanup Season Starts Today

Posted on September 1, 2015 by | Comments Off

Seatack: Students from Seatack Elementary School collect data and litter off Croatan beach in Virginia Beach.

Students from Seatack Elementary School collect data and litter off Croatan beach in Virginia Beach.

Clean Virginia Waterways of Longwood University is preparing for its 21st Annual Virginia Waterways Cleanup (part of the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup), one of the largest volunteer events in Virginia. The Cleanups will take place during September and October with a large number of events being held on the official “International Coastal Cleanup Day,” Saturday, September 19, 2015.

In 2014, 8,032 volunteers picked up more than 263,000 pounds of trash and recyclable materials in Virginia as part of this statewide event. In the 20 years that Clean Virginia Waterways has been organizing the Virginia Waterways Cleanup, more than 84,000 volunteers have removed close to 3.7 million pounds of trash from our rivers and beaches. The single most prevalent item found is cigarette butts, generally accounting for about 15 percent of the total number of debris items found. Plastic debris, especially convenience food items (bottles, cans, food wrappers, straws, etc.), make up between 60 – 80 percent of all that litter, and close to 80 percent of all debris originates from land-based sources.

Data is collected for a snapshot view of common marine debris items reported around the world. This is Virginia’s top 10 list.

Here are some highlights from previous years:

  • In 2014, 236 volunteers in Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge reported 904 balloons in a single cleanup.
  • In 2014, Virginia Beach Chapter of Surfrider Foundation did a cigarette butt targeted cleanup of 8 blocks of Atlantic Avenue. They documented 3,791 cigarette butts in this brief distance.
  • In 2011, more than 7,600 tires were removed from a tributary to the James River, putting tires in the Top 10 list for Virginia that year.

FINWR: Volunteer Site Captains conduct a cleanup on Fisherman Island National Wildlife Refuge. Cleanups can be public or private.

Volunteer Site Captains conduct a cleanup on Fisherman Island National Wildlife Refuge. Cleanups can be public or private.

There are many events planned throughout Hampton Roads this year and we are hoping to add many more. Want to get involved? If you would like to volunteer your time and participate in one of these events, please visit the Clean Virginia Waterways website often to see which cleanups have been added. We have a Facebook event page to keep you up to date – please join this invite and invite your friends to join too! You will also be able to find cleanup info on the askHRGreen.org event calendar.

We are also looking for new groups, businesses, schools and individuals to organize additional cleanups. As a Site Captain, you will get support and supplies from Clean Virginia Waterways including trash bags, posters, gloves, pencils and data cards. We will post your cleanup on our website and social media sites to help you grow your volunteer group. Site Captains get a really cool t-shirt too! This is a great way to get out and support your community.

Please help us make this year’s Virginia Waterways Cleanup the biggest year ever. For more information or to sign up, visit http://www.longwood.edu/cleanva/VolunteerForCleanup.html or email us at cleanvirginiawaterways@gmail.com.

This post contributed by Christina Trapani with Clean Virginia Waterways and Longwood University.

balloons: Balloons are a common item found on Virginia’s beaches. Balloon litter from your cleanup can be reported to www.VirginiaBalloonStudy.org.

Balloons are a common item found on Virginia’s beaches. Balloon litter from your cleanup can be reported to www.VirginiaBalloonStudy.org.

 

surfandadventure: Businesses are encouraged to hold a Virginia Waterways Cleanup. It’s a great way to engage staff and customers and give back to communities.

Businesses are encouraged to hold a Virginia Waterways Cleanup. It’s a great way to engage staff and customers and give back to communities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in: Beautification, Community events, Don't litter!, Service Learning, Waterways

Share a link to this article with someone you know. Fill out the form below to send it to them.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

avatar

No Butts About It……Virginia Beach Working to Reduce Cigarette Litter

Posted on August 6, 2015 by | Comments Off

8.5x11_whaleThe City of Virginia Beach is excited to participate in two Keep America Beautiful Cigarette Litter Prevention Program (CLPP) grants in an effort to reduce cigarette litter at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront and Lake Smith/Lake Lawson Natural Area.

