Memorial Day weekend marks the official kick-off of the summer season for many people. Nevermind the fact that summer doesn’t really start for three more weeks! One of the perks of living in a southern, coastal region is that summer can start as soon as the temperatures creep up to 80 degrees – whether that happens in April or June. So if you’re planning to kick-off your summer this weekend, keep in mind these eco-friendly ways to enjoy Memorial Day with a nod to the natural resources that define Hampton Roads.
• Plant a Memorial Tree (or plant) – Let’s not forget the true meaning of Memorial Day. Honor those who gave their all for this country by planting a special tree or plant. Once in the ground, make sure your new tree or plant is watered daily until roots are established.
• Donate an Old Cellphone – Take some time from your long weekend to dig out your old cellphones for a good cause. Cellphones for Soldiers gives your old, unwanted cellphone a second life while helping a soldier keep in touch with his or her family. There are over 30 drop off locations in the Hampton Roads area, find one near you now!
• Stay Local – There’s no need to travel out-of-town for a great vacation when you live in Hampton Roads. Visit one of our local beaches or parks to save the gas and frustration of an out-of-town trip. If rain showers cloud your plans, take the fun inside with a trip to a nature-themed attraction like the Virginia Living Museum or the Virginia Aquarium!
• Host a Green BBQ – If the party is at your place, make sure your festivities are easy on the environment. Choose beverages in recyclable containers such as metal cans or glass bottles and place a recycling container predominately so that your guests can find it easily. It’s always best to use reusable plates and silverware, but if you’re going with disposable picnic wares, choose products that are compostable or made of recycled content. Last, don’t let your trash get caught up in the wind! Secure loose napkins and food wrappers so they don’t end up in your neighbor’s yard or a nearby storm drain.
Protecting our natural resources, waterways and beaches starts with the small choices we make each day. Be an environmental steward all year long by making small changes to your everyday routine and protect our natural resources for many summers to come.