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Q&A with HRPDC’s Julia Hillegass

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(Hampton Roads, Va., July 27, 2011) – For the past year, Julia B. Hillegass had spearheaded the HRPDC’s HR Green Campaign, working with the HR Green executive committee to consolidate the commission’s individual environmental committees under one umbrella program called HR Green. She is the public information and community affairs administrator for the HRPDC. The new website was top of mind when caught up with Julia this month!

After a year of development, how did it feel to launch
We are thrilled with the launch of this site! To finally have information from four separate sites all in one user-friendly format is a huge accomplishment. It will be both easier and more efficient for us to manage content and updates. More importantly, area residents will finally have the one-stop shop for Hampton Roads environmental information they have been craving.

Which site features do you believe will aide residents the most?
Definitely the “Upcoming Events,” where residents can find out about the wide variety of environmental activities in the region. This has an added benefit of assisting area groups in getting out their event information, as well as being able to see what is happening in other communities. Long term, we hope this feature will develop more of a regional conversation of lessons learned and resource sharing. I also think that our blog is really engaging. We have some great local experts giving practical information in a more informal and often humorous way. I think this is sure to be a hit!

There are pages on the site devoted to the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle), home, yard, business, community, classroom. How can businesses benefit from frequenting the site?
A lot of businesses automatically think that going green means added costs, when often it is just the opposite—going green can be a cost savings. More importantly, businesses can find out about environmental regulations that may impact their businesses and how to comply. We want to ease the perceived burden, especially on small businesses, as much as possible. Having such a wide variety of information in one place saves time. In the business world, we all know that time equals money!

What, ultimately, do you want visitors to take away after a visit to
We want residents to know that all of our individual actions do have an impact on the environment and there are small steps that everyone can take on a daily basis that will help to improve the quality of our environment and our quality of life.

What is your favorite feature on the site?
My favorite feature is definitely “Let’s Talk Green,” the askHRgreen blog! It has great topics from a variety of perspectives. I hope that residents will become engaged in this conversation, send us ideas for other blog articles, provide more resources and help us excite the community about developing our inner green!