VB 1st streetClean Virginia Waterways of Longwood University (CVW) is spearheading the Virginia Beach Oceanfront initiative. CVW’s program involves working with various partners at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. This project targets visitors to the resort area and is the first CLPP of its kind!

With the help of the Virginia Beach Hotel Association (VBHA) and Virginia Green, CVW partnered with 12 resort hotels and supplied each of them with a cigarette receptacle, pocket ashtrays and program signage for their guests. We also worked with the City of Virginia Beach Resort Management office to place five receptacles on the boardwalk between 20th and 24th Streets. Finally, through collaboration with the VBHA, Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Resort Advisory Commission (RAC) G.R.E.E.N. Committee, we created graphics consistent with the committee’s Clean Beaches Program. 

Throughout the project, volunteers from Surfrider Foundation’s Virginia Beach Chapter and the Navy’s Norfolk Fleet Readiness Center have conducted six litter scans at four sites along the oceanfront, including small areas along the beach, boardwalk and beach access areas. To date, volunteers have counted and removed more than 12,000 butts from the sites.

VB 20th streetOnce the project is complete, we hope the Clean Beaches Program will continue keeping our beaches Beachy Clean!  Keep track of our project on the CLPP Virginia Beach Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CigaretteLitterPreventionVB.

Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation is also participating in a CLPP grant coordinated through askHRGreen.org at Lake Smith/Lake Lawson Natural Area. This 42-area preserve has more than 12,000 feet of shoreline and, while the City of Virginia Beach owns the property, the water/reservoir is owned by the City of Norfolk.

After being closed for approximately one year, this popular fishing destination reopened in October 2014 after a major renovation. The improvements include a new boat ramp, car and boat trailer parking, several fishing and overlook platforms, a pedestrian bridge, trail renovations, a large shelter, a new playground and a new restroom facility.

VB 20150803_152512_resizedVB 20150803_152733_resizedAs a part of the grant initiative, five cigarette litter receptacles have been placed throughout the property to encourage proper disposal of cigarette litter. Our goal is to provide disposal resources, educate citizens and encourage our patrons to assist us with litter prevention. This is the first time Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation has participated in the CLPP.

On Saturday, August 8 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. staff and volunteers will be at Lake Smith/Lake Lawson to educate patrons on the program. Patrons will learn about the new receptacle locations, receive educational material and free portable pocket and auto ash trays.

In addition, the Virginia Beach Oceanfront and Lake Smith/Lake Lawson Natural Areas CLPP are a part of Terracycle’s Cigarette Waste Brigade. The cigarette waste collected is recycled into a variety of industrial products such as plastic pallets, and remaining waste is recycled as compost.

Cigarette butts are the most littered item in America.  We encourage everyone to dispose of cigarettes butts and other litter in their proper receptacles and to do their part in Keeping Virginia Beach Beautiful!

Submitted by Amy Woodson, Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation and Christina Trapani, Eco Maniac Company    

Posted in: Beautification, Cigarette Litter, Cigarette Litter, Don't litter!, Golf Tournament

Share a link to this article with someone you know. Fill out the form below to send it to them.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

avatar

Keep Suffolk Beautiful Encourages the End to Cigarette Butt Litter

Posted on July 30, 2015 by | Comments Off

Suffolk CLPP#NoCigaretteLitterNow. The hash tag says it all! Seven Hampton Roads localities have teamed up to tackle cigarette butt litter throughout our communities. While each community is unique in their execution of the Keep America Beautiful Cigarette Litter Prevention Program, the message is the same: cigarette butts = litter. The City of Suffolk launched its cigarette litter prevention program on June 22. With the help of the chair of the Suffolk Clean Community Commission, Kathy Russell, and City of Suffolk Public Works employees, we were able to install five cigarette receptacles in downtown Suffolk along Main Street and West Washington. Downtown Suffolk was chosen as the target area for this program because it is the source of new construction, high traffic volume, and various businesses. The receptacles can be found in front of Toke Hookah Lounge, Serendipity Hair Salon, East Coast Taco, Super Drug Inc., and All About Virginia & More gift Shop. The owner of each of these businesses have joined in our efforts to stop cigarette butt litter by pledging to take responsibility for the upkeep of these receptacles and also to help communicate to smokers the harm of cigarette litter. Originally finding over 300 cigarette butts in our target area, our goal is for the receptacles, along with the educational awareness, to help reduce the number of cigarette butt litter found on the ground. Listed below are ways that you can get involved with our program:

  • Smokers: visit any of the participating business in downtown Suffolk to grab your free pocket or car ashtray! Never throw cigarette butts out of car windows or on the ground.
  • Do Your Part: host a cleanup in your community or neighborhood to help Keep Suffolk Beautiful. It is our responsibility to help keep our community litter free. Cigarette butt litter is unsightly and harmful to wildlife.
  • Communicate: inform smokers about the harm of cigarette litter. Filters do not biodegrade and persist in the environment.
  • Share your thoughts: Use the hashtag #NoCigaretteLitterNow on Facebook and Twitter to let friends and families know about the Cigarette Litter Prevention Program.
  • See for yourself: City of Suffolk Public Works will be at each T.G.I.F. Summer Concert Series for the remainder of the summer. Stop by to learn more about the Cigarette Litter Prevention Program and to pick up a free ashtray! Be sure to look for the results of this program, along with the follow up scan that will be shared in a national report. 

Suffolk CLPP2Receptacle placement is most successful at points of transition, where people are moving from place to place. The positioning of the receptacles combined with positive reminders, education and awareness will help smokers to do the right thing. Remember, cigarette butts are litter too.

This blog contributed by Lacie Nixson, Environmental Technician with Suffolk Public Works.

Posted in: Beautification, Cigarette Litter, Cigarette Litter, Don't litter!, Waterways

Share a link to this article with someone you know. Fill out the form below to send it to them.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

avatar

Buckroe Beach’s New Additons!

Posted on July 23, 2015 by | Comments Off

HA Buckroe Beach

“Grooving by the Bay” Concert Series
Buckroe Beach Park, Hampton, VA

Every Sunday evening through August 9th, hundreds will gather at Buckroe Park for Grooving by the Bay. Some will tap to the beat of a band and others will dance till the sun goes down or their feet ache. Whichever comes first!

Years ago ashtrays were in every vehicle, restaurant, business, and many homes. Today, ash receptacles are hard to find and businesses require smokers to smoke only outside. Last year at Buckroe Park there was no place to dispose of cigarette butts and cigar tips safely! According to “Keep America Beautiful” research, 32% of litter is found in outdoor recreation areas. Of course, the beach and park are no place for cigarette butt filters that contain a concentation of harmful carcinogens and are undigestable.  They may be picked up by children or eaten by wildlife thinking it is food.  Don’t despair!

HA Buckroe Beach CLPPGOOD NEWS! SOMETHING IS DIFFERENT THIS YEAR! Thanks to a Keep America Beautiful  and their Cigarette Litter Prevention Program (CLPP) grant along with $5,000 raised by askHRgreen.org through the annual Keep Hampton Roads Beautiful Golf Tournament, ash receptacles have now been placed for smokers convenience at both Buckroe Park and Buckroe’s Fishing Pier!

Be on the lookout for our new additions placed at the pavilion, entrance to playground, restroom area, Sand Dollar picnic shelter, and park and fishing piers. Volunteers will also be passing out free pocket ashtrays to smokers during the Grooving by the Bay concert series. So far, recipients of pocket ashtrays are delighted to become advocates for creating a cleaner community not only for children, but our wildlife and waterways too. 

CigButtLitter-Pic2Come on down and listen to the beat of “Grooving by the Bay” Sunday evenings from 6:00- 9:00 pm. Last concert is August 9th. You just may see me or one of our volunteers passing out pocket ashtrays!  Please introduce yourself!

This blog contributed by Cris Ausink of the Hampton Clean City Commission.

Posted in: Beautification, Cigarette Litter, Cigarette Litter, Don't litter!, Waterways

Share a link to this article with someone you know. Fill out the form below to send it to them.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

 

  • This is exciting stuff! Get email notifications when new blog posts have been made.
  • LOOKS LIKE FUN!